IDF Europe values the essential role youth play in raising awareness on diabetes. Their first-hand experience of diabetes makes them powerful advocates not only to raise awareness on this condition, but also to urge stakeholders and the general public to take action on diabetes. In addition, their broad network built through social media gives them a wide reach which can support IDF Europe’s outreach.
As more and more children and young people are living with diabetes, it is vital that the voice of youth be heard and that they play an active role in our mission to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide.
To strenghthen its relationship with young people with diabetes, IDF Europe organizes a yearly Youth Leadership Camp with the aim of nurturing a new generation of youth advocates in diabetes and create a strong pan-European network of young leaders in diabetes.
The first IDF Europe Youth Leadership Camp was held in July 2011, and has been held every year since.
The youth camp is not a standalone event, but rather one that is integrated in IDF Europe’s wide-ranging activities – including those specifically aimed at youth. The purpose is to nurture a new generation of youth advocates and to galvanize their support and knowledge for different advocacy initiatives.
As the network of European youth advocates is expanding, IDF Europe will continue to support and facilitate exchange between the young advocates, member organizations and other stakeholders in order to develop new pan-European initiatives aimed at young people living with diabetes.
22 youth from 18 countries participated in the 9th Edition of the IDF Europe Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) in Şile, Turkey on 7-13 July 2019. The camp, hosted by the Turkish Diabetes Foundation, aimed to foster the next generation of diabetes advocates and leaders.
IDF Europe Chair, Prof. Sehnaz Karadeniz, together with Turkish Diabetes Foundation Board member, Prof. Mehmet Sargin, welcomed participants and kicked off the one-week camp during which the youth advocates improved their communication and presentation skills, learned about a wide range of leadership topics, networked, and shared their knowledge and experience with the other participants.
Physical activity was one of the cornerstones of the camp, as it is for the management of diabetes. The welcome session concluded with the intervention of IDF Europe Board Members Kyle Jacques Rose and Iryna Vlasenko, who stressed the value of exercising and explained that playing different sports would be a daily activity during the camp.
The second day focused on the importance of communication with a lecture run by Ayse Naz Baykal, a professional video producer and previous YLC participant, who explained why and how to make impactful videos. This was followed by a hike around a nearby lake. The IDF Europe YOURAH group was then introduced by three of its members (all previous IDF Europe’s camp attendees), during a session explaining what being part of YOURAH means: getting involved in a variety of activities to raise awareness of diabetes and advocate for the rights of people with diabetes.
As has become a camp tradition, a flash mob was organised on the Wednesday, in front of Şile’s Town Hall, which was attended by the town mayor. This followed two workshops run by Prof. Karadeniz on policy, advocacy and leadership. The rest of the day was spent on a cruise on the Bosphorus, during which participants were able to strengthen their connections and discuss a variety of topics in a relaxed environment with several Members of the Turkish Diabetes Foundation Board.
Thursday was another busy day. IDF Europe Board Member, Cristina-Maria Petrut, led a workshop on project management, which was followed by a workshop on Healthcare Trends in Europe run by Kyle Jacques, Iryna and YLC coordinator, Sabine Dupont. The workshop focused on personalised medicine, artificial intelligence, big data and telemedicine. The results of a survey on diabetes care in their country completed by each one of the participants ahead of the camp was also presented during this session. The results showed the wide disparities in access to diabetes medicines, care, technologies and devices across the region.
Thursday’s highlights included the visits of Prof Dr Mithat Melen, an economist and Turkish Politician, Can Seyhan, a businessperson, and Gurkan Acikgoz, an ultramarathon runner, who shared their inspirational experiences of living with diabetes. The day ended with the “taboo forum”. During this session, participants shared their perspectives and debated subjects and issues which they may not feel comfortable addressing at home or with their healthcare team.
Following sessions on leadership styles and the psychology of diabetes led by Cristina; working with volunteers, presented by Iryna; and new technologies, introduced by Kyle Jacques, the camp ended on Friday night with the closing ceremony. Organisers, faculty and youth attendants shared a few words on the week and the youth participants received a certificate of attendance. Many of them then decided to showcase their talents – dancing, comedy, and entertainment in the form of quizzes etc. – in the “kaleidoscope of talents” competition.
YLC 2018 - Prague, Czech Republic
The 8th edition of the IDF Europe Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) took place in Prague, the Czech Republic between the 8-14 July, in collaboration with Svaz diabetiků České republiky, z.s. and DIAstyl z.s.
The organizing team welcomed 22 participants from 21 European countries for a full week of interactive workshops, presentations, and sports activities, with the aim of developing the next generation of young advocates in diabetes. Read the full YLC2018 newsletter here
Some of the 2018 Camp participants
As in previous years, the YLC involved a range of activities such as team building games, physical activities, presentations by the participants and workshops led by the IDF Europe team. Topics covered included youth activism and advocacy in Europe, leadership, living with diabetes and healthcare systems in Europe.
It is no doubt that the highlight of the week was the flash mob on the main square in Prague. The live performance was shared on Facebook and other social media platforms, attracting more than 600 views in less than a few minutes. An excellent example of their path towards more youth advocacy in diabetes!
Flash Mob performed at the Old Square , Prague
Another important outcome of this 2018 Camp was the creation of a YouTube channel, DIAmazing Team, as an effort to share experience and demonstrate that diabetes must not be an obstacle.
We would like to thank the Czech diabetes organisations, the members of IDF-Union of diabetes patients and the Czech Diabetes Society for their cooperation in the organisation of this year camp. We also thank Eli Lilly and the Foundation of European Nurses in Diabetes (FEND), who are long-time supporters of this important initiative for young Europeans living with diabetes.
Czech diabetes organisation, IDF Union of Diabetes and Czech Diabetes Society participants
YLC 2017 - Cluj-Napoca, Romania
The 7th edition of the IDF Europe Youth Leadership Camp has just come to an end and it was a great success! The organizing team welcomed 22 participants from 21 European countries for a full week of interactive workshops, presentations, and sports activities, with the aim of developing the next generation of young advocates in diabetes. You can find the programme HERE.
This year’s camp took place in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, between the 10th and 16th July, in collaboration with the Federatia Romana deDiabet, Nutritie si Boli Metabolice.
As in previous years, the camp involved a range of activities such as team building games, physical activities, presentations by the participants and workshops lead by the IDF Europe team. Topics covered included youth activism and advocacy in Europe, leadership, living with diabetes and healthcare systems in Europe.
It is no doubt that the highlight of the week was the flash mob. This was performed by the participants on the 13th July in the salt mine of Turda, at 115 meters depth! The live performance was shared on Facebook and other social media platforms, attracting more than 600 views in less than a few minutes. An excellent example of their path towards more youth advocacy in diabetes!
Finally, we would like to say a big thank you to the Federatia Romana de Diabet, Nutritie si Boli Metabolice as well as our sponsors, Eli Lilly and the Foundation of European Nurses in Diabetes (FEND), who have continuously supported this important initiative for young Europeans living with diabetes.
“I would wholeheartedly recommend the camp! The week was invaluable. I met great friends, inspirational professionals, and had experiences I will never forget - especially organizing a flash mob in a salt mine! I cannot thank IDF Europe and Diabetes UK enough. The most important outcome for me was perhaps the simplest: it made me realize that all the projects in my mind can be truly realized with the right effort, strength, and passion. It was incredible to meet people in careers I aspire towards, and I feel I now have the knowledge and confidence to set my own projects in motion. With a mission at heart, we can all be leaders and make the change we want to see in the world”. Rebecca, UK
From 11 to 17 July 2016 Agros (Cyprus) was the home to the 6th edition of the IDF Europe Youth Leadership Camp, organized in collaboration with the Cyprus Diabetes Association and with the support of Eli Lilly, FEND, Medtronic and Roche. (for more info click here)
From 13 to 19 July, 23 youth advocates from 23 countries across Europe met in the Netherlands for a week of experience-sharing and peer-to-peer learning.
During the camp, youth advocates learned about different types of advocacy, campaigning activities and strategic planning methods, and will also be introduced to the work of IDF Europe. Combining sports activities and interactive workshops, the camp is also an opportunity for the youth advocates to find out about the differences in diabetes care and daily-life realities across Europe, share their strategies on how to cope with diabetes and learn from their day-to-day triumphs and challenges.
An inevitable result of the camp is peer-to-peer learning. Back in their countries, camp participants are inspired and eager to get more involved in raising awareness of diabetes at national level with concrete projects, from creating their own youth group to developing campaigning activities.