The incidence of diabetes continues to grow at an alarming rate. Some of the most concerning growth is occurring with young people under 25 in each of the seven regions. Over 50% of the world’s population is under 30, yet with only 5% of people with diabetes being under the age of 30, the needs of young people with diabetes can often be forgotten and that’s why it’s vital for them to have a voice within the IDF and their member associations. Since young people are the future of any nation, and considering the bad effects of unmanaged diabetes on the economy, a need for involving young people in diabetes advocacy is crucial. As Kofi Annan once said, “Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. A society that cuts itself off from its youth severs its lifeline.”
IDF Vice President, Debbie Jones, believed that “The initial Young Leaders in Diabetes Programme will be the staging ground for the future”. Leaders from around the globe will be identified and nominated by IDF member associations to represent them at IDF congresses worldwide. Young Leaders attending the programme are asked to do a project alongside their member associations to improve the lives of those with diabetes in their respective countries. To assist them, applicants would provide a name of someone from within their member association who could be a mentor.
At the initial congress these young leaders will form a council which will meet at regional meetings outside of the biennial congress. A President, President Elect and Vice President, in addition to two leaders from each of the seven IDF regions will be elected to form a council of 17. This council will then act as the governance structure for the programme, whilst also helping to be the organizing committee for YLD programmes at future congresses.
The Young Leaders in Diabetes Programme is the key driver in enhancing the lives of young people living with diabetes. The Young Leaders are committed to raising awareness of diabetes by being a powerful voice for prevention, education, access to quality care, improved quality of life, and the end of discrimination worldwide.
To Improve the lives of young people affected by diabetes worldwide.
1. To be a voice for young people worldwide with diabetes.
2. Identify and nurture the next generation of young leaders worldwide.
3. Through the use of social media, online forums and attending congresses we aim to empower and educate young leaders to deliver advocacy projects alongside their IDF member associations to improve the lives of young people affected by diabetes worldwide.
4. To support the IDF and their member associations in achieving their individual aims and objectives.