Guiding gave me strength, energy, bravery... worth

Ana Cristina Calderón Valverde is the current President of the Association of Guides and Scouts in Costa Rica. She is the first female president in 40 years of the merged Guides and Scouts in Costa Rica, and the first woman to be President of the National Court of Honour.

I am a Guide.

I have been a member of the Guiding and Scouting Movement for more than 072016_Stop the Violence_Ana Cristina from Costa Ricathree decades. At the age of 10, I made the decision to become a better person and thereby help whoever needs help within my circle of influence, beginning with myself. I fell in love with being a Guide, and to this day it is something that defines me as a woman and a human being.

When I see the programmes that the World Association implements, I am convinced that it is the most important child and youth movement around the world throughout history, with more than 100 years of changing the lives that it touches for the better.

In particular, I currently recognise the importance of the Stop the Violence against girls and women Project in my country and in our communities, which is like a gift for giving us worth, empowerment and a sisterhood.

Violence in many forms:

There are many types of violence against women, from the youngest to the oldest, and sadly we know how to hide or disguise it. At times, those who suffer the most are those who maintain the status quo of this situation, through fear and not wanting to report it in order not to cause harm to their loved ones.

In my personal case, I knew that the looks of an ill-intentioned step-father were not normal, but I did not want to upset my mother by telling her. Thanks to the empowerment that Guiding gave me, I always managed to flee from the harassment, which is also a form of violence. I was a girl and he was an adult with the power to give orders, to find ways to be alone, etc. I was stronger and conquered the fear, which would not have been possible if I wasn't in the movement. This gave me strength, energy, bravery…it gave me worth!

I think that this project will be able to give tools to many girls and youth, to women who need only a little push in order to value themselves, in order to understand that they have rights that no one can take away from them, and that fighting for themselves benefits not only them, but everyone around them.

From my trench:

As National President of an Association of Guides and Scouts, I value and support 100% the contribution of a project of this nature that will benefit our girls, that will make them dream of better and different things for their lives, ranging from defending themselves against violence in their current situation to being able to be well-rounded people in the future, developed and capable of continuing the chain of favours towards those who surround them, fighting against the scourge of violence in all its forms and in any of the life stages of people.

Being a Guide

I love to say that I am a Guide, in spite of my age, because it is something that I will be until the last day of my life. I owe so much to the movement that I could never repay it; that is why I am sure of my promise to work from anywhere and whenever I can serve. Being a Guide is not a matter of age, but of heart.

Thank you!!!

My humble and sincere gratitude to all those who sponsor the project; without a doubt, your support goes further than a donation. Together with the essence of Guiding, you truly are changing the lives of our girls and youth for the better, and that is what our world needs!

Always Ready to Serve

Mrs. Ana Cristina Calderón Valverde

National President

Association of Guides and Scouts of Costa Rica

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