The IDF Young Leaders in Diabetes (YLD) Programme was established to empower young people living with diabetes to become advocates for themselves and others living with diabetes worldwide. All 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.
The YLD Programme aims to be a voice for young people affected by diabetes worldwide, identify and support the development of Young Leaders within the international diabetes community, and empower and educate Young Leaders to better support IDF and the IDF Member they collaborate with.
In February 2016, Dr Dario Rahelić – President of the Croatian Society for Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders – was invited by the IDF Board to become the Chair of the IDF YLD Programme. Following his appointment, Dr Rahelić declared:
“I feel honoured and privileged to have the opportunity to lead the IDF Young Leaders in Diabetes Programme in the years to come. This honourable duty obliges me to make a real difference to the effectiveness of our presence worldwide. Diabetes is a global public health issue. The IDF estimates that diabetes affects more than 415 million people and that figure will rise to half a billion within a generation if we do not act now. Diabetes strikes particularly people in the younger age group, including children, becoming a threat to the health and prosperity of our society and the generations to come. IDF is a respectable institution dedicated to improve early identification of diabetes, health literacy and self-care. The vision to live in a world without diabetes includes honesty, compassion, integrity, solidarity, creativity, cultural sensitivity, collaboration and humility. Our culture is in need of Young Leaders that are willing, not to just silence the alarm with quick fixes, but to sustain a lasting change in the world we live in. We need Young Leaders that build others up.
The real challenge for the IDF YLD Programme is to be a voice for young people affected by diabetes, as well as support and educate Young Leaders in the international diabetes community. We cannot give to others without being affected positively ourselves. And this is the secret of giving: when we make the world better for others, you make the world better for ourselves."