What is the Life for a Child Programme?
The International Diabetes Federation’s Life for a Child Programme is an international aid program that provides life-saving support to children and youth with diabetes in developing countries.
The Programme works with established diabetes centres in these countries so they can provide medical supplies, clinical treatment and diabetes education to the children and youth in their care. The centres monitor comprehensive clinical outcome data and provide financial feedback to the Program management team in Sydney.
The Programme aims to provide:
- Sufficient insulin and syringes
- Blood glucose monitoring equipment
- Appropriate clinical care
- HbA1c testing
- Diabetes education
- Technical support for health professionals
The Programme also aims to raise awareness of the plight of children and youth with diabetes in their own countries, and encourages governments to establish appropriate care to safeguard the future of children with diabetes.
Why is the Programme necessary?
In many developing countries, children with diabetes suffer because insulin and other diabetes supplies are not affordable or sometimes not even available. Many children go undiagnosed or die soon after diagnosis. Many others face the burden of severe complications such as kidney failure and eye disease as they grow older.
How many children does the Programme support?
The International Diabetes Federation's Life for a Child Programme is currently supporting the care of over 11,200 children in 43 countries: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Repubic of Congo, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tajikistan, Togo, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.
How is the Programme supported financially?
The Programme is supported by donations from individuals and families, Diabetes Associations and diabetes representative organisations, Rotary International, and industry. Funds to support the Programme are also generated by the International Diabetes Federation through the sale of World Diabetes Day merchandise. Substantial in-kind support is provided by the Australian Diabetes Council and HOPE worldwide. Most individual donors contribute a dollar a day, however several large organisations contribute through staff salary sacrifice donations and in-kind donations. Financial trails are carefully monitored.
How do I become a sponsor?
You can donate online at www.lifeforachild.org/donate. In certain countries - Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United States, the United Kingdom - donations are tax deductible.
If I become a sponsor, what feedback will I receive?
As a sponsor you will receive an update biannually, keeping you up-to-date with the progress of the Program around the world. Receipts for your donations can be also arranged.
Is my support directed to a particular individual child?
It is not possible to directly support an individual child for the following reasons:
- The cost per child generally exceeds the annual donation made by an individual.
- Donors in different countries and situations give different amounts.
- There are ethical issues involved with specifically linking sponsors and potentially ill children.
- The time taken to provide feedback on individual children to individual donors would be often quite high as these children live scattered across large areas. It is better to use the scarce resources of these centres to improve clinical care.
If you wish, we can direct your support to a particular country.
How can I be sure that the money I donate actually helps the children?
Financial trails and health outcomes are carefully monitored. We require detailed and regular financial information from recipient centres including bank statements and receipts. Where appropriate, expenditure of funds is overseen by a local branch of an international NGO or Rotary Club. The centres also send an annual list of the children who are supported, along with full medical details on each child (de-identified).
Can my association or company help?
We welcome interest from associations and companies. Please contact Dr Graham Ogle, LFAC General Manager.
Diabetes Associations in developed countries can support the program by making a donation or by encouraging their members to consider becoming sponsors. Already the Australian, Dutch, and Luxembourg Associations help on a regular basis, and support has been received from several other associations. Companies have assisted the Programme in various ways. One company asked its employees to donate funds to establish Life for a Child in three new countries!
Are old blood glucose meters of any use?
Unfortunately, we cannot use old glucose meters. This is because different countries use different meters and supplies, or require expertise that may not be available in the recipient country.
Insulin for Life (insulinforlife.org), who partner with the Programme, is often able to make good use of surplus diabetes supplies.
Can the Programme help individual children with diabetes in my country?
Unfortunately, we are unable to help with requests on behalf of individuals in particular countries. We do welcome requests from diabetes centres caring for children in developing countries – these can be directed to Robyn Short, LFAC Programme Manager. Once a request is received, we send a detailed questionnaire to ascertain how we are best able to assist. Our funds are very limited, but we have been able to steadily expand the Program since it began and we continue to work to support as many children and youth with diabetes as possible.
Have we answered your question? If not, send us your question by e-mail.