Mission: OUR MISSION:Empower youth to serve as agents of change in diabetes communities around the world.
OUR OBJECTIVES:1. Empower passionate youth to become leaders of social change.2. Strengthen local diabetes communities by promoting youth leadership 3. Motivate youth with diabetes to live happier and healthier lives.
Geographic areas served: Latin America
Programs: Ayuda volunteer training program pre-program training is well established at ayuda. In 2014, ayuda continued to improve its volunteer training process with additional online training sessions (vtp e-course) to supplement in-person training in washington, dc (vtp summit). Additional cultural orientation took place in-country. The purpose of the ayuda volunteer training program (vtp) is to prepare ayuda volunteers to serve as agents of change in the diabetes communities where they will volunteer. The ayuda vtp offers a comprehensive, culturally aware, and well-received approach to diabetes education, social entrepreneurship, and leadership training. Focusing on ayuda's founding principle of youth leadership and empowerment, ayuda trained and placed 38 volunteers abroad in 2014. Ayuda expanded its volunteer training program in 2014 to include an additional training period for this year's pilot world diabetes day program in the dominican republic. From september through november, wdd volunteers underwent an intensive vtp e-course adapted from ayuda's standard vtp program, to prepare them for their time in-country. Additionally, ayuda launched its first ever fall volunteer training summit during which wdd volunteers met ayuda's local partners and received the quality pre-program training that ayuda provides for its summer volunteers. This year also saw the launch of ayuda's volunteer mentor university (vmu) training initiative. Volunteer mentors gathered in washington dc during ayuda's fall training summit and learned about their new roles and responsibilities. The vmu program has further defined these expectations, as well as given volunteer mentors the opportunity to be more involved in the inner workings of ayuda and therefore gain insight into non-profit management. As a result of this training, volunteer mentors have played a larger role in this year's recruitment initiatives, volunteer training planning, and volunteer management. Volunteer mentors followed up their initial fall training with another in-person training in washington dc in february 2015. Dominican republic (dr) volunteer programs ayuda continued its support and collaboration with aprendiendo a vivir (aav) in the dominican republic 2014. Aav is ayuda's local partner in the dominican republic, and ayuda has been partnering with the organization since 2009. Ayuda conducted 3 volunteer programs in the dr in 2014. During the winter and spring of 2014, ayuda had two in-country liaisons living in santo domingo and working with aav to assist with everyday operations and plan for ayuda's upcoming programs. In addition, staff and volunteers conducted a site visit to the dr in april that focused on partnership building, capacity building for development of a comprehensive diabetes outreach strategy, and coordination of the in-country ayuda volunteer programs. Dr gan mosle program in its second year as a full program, ayuda built on the success of last year's "gan mosle la carrera a la diabetes" (let's beat diabetes race) program by increasing the capacity of the program to 15 volunteers. Ayuda volunteers supported aav in hosting their third annual 5 and 10k run/walk in santo domingo to raise awareness about diabetes and the importance of exercise. The volunteers visited local gyms and public spaces to promote event registration and fitness education. Volunteers also spoke on local radio shows and made appearances on television to promote the event. Overall, more than 3,000 people participated in the events. Dr campo amigo programayuda recruited and trained a team of 15 talented volunteers to work in close collaboration with aav. After undergoing intensive pre-program training, ayuda volunteers arrived in santo domingo to prepare diabetes education outreach programs. This year continued a new trend of approximately 50% of ayuda volunteers living with type 1 diabetes. To become acquainted with aav and learn more about the local context in the dominican republic, volunteers participated in numerous diabetes outreach activities including visiting the local hospital, assisting with an educational workshop at aav, and traveling to nearby san pedro de macoris to lead a day full of workshops with aav youth leaders for adults and children living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Volunteers spent the rest of their time focusing on campo amigo dominicano, a camp for children and youth with diabetes and their families. There were two camp sessions. The first session was for families and children who had already been engaged with aav; the second session was for families and children who were recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the past year. The camp was evidence that children can live happy and healthy lives with diabetes. Over 250 children and family members attended the camps. World diabetes day (wdd) programayuda launched a new volunteer program in the dr in 2014, based on a successful 2013 pilot program centered around world diabetes day (november 14th). In 2014, a team of 5 ayuda volunteers supported aav in two main activities: planning and running a day of workshops for children and youth with diabetes and their families and raising awareness about diabetes and the importance of healthy lifestyle choices by leading health education workshops at local schools. The volunteers promoted diabetes awareness at local gyms around santo domingo and in the local park by supporting aav's walk in honor of world diabetes day. Overall, volunteers worked with upwards of 1,000 students. Haiti volunteer programin 2014 ayuda continued its relationship with the local haitian diabetes community (fhadimac: fondation ha tienne de diab te et de maladies cardiovasculaires) and launched the 2014 haiti pilot program in support of fhadimac's camp ami diabetes camp for youth living with type 1 diabetes. Ayuda's team of five volunteers began the program in port-au-prince revising activities for camp, preparing materials, and getting to know fhadimac's youth leaders. Ayuda volunteers then supported fhadimac's youth leaders by working alongside fhadimac's leaders as educators and counselors during the overnight camp. Following the camp program, ayuda invested in supporting local haitian youth leadership and capacity building by connecting haitian youth leaders in neighboring dominican republic. In june 2014, aprendiendo a vivir (aav), and fhadimac continued in its third year of an exchange program integrating haitian diabetes youth leaders into the more established 2014 dominican republic summer programs. The mix of volunteers helped to strengthen ties between the organizations, and also served to broaden the vision of haitian young leaders with possibilities for dynamic diabetes education for their own local programs. Despite the multiple languages, backgrounds and experiences of volunteers, youth and other participants from multiple countries ayuda's motto "juntos somos m s fuertes" ("together we are stronger") seemed truer than ever. Ecuador outreachayuda continued its support of its longest running program: campo amigo ecuador (cae) by providing office space for the juvenile diabetes foundation of ecuador (fdje), our partner in quito, and by continuous training and oversight to chris capron, a youth empowerment fellow, who conducted independent research on psychosocial barriers to diabetes management compliance. Youth empowerment fellowsthis program enables ayuda to provide technical training and support to ayuda volunteers who seek to use their leadership and diabetes training skills in an independent study project, beyond the scope of our traditional volunteer program offerings. In 2014, ayuda supported 2 youth empowerment fellows. James stout used his ongoing ayuda training to continue and grow his fitness and nutrition initiative with a group of pascua yaqui indians living with type 2 diabetes in tucson arizona. For the second consecutive year, the group demonstrated their achievements by participating in a 42-mile bike ride with tour de tucson. James also participated in ayuda trainings for new volunteers to demonstrate the ways that ayuda training can be applied to future independent projects. Chris capron, continued his interest in our partnership with fdje ecuador. He was awarded funding from swarthmore college via the lang scholarship, to continue his training with ayuda and conduct independent research on psychosocial barriers to diabetes management compliance. Chris capron returned to ecuador in the summer of 2014 to continue this work.