AYUDA (AMERICAN YOUTH UNDERSTANDING DIABETES ABROAD) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was established in 1997. An organization run for youth by youth, AYUDA uses youth as agents for change. AYUDA is dedicated to working with local diabetes communities to develop and implement sustainable diabetes programs throughout the world, with its initial focus emerging out of Latin America. AYUDA’s innovative peer learning model uses international volunteers as a catalyst to empower local youth living with diabetes to form healthy habits and better manage their diabetes. AYUDA has established an international volunteer program that mobilizes individuals - ranging from high school students to world-class medical professionals - to support educational and leadership programs around the globe.
In the past decade AYUDA has expanded its support to diabetes communities throughout the world by creating the AYUDA Volunteer Program that has sent over 300 volunteers abroad and by creating the Campo Amigo Internacional (CAI) Youth Leadership Program that has led to an international network of over 400 dedicated young diabetes leaders from 20 different countries who learn from each other to apply the experiences and knowledge gained from CAI to transform their local diabetes camps, associations and communities.
AYUDA has been recognized for its social entrepreneurship and innovation by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, the United Nations and the World Bank as a 2007 Development Marketplace Finalist.