Since we last wrote AYUDA has been supporting our partner organization based in Quito, Ecuador - la 'Fundacion Diabetes Juvenil Ecuador' (FDJE) through a period of strategic planning for their immediate and longer term future goals. As with all NGOs their goal is to become increasingly sustainable and find increased financial support for their locally based projects.
In the meantime, AYUDA continues to support their project goals in line with our mission to 'empower youth to serve as agents of change in diabetes communities abroad'. This summer some of our more experienced volunteers plan to return to Ecuador to support the FDJE with smaller, locally focused projects in conjunction with Ecuadorian young leaders with diabetes. As these projects develop we will continue to post!
Currently, AYUDA is preparing for its annual Volunteer Training Program and new intake of volunteers for 2013 projects.
This summer Diabetes Hands Foundation joined forces with AYUDA and our partners Aprendiendo a Vivir in Santo Domingo for the Big Blue Test. The Big Blue Test is a program of the Diabetes Hands Foundation that encourages people with diabetes to test their blood sugar, exercise for 14-20 minutes, test again and share their experience. During this summer's program for children and youth with type 1 diabetes, as well as their parents, rising young leaders along with the support of the AYUDA staff and volunteers, Campo Amigo Dominicano came together as a community to all do 'The Big Blue Test'. Children and adults alike learned that, for the most part, after 14 or more minutes of exercise their blood sugars were lowered. A simple teachable moment for all.
Please take look at this short, high-energy video of our activities just completed in time for November 14th, World Diabetes Day...
To commemorate World Diabetes Day, Aprendiendo a Vivir met in el Parque Independencia in Santo Domingo with volunteers and supporters. People were welcomed with blue balloons, T-shirts and big smiles to get together, exercise and unite as a community. Aprendiendo a Vivir also launched a TV campaign to encourage the Dominican TV personalities to all wear the UN Blue Circle pin to show their support for the campaign and encourage others to learn more about diabetes, which affects an estimated 366 million people globally.
This year, to commemorate World Diabetes, AYUDA is collaborating with Aprendiendo a Vivir (AAV) and Caring and Living as Neighbors (CLAN), an organization based in Australia that works to improve the lives of children living with chronic health conditions in resource poor countries including Vietnam, to connect young people living with diabetes via a “Global Art Works Exchange.”
Inspired by the World Diabetes Day postcard exchange, young people living with diabetes in the US and Dominican Republic have filled out short online questionnaires which speak to their personal experiences of living with diabetes. These questionaires will be translated by CLAN into Vietnamese and presented to children and adolescents at a meeting of a youth diabetes club in Ho Chi Minh City later in the month. The children and young people in Vietnam will then create their own cards, which will be shared with everyone who participates. We hope this experience will be inspiring and empowering to everyone involved, and will be a great way to connect globally with people living with diabetes on World Diabetes Day.