“In my professional career I have been surrounded by very talented and inspirational people that have been able to challenge what I already had built. For over 23 years I have been working for civil society sector, and this work has formed my profile as a human rights practitioner. In all these years, the work has created feelings, positions and profiles that are remarkable in terms of determination, tenancy and commitment towards goals.”
“I have been inspired by people who despite their position and hierarchy have taught me that to become a good leader, everyone needs to feel primus inter pares (first among equals), thus providing confidence and mutual respect. Working with families of former political prisoners has not been easy. For many years, step by step, I learned to understand their individual suffering: each of them has a piece of the past of my country and each of them needs to be heard and respected for their stories. Maintaining the focus on the goal after hours and months of talking, meetings, interviews, direct assistance to these families has not been an easy. There have been days when you simply feel unable to help. These were days when family members require answers about their missing persons or days when aged victims politely ask about their compensation payment and you fear that they may not be able to come in person next time.”
“Working with the victims of the communist terror has inspired my understanding of what means to seek justice and what justice means for these survivors. This approach has always positioned me against government of any party. Being a human rights practitioner means that you are always with the most vulnerable, the most voiceless and fragile people who find justice difficult to grasp. In every case, every program, report or event that I have organized, I always tried to take the viewpoint of my target group. This approach has given me the power to restart the day with the same determination as the day before.
Advice for female leaders:
“My advice to my peer colleagues is simple – if not us then who?”