Delegates' profiles

Fifteen remarkable young women from 11 countries across the globe form the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) youth delegation at this year’s UNFCCC climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico. 

Christine McRae, Australia

Delegates at COP 16-   Christine McRaeMy name is Christine MacRae and I’m Australian. I’m 25 years old and have been in Guiding since I was 6. I work in a Guide unit of 10 girls aged between 13-18 year old – and they are fantastic!

Christine leads on environmental projects within her Guide unit, including participating in Clean Up Australia day and raising awareness of living in an environmentally-sensitive way amongst young Girl Guides. She studied environmental science at university and currently works with the Murray Darling Basin Authority on assessing and conserving water resources.

I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…

Sometimes, to make a difference in this world there are paths we have to follow, hoops that have to be jumped through and information we need to know otherwise we will go nowhere! I think getting exposure at our age to a process like COP16 will put us in great stead in the future to help lobby for change be it small scale local change or large scale global change, like the mitigation and adaption to climate change. Being in Mexico is going to be awesome as it will really boost our capacity as Guides to be the change that we want to see in the world!!

Christine's post COP16 project...

Christine has plans to work with the 1million women campaign and develop a strategy to encourage as many leaders and older Guides to sign up to the program and make a personal commitment to reduce their GHG emissions in some way. She also aims to encourage as many brownies and guides as possible to complete the climate change challenge and to talk to others about her experiences at COP 16.

In her own words: ‘I really hope that my experience at the conference will give me the skills and confidence to become a real advocate for action on climate change. I would like to help Girl Guides in Australia become a powerful voice in the Australian choir that is calling for the Government to be more proactive and responsible for reducing GHG emissions and reducing the future impacts of climate change!’

Sus Gomez, Honduras

My name is Gomez Suseth but I can be called Sus. I’m from the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Central America’s heart! I’m 24 years old and I'm a lawyer.

I started Guiding when I was 6 years old and it has been the best experience in my life. I have developed many skills that I put into practice in my daily life and my work.

I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…

Climate Change is an issue that’s affecting us all in the world. It is our duty to seek effective solutions that contribute to improve our world. This conference is very important because I can put into practice the knowledge acquired in my country and then share it with other Guides in Honduras.

Suseth's post COP16 project...

Suseth is using the 10th April centenary celebrations as a chance to share what she learnt at COP. She will run a workshop about COP 16, explore some environmental solutions and all the workshop participants will plant seeds. She has also become her association’s official representative on the Honduras Volunteer Network

Emily Rodriguez, USA

Emily RodriguezEmily has recently graduated from Whitman College with a BA in Sociology-Environmental Studies. She has also taught environmental education to children, and developed a project guide for the Girl Scouts Forever Green program (Girl Scouts of the USA’s new environmental program focused on reducing carbon emissions). Emily hopes to use what she learns at COP 16 to strengthen environmental awareness amongst other girls.

I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…

"I attended COP15 as a delegate for WAGGGS last year, and it was a meaningful experience for me. I am passionate about the environment and in educating others on how to make a positive impact on climate change. This year, I want to once again represent all women and youth from around the world who are facing the social and environmental problems associated with climate change."

Emily's post COP16 project...

Since returning home Emily has been featured in her local newspaper for her activities at COP. she has also started an internship with the Earth Child Institute – a contact she made at COP 16. She is currently writing environmental activities for children for them. She is also currently leading a ten week environmental programme for girl scouts, and has been invited to make a presentation at a national youth environmental conference where keynote speakers include Al Gore and Bill McKibben (founder of the environmental movement 350.org)

In her own words: ‘I have learned that high-level negotiators are so excited to learn about what Girl Guides and Girl Scouts are doing internationally. It was so great to hear from the women who are in high-level positions, and to see and hear negotiators’ support for Article 6 and their recognition of youth for efforts in Article 6.’

Angela Mills, Canada

My name is Angela Mills, and I live in Caledon, Ontario (Canada). I am in my third year of university studying towards a double major undergraduate degree in French and Geography.

I have been in Guiding since the age of 5 (in Sparks) and now, at 21, I am a Guider with a Pathfinder unit (girls aged 12-15)

I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…

Last term I took a course about the Human Dimension of Global Climate Change, and I learned about the UNFCCC and the IPCC. This term I am taking Climatology. I am very excited to be able to apply the knowledge that I have gained from courses to the real world.

In the future I would like to help increase public awareness on things like water conservation and what individuals can do to make a change.

Angela's post COP16 project...

Angela has continued her environmental studies since returning from COP and is researching topics such as the interrelationship between climate change and global wetlands. She will also be working with her pathfinders group on the climate change challenges

In her own words: ‘It was inspiring to See so many youth from around the world who have come together for a common goal’

Miriam Otieno, Kenya

My name is Miriam Otieno. I am from Kenya and I’m 26 years old. I live in Nairobi and work for an NGO called Ufadhili Trust, which focuses on promoting social responsibility in the East African Community. I serve as a programme assistant and my work entails lobbying and advocating for issues on volunteerism and philanthropy.

I joined Girl Guides in 1993 and up to date am still a girl Guide. I serve in the National Council of my local Association as a youth representative and I also volunteer to assist in the Projects commitee of my local association as well as in the fundraising committee.

I had a chance to participate last year in the climate change conference in Copenhagen and it was both exciting, educative and also quite engaging.

I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…

I’m excited to meet you all and also learn from you. This time governments should be able to secure a deal that should contribute to a better future for humanity. I’m also very excited to come to Mexico.

Miriam's post COP16 project...

Watch this space!

Fatima Espinosa, Mexico

Delegates at COP 16-   Fatima EspinosaMy name is Fatima and I come from Durango, Mexico. I’m 20 years old and I’ve been involved in Guiding since I was 6.

I love Guiding. It’s a very important part of my life because I´ve gotten a wonderful experiences as member of this.

I’m studying at the University of Law in Durango and I would like to study a master in Political Science when I finish my career.

I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…

I want to learn more about the situation of climate change on our planet and the decisions that are being made to prevent this situation. I also want to share my point of view on this topic and become a part of the final declaration on Climate Change.

Fatima's post COP16 project...

Fatima has returned home to run several local environmental projects, including the ‘green christmas’ programme.

She has made presentations and written articles about her experience at COP, and she was also interviewed by her association’s radio station ‘discover your potential’ and was featured in a local newspaper article. She has put together a plan for a national environmental project which has been approved by her national board. After participating in a meeting at our cabana and explaining about her work at COP and with advocacy Fatima was asked to join the planning team for the YWWF 2010. And finally Fatima participated in a ‘Muiss Water 2011’ competition where all the participants were involved in environmental projects.

In her own words: ‘I learned about the important place that women have in society and obviously why women are more affected by climate change, but also why it is the important to give them a good education of this topic because of the influence that they can have on others and the changes that they can make in our society.’

Céline Lefevre, France

At her association, Scouts et Guides de France, she is a trainer for Guide and Scout leaders and member of the national team in charge of international partnerships and solidarity projects in Latin America.

In 2006, she took part as a scout leader in a international solidarity project in Bolivia. It was a real international camp with Guides and Scouts of Bolivia, Peru, Spain and France. The 40 participants discovered the environmental problems of the city, Potosi, due to the mine, which polluted rivers and thus water used by the habitants in their daily life.

I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…

"Make the children aware of environment is crucial because they represent the future, and they can help their parents to change their behaviour. I will be very enthusiast to attend this Conference to improve my knowledge on climate change. I think that it’s impossible to deal with environment and climatic change without an international point of view, and taking into account the economic, social and cultural aspects."

Celine's post COP16 project...

watch this space!

Katie Scales, UK / Our Chalet, Switzerland

Delegates at COP 16-   Katie ScalesI’m originally from Lincolnshire, UK, now living and working as the Assistant Programme Manager at Our Chalet, our World Centre in Switzerland.

I’ve been in Guiding since I was 4. I love working with the girls and young women, passing on what I know, learning with them, and watching them develop and grow as I did and still am.

I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…

Last year my role in the delegation was predominantly logistics, so I was more involved with organisation rather than the content of the conference. I was really impressed by the impact the WAGGGS delegation had,  and look forward to challenging myself to perform the role of delegate this year.

Katie's post COP16 project...

Katie currently works at the WAGGGS world centre ‘Our chalet’ where she continues to run innovative environmental programmes with the groups visiting. She will also be working on using the success of the article 6 lobbying group at COP 16 to encourage more support for non formal education on climate change. WAGGGS have recently produced a toolkit for member organizations on how to use the outcome of article 6 in their own climate change programmes and Katie has assisted in putting this together.

In her own words: ‘By far the most inspirational and motivating time I spent in Cancun was my involvement in Article 6. To see a campaign begin on the first day of the Conference of Youth (COY) and be able to follow it through to the COP decision two weeks later, was an incredible experience, and both exceedingly challenging and rewarding. I feel incredibly lucky to have been involved in a large part of the process, from creating the initial YOUNGO policy brief, to initiating and carrying out the lobbying campaign, to sitting in the plenary and waiting for the SBI decision to be passed. To see the ideas that I helped write, appear in a UNFCCC document two weeks later, is an a truly overwhelming feeling, and one that motivates me to want to work further on policy, and induce more positive change in the world’

Megan Van Buskirk, Canada

Delegates at COP 16-   Megan Van BuskirkMy name is Megan Van Buskirk and I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada. I have a Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography and am working towards a Bachelor of Arts in Northern Studies. I go to the University of Saskatchewan.

I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…
It will give me the opportunity to have my opinions heard. It will be an eye-opener to the problems in our world in relation to climate change (the environment, population, economics, etc) and what can realistically be done to remedy such problems. I’m excited to be a real part of the change. I’m also really excited to meet people from Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world.

Megan's post COP16 project...

Megan has finished the climate change and food security badge with her brownies, has held a fundraiser for the "Saskatchewan Eco-Network Film Festival" which showcases a variety of environmentally themed documentaries and has been spreading information about the IMatters marches that raise awareness about climate change and how we need to live for the future. She still plans to run other activities such as local area clean ups and tree planting programmes.

In her own words: ‘The youth constituency at COP 16 inspired me. I think this quote stays with me, from Copenhagen: “The youth didn’t fail. The politicians failed. The youth succeeded all expectations.” ‘

Browyn Hughes, Australia

Delegates at COP 16-   Browyn HughesBronwyn is currently undertaking an international exchange with Girl Guides in Mexico, and has been involved with a project to combat the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico using a biodegradable and recyclable and solution. In her native Australia, she studied international relations and development studies at university and has been involved with numerous Girl Guide environmental projects, such as a bush regeneration and a seabird rescue project.

I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…

"I am committed to undertaking further research in the area of climate change, the COP 16 UN Climate Change Conference being an area in which I am already doing some study. I am also committed to sharing my experiences and enacting what I have learned from the conference upon my return to Australia."

Bronwyn's post COP16 project...

watch this space!

Karen Julie Fink, Denmark

Delegates at COP 16-  Julie FinkI just finished my BA in musicology, journalism and media studies. I have an interest in communications, which I think can be useful during the conference.

After working as a volunteer in Zambia in 2006 and visiting Malawi in 2008 I held more than 13 lectures about poverty, HIV/AIDS and climate changes in schools and churches all over Denmark. I enjoyed this way of sharing knowledge and experiences a lot.

I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…

In December 2009 I participated in the COP 15 in Copenhagen on behalf of Green Girl Guides Denmark. We left with the feeling that we didn’t “finish the job” – the result of the conference was so disappointing. Therefore, I would like to make another effort to get a fair, ambitious and binding climate deal (though I realize this is going to be extremely difficult). By participating in a COP for the second time I will be in a better position to make this effort, since I now have an insight in the UN negotiations, that I didn’t have the first time.  I am eager to make the world’s politicians understand how urgent this problem is.

Julie's post COP16 project...

Since returning from the COP Julie has featured in two of the major Danish newspapers and was then contacted by the editorial team of the ‘who’s who’ of Danish women – she will be featuring in the next edition!  She was also been invited by Advocates for Youth to join their SRHR and Clima​te Change Youth Advisory Council. As part of this project she is helping to develop an online campaign about the link between sexual and reproductive health rights and climate change. She is also contributing to the development of a new badge within her association about energy.

In her own words: ‘we need to keep fighting climate change, because we are running out of time’

Trine Graungaard Hjerrild Thomsen, Denmark

Delegates at COP 16-  Trine Graungaard Hjerrild ThomsenI'm 21 years old and I'm originally from a small town in the country but a month ago I moved to Denmark's fifth largest city, Esbjerg. I study Environmental Planning at the University of Southern Denmark in Esbjerg.

In my spare time I am active senior, a clan leader, board member in my group and at the divisional management, where I am the cheif and doing events for scouts between 12-16 years. In addition, I sit in the Climate Change Working Group in the corps at the Danish Scouts (DDS) and is an intern at the DDS community in which I record and plan the implementation of the new Natural and environmental stategy and politics.

Besides that I jump in parachute, travels around world and play music and theatre.

 I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…

I am pleased to participate in COP-16 because I expect to take a lot of experiences with me home that I can use actively in both my scout group and as an Environmental Planner.
I am looking to meet other delegates from all over the world and see their views on environment and climate. And I obviously really pleased and proud to have been chosen for such an important conference.

In the future I hope to combine my scouting with my studies and climate / environment / nature. But first I would like to go out and experience the world, perhaps as a volunteer at a scout center and a semester abroad.

Trine's post COP16 project...

Trine has been making presentations about her experiences at COP 16 to others, including to The Joint Committee of Girl Guides in Denmark. The chairman of this committee is HRH princess Benedikte. Trine also has plans to do further work with the WAGGGS global action theme within her association.

In her own words: ‘You can achieve a lot with a scarf around your neck, and when you say you are from “The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts”. I have met more presidents, ambassadors and delegates than I had ever could have imagined. But my meeting with Danish Minister for Gender Equality, Environment and Energy, Lykke Friis has made some deep tracks in my consciousness and I am quite confident that the cooperation between her and my association does not just end because the end of the COP16.’

Marie Gro Svenstrup, Denmark

Marie is a Danish economy student. She is member of the advisory group in the Danish Youth Council (DUF) and has taken part in several camps and events as member of her national association.

She has also spent one-year globe travel including visiting local Guides and Scouts groups and the World Centres.

 I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…

"COP 15 didn’t result in what we all had wished for but I don’t think it’s time to give up yet. I think it is as important as ever to take up the climate challenge and fight for better results than last time. I have the luxury of living in a part of the world which has the living standard and the wealth to cope with the changes. I know that a lot of my fellow sisters in Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting are not as lucky as me.

COP 16 is not only about climate changes it is about ensuring that all of us have a place on this earth - a place where it is possible to live. It is my world and my future and I don’t want it to be ruined."

Marie's post COP16 project...

Marie has made presentations about her experiences at the COP to other scout groups, and also wrote an article in the leader’s magazine on taking action. She’s also participated in community action projects at a local nature reserve.

In her own words: ‘I've realised the importance of stakeholders' support and how to influence.’

Victoria Usmanova, Costa Rica 

COP 16- Delegate being interviewedShe is a member of the H2O commission of the Asociación de Guías y Scouts de Costa Rica. She has taken part in environment conferences and fairs, and done activities such as planting trees and cleaning rivers and beaches with other members of the association.

I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…

"I am very proud of representing the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and our projects at COP 16. I am very interested in the environmental issues and I would like to learn more, share my knowledge and contribute with ideas to the conference. I also want to lead environment projects in my country."

Vickie's post COP16 project...

Watch this space!

Vera Sitali, Zambia 

COP 16- TV interview

At her association, Girl Guide Association of Zambia, Vera has taken part in the project ‘Greening zone’ to recycle waste. She learned to recycle rice and bone particles to be used in garden beds and also collected plastic and bottles and then resold them to industries.

I was really excited about coming to the conference in Mexico because…

"I want to reverse global warning, which is so devastating. I also want to continue the sensitisation on waste, especially non-degradable."

Vera's post COP16 project...

Vera plans to talk to others about climate change and her experiences at COP. She will also begin a tree planting programme.

In her own words: ‘I have learned how to speak to the public, how to work very hard and how to be confident in myself.’ 

Your comments

View newest comments first View newest comments first

Paul, WAGGGS - 6 December 2010 - 10.13AM (GMT)

So great to read your impressive profiles and why you are excited about the conference in Mexico. You are a powerful team with an important message - best wishes to you all!

debora - 6 February 2011 - 3.47AM (GMT)

I have a friend that jooined this conference also, her name's Rica Martyna, she's one of the youth delegations.... we're Indonesian..
we're livin' in a boarding school with semi-military system near valley in Balige, Sumatera..
we had a very wonderful view, once..
but, nowadays, people like to cut the trees and we lose our beautiful view,,
we can't do hiking anymore, but sometimes,our school do some programmes to replant those valley...
I'm interested in this community...
and I do want to some effort to return uor beautiful views...

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