Profile of a volunteer: Celeste Quiroga

My role as a leader involves working for the organization in my team at local board level. My aim is to inspire and motivate all those around me so that together we can generate positive change in the thoughts and actions of others. We also aim toinvolve our families as well as our work and personal/study contacts.

We speak out about issues that areimportant to us as young women, through public speaking, advocating forthe rights of girls and young women,making media contacts and building strategic partnerships.Outside of Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting, I am a lawyer, specialising in human rights. My experience as Girl Guide/Girl Scout has helped to build my character. Both within Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting and in my professional life I have always had to think on my feet, resolving conflicts and always keeping in mind the main objective. I take the initiative and do whatever it takes to get things done. Through GirlGuiding/Girl Scouting, I have beenable to develop my skills from working as part of team and have learned to be proactive. I am sensitive to others’ problems and do my utmost to reach a consensus and not impose my ideas on people who do not feel comfortable or believe in them. I always keep in mind
gender and equality perspectives. These are all valuable skills I have learned
through Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting.

I honestly do not know exactly when I became a leader. I believe that with every activity and commitment I have made I have become a better person. I
aim to do my very best in all I think, say and do and become more true to myself
and in what I believe. My Association helped to build my self-confidence by
encouraging me to challenge myself and giving me the opportunity to get
involved in decision-making. I was given responsibilities and strengthened
my leadership skills so that I felt important and valued. I saw at
first-hand examples of courageous, sensitive, committed, supportive and
intelligent women who became role models for me.

Not everyone supports young women as leaders in the same way as our Association does. Often we as young women see responsibility as a burden when experience has disappointed us and we are close to losing faith. We need to have people who believe in us, and give us strength so that we feel supported in the certainty that we do not have to abandon our dreams of making the world a better place to
grow. That’s why it’s important that our Association supports us as young
leaders. Our lives are invaluable, our desire to change the world is the best
investment that adults can make.

Not everyone today believes in the possibility of changing the world. Many people are beaten down by life and its injustices. We as young people live in the present but think of the future. We do not feel weighed down by the past or pre-occupied by the uncertainties of the future. We believe in building a more just, responsible and equal society as we feel it is the responsibility of each and every person.

I’ve been involved in a number of leadership opportunities on a global level as well. In 2008 I took part in the Workshop for Young Ambassadors of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts – themed on 'We are the change we want to see in the world' – which took place in San Jose, Costa Rica. This workshop definitely touched my life and influenced the path I chose in life. In 2011 I participated in the Young Women’s World Forum [the World Association’s flagship centenary events] where I learned about advocating on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2013 I had the opportunity to be part of the Fifth World Centre pilot project training on the World Association’s campaign ‘Stop the Violence – Speak out for girls’ rights’ in Rwanda, and learn more about all the potential changes and influence the World Association can achieve. I was impressed by the Association des Guides du Rwanda and the committed and meaningful work they do to speak out against violence throughout their community.

Participating in these events strengthened my commitment to
leading change in the world and I am very grateful to Girl Guides and Girl
Scouts for giving me the opportunity to take part in training and to develop
my skills. This has benefited me when working with people from different
cultures and with differing concerns and priorities. All this experience has given me the strength to develop projects and activities within my Association. I’ve been involved with important activities and community action work in my local Girl Guide/Girl Scout council. I helped to plan and deliver a national camp on girls’ empowerment, and
have organized community projects for children living with cancer and for families living in refugee camps after they lost their homes in landslides. I was a facilitator of leadership training for young people, which focused on disaster prevention and emergency situations. I’ve also been involved with International Day of the Girl and National Women’s Day events in the city of La Paz, helping to raise awareness of girls’ rights and their potential to enact change in the world. I will continue to work for these.