AYUDA, Inc

Empower youth to serve as agents of change in diabetes communities around the world.
Nov 15, 2012

A video: diabetes outreach in Ecuador

AYUDA is excited to share it's latest insight into our diabetes education outreach work on the coast of Ecuador, in conjuction with our partners la Fundacion Diabetes Juvenil Ecuador. The video is narrated in English and Spanish by Sam Wohns, one of AYUDA's Volunteer Mentors. This video was completed in time to commemorate November 14th, World Diabetes Day!

This month our Ecuadorian partners have been increasing awareness of diabetes through the provision of  free screenings for the general public. The FDJE manned a stand in one of the main shopping centres in Quito, el Centro Comercial el Inaquito. Apart from providing blood glucose tests they were able to provide counselling and information on diabetes, its symptoms and how to prevent and/or manage the consition.

Take a look:

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Oct 16, 2012

Diabetes Education Camp - Campo Amigo Ecuador 2012!

Guido, FDJE youth leader, leading camp protocol
Guido, FDJE youth leader, leading camp protocol

This July, 15 AYUDA volunteers, 2 volunteer mentors, 2 volunteer assistant mentors, and 5 volunteer health care professionals traveled to Quito, Ecuador, to take part in the 2012 Summer Ecuador Volunteer Program (accompanied by AYUDA staff). Over the course of 3 weeks, AYUDA volunteers, working with AYUDA's partner organization the Fundación Diabetes Juvenil Ecuador (FDJE), experienced an extensive training program that prepared them for their in-country experiences, particularly the home visits. They also took part in outreach activities, visiting the homes of their campers; planned camp activities with FDJE youth leaders and became committed Campo Amigo counselors.

For the volunteers, two of the most powerful experiences were the home visits and camp. The goal of the home visits, led by FDJE youth leaders, was not just to give volunteers the chance to meet first-time campers prior to Campo Amigo but most importantly to give new campers the opportunity to connect with their counselors before camp and for parents to feel comfortable with some of the team who would be taking care of their children during Campo Amigo. It also gave volunteers a greater understanding of the daily lives of those living with type 1 diabetes in Ecuador. Volunteers and youth leaders, were able to gather information from families about diabetes care prior to camp, and also answer questions from parents about the program.

The home visits helped prepare volunteers for Campo Amigo Ecuador, which was attended by 72 campers from ages 5 to 18, all with Type 1 diabetes. Working together with youth leaders, counselors-in-training, FDJE’s technical staff, endocrinologists and a medical team, volunteers supported campers through education, nutrition, sports and arts activities during the five-day program.

Learning through doing was a major emphasis of the camps – even meal times served as key learning opportunities with discussions encouraged at each table around portion size and carbohydrate counting.

Below are some thoughts from the volunteers.

Jeanette Schnierle To be honest, I have no idea how anyone could ever choose “negative experience” or “no impact” [when talking about AYUDA]. I learned so much through AYUDA, especially about all the aspects necessary to facilitate change for a global health issue. I only hope that I had an impact on people I was fortunate enough to meet as much as they impacted me. Volunteering with AYUDA has undoubtedly been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and has only reinvigorated my passion and interest in Latin America and working in the global health realm.

Courtney Jones First, AYUDA has helped me with my own diabetes care. I really can’t thank the program enough… after 17 years, I felt like I had kind of lost my way with my management. I feel like I am back on track, and for that I feel grateful. AYUDA has truly opened my eyes to varying levels of healthcare in the world. I realize I have been living in a bubble, and now I want to study more and get back out there and help more. I know that camp wouldn’t have been what it was if I hadn’t have raised $6,000. I think it was also really empowering for campers to see other people with diabetes not from Ecuador…so they can learn that they aren’t alone, and that others are doing okay living with the same condition.

Suzette Morabito “ I don’t have enough space to describe AYUDA’s impact! It not only helped me to understand diabetes with a world perspective but also to embrace my own diabetes. Working with all sorts of people with different perspectives on diabetes helped me to see it in such a new light.”

As always, thank for your continued support of AYUDA and our partners - as AYUDA's motto says "Juntos somos mas fuertes! Together we are stronger! We look forward to continuing to make a measurable differences in the lives of children living with diabetes in Ecuador and beyond.

If you think you might be interested in volunteering in our 2013 programs, our online application process opens on October 19th - check out www.ayudainc.net for further details!

AYUDA medics prepare for campers arrival
AYUDA medics prepare for campers arrival
Lowering your blood sugar through dance!
Lowering your blood sugar through dance!
Campo Amigo Ecuador 2012!
Campo Amigo Ecuador 2012!
One of the boys group at camp (11-15yrs)
One of the boys group at camp (11-15yrs)
Aug 6, 2012

Capacity building for upcoming Diabetes Camp

AYUDA and its longstanding local partner based in Quito, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of Ecuador (FDJE), are busily preparing for their annual camp for children and youth living with diabetes from across the country. Some expected participants will travel to camp from as far away as the Galapagos islands and Santa Elena, one of the poorest provinces in the country. The children and youth will participate in 5 full days and nights of dynamic diabetes education activities at the beginning of August which will be lead by many of the FDJE's young leaders with diabetes and their peers alongside the AYUDA staff and volunteer team (50% of whom have type 1 diabetes themselves). The educational and recreational program aims to empower young people to live healthier and happier lives with diabetes.

The AYUDA volunteer team this year includes endocrinologists, CDE (Certified Diabetes Educators) youth leaders, and teachers from across the United States, Canada, Spain and Brazil. This year´s camp is set to have the highest physician to participant ratio in its history. AYUDA volunteers have been preparing for their in-country experience since March through a comprehensive training program.

Participants will spend their mornings learning or re-enforcing their knowledge around how to manage their diabetes - all participants will be split up according to their diabetes knowledge level. The workshops include nutrition, carbohydrate counting, types of insulin, types of carbohydrates, and glycemic index. A fruit and vegetable campaign will also be lead by the volunteers to promote healthy eating. Other activities will feature a variety of recreational activities to reinforce the educational sessions, including paper mache and origami workshops, dance therapy classes, face-painting, and a mini carnival. More than 70 children and 20 parents are expected to participate in the program.

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