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.