SERVICE to the community pays more than status, says Luisa Nadakuca.
Mrs Nadakuca is a Fiji Girl Guides program adviser who just returned from Korea as an observer of the week-long International Girl Guides challenge camp.
She said she was invited to the Girls Guide challenge in Korea and came back with an insight on how the Fiji Girl Guides Association will hold its national camp in December in Nasinu.
A teacher at Dravo District School in Tailevu, Mrs Nadakuca said serving the community was a passion she held close to her heart and carried out in her daily activities.
She is from Dravo and her husband is from Viria in Naitasiri.
They have four children and the eldest son now lives in Germany.
Her second son plays rugby in Malaysia and one of their two daughters is a a student at Suva Grammar School.
She said if young girls joined groups such as the Brownies or the Girl Guides and followed their oaths daily, they would become responsible citizens.
"The kind of character Girl Guides are made off is different because we take an oath and promise to do our duty to God and serve others before ourselves," Mrs Nadakuca said.
"If they follow the Guides' oath and promise daily and the motto of 'being prepared', our Guides will become better citizens.
"For our young women, if they follow the oaths and make it part of their everyday life from when they are at a young age they will become trusted, better and responsible people in life.
"We need loyal people in society to take charge and take our country forward.
"If the government of the day goes back and implements or encourages our young men and women to join such organisations at an early age, they become responsible and trusted individuals.
"To be a volunteer, don't expect to get any special treatment because service is the greatest career in life."
Mrs Nadakuca said society today lacked loyal and responsible characters to lead the country.
She started as a Brownie in 1961 as a student of Dravo District School.
From Dravo, she went on to attend Ballantine Memorial School at Delainavesi and then studied to be a teacher at the Nasinu Teachers College in 1976.
Since then, she has climbed the ladder from the Brownies, Girl Guides, Ranger, youth leader, district commissioner to divisional commissioner and now to executive member of the Fiji Girl Guides.
"In doing service to the community as a Guide, you get to meet people you would not expect to meet such as the Governor-General of New Zealand or members of the Australian parliament.
"As a Guide, one of the opportunities you get is to travel around the world to places many dream of visiting such as India where we visited Gandhi's palace.
"I have been to New Zealand, Mumbai in India, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Australia, Singapore, Germany and just came back from Korea.
"These are some places most people in Fiji do not get to visit.
"When we travel through airports outside Fiji, we are ushered through without going through checks because of the trust we have earned from the uniform we wear but unfortunately, we do not receive the same treatment when we get back home."
In 1998, Mrs Nadakuca received the Order of Fiji and in 2003 she received the Quality Teacher Award.
Besides being involved with Girl Guides work and teaching, Mrs Nadakuca is also involved in church activities and fellowship programs. In sports, she was the president of the Tailevu Netball Association from 2004 to 2005.