Meet Julian Andres Carvajal

"Remember that you have the power to make change and you have the right to use it."

What inspires you?

I was a 12 year-old I realized how short life can be, and so I decided to make possible as many dreams as possible and building a FAIR society has been one of those ever since. Life inspires me! The injustice and the necessity of doing what is right.

Tell us about an issue that matters to you and how you became aware and involved.

When I was 7 years-old I started sending letters to the Ministry of Environment in Colombia and thanks to multiple petitions and the support of Friends and Family, I was able to open the first chapter of an environmental group in my public school 2 years after I started the idea. We need a place where to sleep and that is our Planet Earth! And then I though about those who have not have yet the opportunity of having a shelter and I became involved with people living and working on the streets in Bogotá, Colombia while going to university. Although I was young still, I was able to navigate the streets and volunteer and work the community living in an very dangerous and poor area in Bogotá. Having the opportunity of working with transgenders, homeless people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and in poverty, was the most rewarding opportunity I could have. To make change you just have to believe in yourself and be confident that there is always a way to make the changes. Remember that you have the power and you have the right to use it! Ministries, public figures, reporters, presidents, etc, are there because of you so just remind them that they need of you more than they think! Call them, invite them, ask them, confront them, make alliances with them! We need each other! Be an AGENT OF CHANGE!!! Spread the word and make some noise for your rights and the ones from those unable to speak up!

Share your perspectives on what makes a good leader.

I believe that we should not talk about a leader in a negative way, in other words, a person can only be considered a leader when is working towards their community for a better future. A good leader listens, understands, develop strategies along with the members the community, evaluates, and share its knowledge and most importantly, her/his passion. A leader knows when to follow as well and how to generate the impact that the community is asking for without manipulating the system but being very self-aware of the limitation that she/he has. Leaders need leaders, leaders are a bridge that help to find the answer but do not provide it. TIG is a centre to promote the work of different leaders round the world, it is virtual tool with a human heart!

Do you think TakingITGlobal can help you achieve some of your goals? Have we already?

I have been a member of TIG since 2007 when I had the amazing opportunity to be part of two committees for the International Aids Conference Mexico 2008 Youth Force. Thanks to the virtual platform I was able to communicate, send and receive updates about the production and strategies we were creating for such an important event! Even though I was in Canada, I was able to contribute with my knowledge to improve and develop the required actions to make a great youth conference! The team based in Toronto was extremely helpful, Kristen Jordan and her team were fabulous! Thanks to TIG I was able to gain international experience, continuing volunteering in different projects such as Panorama Virtual Magazine as a translator, etc.


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