Health
 Haiti
Project #16419

Camp for children with Type 1 Diabetes in Haiti

by AYUDA, Inc
Vetted

For our first post of the new year:

My recent trip to Haiti as an AYUDA volunteer involved a lot of “firsts” for me:

  • First program with AYUDA;
  • First trip to Haiti;
  • First time I’ve met other young people also living with diabetes;
  • First experience with a diabetes camp;
  • First time I’ve given a glucose test or insulin injection other than my own; and
  • First time I’ve felt a part of a larger diabetes community.

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. 

We are so incredibly grateful for your support over the past few years!
This past April we concluded a successful Haiti Camp de l'Amitie Program, and we could not have done it without your support! We were lucky to have three volunteers, two volunteer mentors and one skilled volunteer travel to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to participate in the 2015 program. Although the program lasted only eight days, it was incredibly busy, productive and impactful!
AYUDA and FHADIMAC have since decided to put a hold on full volunteer programs for the year 2016 in order to strategize and assess current and future needs from international volunteers. We continue to work towards sustainable and empowering partnerships and thank you for your continued collaboration! 
In the meantime we hope that you will support our upcoming 2016 programs! Please click here to learn more about our summer programs in the Dominican Republic.
Juntos Somos Mas Fuertes!
For more information please do not hesitate to contact us directly. 

Maria Velasquez Director of Programs

AYUDA
tel:
 (267)239-3467, email: mvelasquez@ayudainc.net 

skype: maria.velasquez25 cell: (267) 239.3467

VISIT US web: www.ayudainc.net  facebook: ayudainc  twitter: @ayudainc
EMPOWERING YOUTH TO SERVE AS AGENTS OF CHANGE IN DIABETES COMMUNITIES ABROAD

~Juntos Somos Más Fuertes
Together We Are Stronger!~

Description: cid:image001.png@01CC8801.BEBD3EC0

In January 1987, a group of volunteers under the patronage of the Lions Club of Port-au-Prince Central opened two clinics, a clinic of the Hospital of St. Francis de Sales and another in Cité Soleil local Centers for Development and Health (CDS). In addition to medical care free, educational sessions before and during consultations explain to patients the importance of treatment, the need to recognize the signs and symptoms of diabetes and worsening, and the obligation to report to the medical team.

FHADIMAC is open every day for the sick and offers the free distribution of insulin to diabetics who are sometimes disadvantaged youth through an established referral system. FHADIMAC also offers two weekly clinics for patients of poor classes (identified by its social program). A podiatric clinic is held once a week for the systematic evaluation of the feet. Diabetics who are identified at risk are reviewed according to a predefined schedule. Daily educational sessions are delivered to all members attending FHADIMAC. They are followed by meetings of patients and their parents (support group).

FHADIMAC is a totally Haitian foundation providing services to those who want it. It plays a vital role in the daily lives of thousands of diabetics, hypertensive and their parents by providing them with salutary advice to enable them to "Living Well with Diabetes and Hypertension".

Every summer AYUDA volunteers from the United States and Canada work alongside FHADIMAC youth leaders to run a camp for kids and families living with diabetes. 

This year, emmy nominated TV host and reporter at dLife, Benno Schmidt, visited Haiti with AYUDA this past spring. He made some videos of his experience you can see here! 

https://youtu.be/ItfGNgScIQU

Links:

Camp de L
Camp de L'amitie Community

A few months ago, I was sorting through countless emails sitting in my inbox and I came across a “last call for volunteers” email from AYUDA for their 2015 summer programs. I hadrecently moved to Washington D.C. and I was looking for a way to give back. I had previously heard about AYUDA through my endocrinologist and I figured I would give it a try, so I applied. 

I was so happy to receive the acceptance email from AYUDA shortly thereafter. I was excited to have a trip to look forward to with a wonderful cause that touched me personally and gave me an opportunity to brush up on my other languages. I knew this trip would have a positive impact on my life, but until I attended the Volunteer Training Program Summit (VTP Summit) in DC a few weeks ago, I didn’t realize how much this trip could change me.

I have been living with diabetes for 13 years. I have never attended a diabetes camp, and other than a few volunteer experiences with JDRF, I have never really connected with the community. I was a little nervous entering the VTP Summit in early March, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Over the course of the weekend, we heard inspiring stories from different individuals who has been directly impacted by the work AYUDA does. By Sunday afternoon, I felt like a completely different person. I had learned so much from that weekend about living with diabetes in other countries, about AYUDA’s roots, and about myself. It felt so great to be in a room of people that shared the same struggles, same frustrations, and faced the same obstacles I had.

The following week I had an appointment with my endocrinologist and I was feeling great. Using the excitement and passion I had gained from the VTP Summit, I was ready to step up the care of my diabetes and keep propelling myself forward.

I thought I was signing up for a wonderful volunteer experience with a unique travel opportunity, but now it is clear that this experience with AYUDA will be a life-altering trip for me.

Camp de L
Camp de L'amitie!
Camp de L
Camp de L'amitie Youth Leaders
Student Teachers Teaching Future Teachers
Student Teachers Teaching Future Teachers

 

I must admit, I had no idea what to expect when I stepped off the plane in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. While the volunteer training program (VTP) in Washington, DC a few months prior had given me the tools and resources needed for going in-country, actually working in the field is a totally different experience. 

Having previously worked in countries such as Ghana and Kenya, I thought that my week in Haiti would be a piece of cake. Boy, was I wrong. My week in Haiti was more challenging, educational, and inspiring than any other work I have done.Our week kicked-off with a two day leadership training at FHADIMAC, our wonderful partner who is the leading diabetes organization in Haiti. There, I was able to meet in-person the youth leaders I have heard so many wonderful things about. Working with them during the leadership training was such a rewarding experience, but seeing them in action at camp was where I really saw them shine. 

Not only did they form a connection with campers that is only possible between two people living with the same condition in similar circumstances, but they took the “leadership” title to heart. During our education sessions, one of my incredible co-counselors led a discussion about how to properly give yourself insulin. I have never seen a group of five to ten year-olds so enthralled with diabetes education. My co-counselor was not only teaching our campers about diabetes, but he was teaching me how to be a leader.

It was moments like these that made me realize how fortunate I was to be working alongside such incredible people and how important organizations like AYUDA and FHADIMAC are in promoting empowerment and sustainability.

Campers and AYUDA Volunteer Camp Activities
Campers and AYUDA Volunteer Camp Activities
2015 Camp de L
2015 Camp de L'amitie Camper Checking Her Blood
 

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Organization Information

AYUDA, Inc

Location: Arlington, VA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.ayudainc.net
Project Leader:
Chris Noble
Country Liaison
Arlington, VA United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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