It brought me on - I found my place in the world through Guiding

Growing up is a small town in Argentina was difficult for Candela, and a change of school when she was six resulted in a loss of confidence, following which she forgot how to read and found social interaction very hard.

“Her worried parents encouraged her to join her local Guide group, and gradually she developed the self-confidence and skills she would later need to Candela photo.jpegsucceed in her career. “Looking back I can see how much it helped me develop and change, and I’ve seen that since in many other girls.”

She started working for Argentina’s Ministry of Defence when she was 19.

“I was very young, and it was an extremely male environment. I rose through the ranks, and with the logistics department I had a senior role. Sadly, many men had difficulty accepting or even understanding that.” But she found that her experience as a Guide was really useful. “It gave me the tools and the experience to challenge those attitudes and to stand up for myself.”

She’s helped plan Argentina’s response to natural disasters, and has led teams in the field - for example in Haiti, following the earthquake there.

“You see the best and the worst of people - including yourself”, she says. “In Haiti people were nervous and distressed, and you had to come up with solutions. My experience as a Guide was really helpful with problem solving and working in a team under pressure, when it’s a matter of life and death.”

She believes that Guiding has a vital role in helping her country develop, and build better opportunities for women. 

“Argentina is dealing with some difficult issues, and Guiding can really play an important part in this process,” she says. “It’s a safe place for girls which teaches them about their rights and about healthy relationships.”

And she believes her new international advocacy role offers some exciting challenges. “The Guides has an important role breaking down social barriers, by telling the stories of girls, and empowering them - we need to educate communities. We work closely with governments, and with NGOs - we are trusted and respected and people listen to us.”

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