Greetings from Santo Domingo!!
Over the past two weeks, AYUDA's Campo Amigo volunteer team has been hard at work collaborating with local partner organization Aprendiendo A Vivir (AAV) to plan and run 2016's summer camp programs! Last Sunday, over 40 campers and their families joined us for Día de La Familia. Throughout the day, AYUDA volunteers together with local AAV leaders ran educational activities for campers and their families to empower youth to live happier and healthier lives with diabetes and build community support. Over the next few days, AYUDA & AAV volunteers have been traveling to the nearby communities of San Pedro de Macorís and San Cristobal to visit campers and learn more about their day-to-day lives outside of camp. Using their experiences from these outreach trips, volunteers are preparing activities for this weekend's Campo Amigo: a two day campo for those more recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. We are looking forward to returning to camp tomorrow!
AYUDA is so grateful for the support of donors who allow us to continue this impactful and sustainable work! Together with AAV, AYUDA volunteers are working hard to make sustainable change and positively impact the lives of those living with diabetes in the DR.
Thank you again for your support! Juntos Somos Más Fuertes!
-- The AYUDA Team
Dear AYUDA Supporters,
Happy (almost) Spring! Over the past few months, AYUDA has been busily preparing for our upcoming programs supporting type 1 diabetes communities in the Dominincan Republic this summer. After finalizing our team of incredibly qualified and passionate youth volunteers, pre-program training is well underway! Last weekend, AYUDA Volunteers, AYUDA's partners from the Dominican Republic (Aprendiendo A Vivir), AYUDA staff, & Guest Speakers gathered at our headquarters in Washington DC for our training summit. This summit, coupled with a semester-long online E-Course webinar series, make up AYUDA's comprehensive training program designed to prepare volunteers to serve as agents of change in diabetes communities abroad during their summer programs. Not only does our training program aim to equip volunteers with the tools they need to be the most effective changemakers during their AYUDA experience, but it also teaches them skills such as advocacy and social entrepreneurship that will help them be agents of social change in whatever path they choose to pursue in life!
This past weekend's summit focused specifically on preparing volunteers to deliver culturally relevant, sustainable, diabetes education and in doing so empower young people to live happier and healtheir lives with diabetes in the Dominican Republic. Our volunteers will be participating in two outreach programs this coming summer focusing on diabetes educations summer camps for youth and their families, and delivering educational workshops to communities surrounding the capital of Santo Domingo in an exciting new program aimed at connecting diabetes communities throughout the country.
With your support, AYUDA and its volunteers can continue to deliver these programs that change both the lives of our volunteers, and those we serve abroad!
We tremendously appreciate your support! To learn more, please see our website or feel free to contact us directly.
For our first post of the new year:
My recent trip to Haiti as an AYUDA volunteer involved a lot of “firsts” for me:
I was so excited to get to Haiti that I barely slept at all during the nights leading up to my trip. I arrived in Port-au-Prince exhausted but eager to get started. We spent our first few days learning about Haiti and the diabetes community in the country, meeting with FHADIMAC youth leaders, planning camp activities, and visiting the capital’s university hospital. After three days in Port-au-Prince, we headed to camp for a whirlwind few days of nutrition trivia games, 1am blood glucose checks, and a few very competitive rounds of musical chairs. Camp was equal parts fun and educational, with just a dash of exhaustion thrown in for good measure. Some moments were hectic and some were hilarious. My favorite experiences at camp were seeing the campers supporting and learning from each other. When we invited campers to talk about their experiences living with diabetes, more than one camper began with ,“When I was diagnosed, I thought I was completely alone,” or “When I was diagnosed, I thought I was going to die.” They now know that they are not alone and that they can live happy, healthy lives with diabetes. That’s a pretty powerful change. Watching campers realize that there are people all over Haiti, and all over the world, living and thriving with diabetes was one of the highlights of my trip. I am so thankful for both AYUDA and FHADIMAC. I can’t imagine sharing this experience with a better group of people – I spent my week in Haiti laughing and dancing and learning, and I can’t wait to go back.