During this program volunteers will collaborate with AYUDA’s partner organization “Aprendiendo a Vivir” (AAV) a local diabetes organization based in Santo Domingo. Accepted volunteers, led by AYUDA staff, will work closely with AAV local staff, medical students and rising youth leaders to plan and implement community outreach projects that will motivate and support young people with diabetes and their families. In addition, the team will work together to run Campo Amigo Dominicano, weekend diabetes education family programs.
Aprendiendo a Vivir (AAV) is a local non-profit organization based in Santo Domingo. The organization provides children and adolescents living with diabetes the opportunity to improve their quality of life through educational programs. The goal of these programs is to provide tools and knowledge to help young people living with diabetes better manage their condition, improve their nutrition and prevent future complications. For more information about AAV see: www.aprendiendovivir.org
1) Empower youth to be role models and leaders of social change and share their knowledge with others
2) Allow parents and children to realize that type 1 diabetes is a manageable condition
3) Strengthen current diabetes knowledge, beginning with the themes of leadership and self-esteem
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AYUDA invests significant resources in its volunteers. In return, volunteers invest valuable resources in AYUDA that ensure quality programs and strategic goals.
Volunteer Training Program e-Course (Online: February 2014 - August 2014)
Online training enables AYUDA to better prepare volunteers for their experiences abroad and enhance long-term sustainability at the local level. Since AYUDA’s volunteers live, work and study across much of the US and other parts of the world, it is logical to provide an online training platform. The e-course not only allows AYUDA to engage volunteers immediately after their acceptance but also supports them in creating a comprehensive fundraising strategy. Volunteers are able to connect and bond with fellow volunteers as they share ideas and learn about the realities of living with diabetes in the communities they will be serving.
The course includes:
-A mix of website and social media platforms to enable volunteers to connect with one another and prepare volunteer for their experience abroad.
-Bi-weekly online group training sessions/conference calls.
-Practical training/preparation (ie. how to set up an online fundraising page etc).
-Support/coordination for in-person training programs in Washington DC and in-country
E-Training focuses on 5 AYUDA focus areas and core values:
1. AYUDA Background & Principles
2. Fundraising & Social Entrepreneurship
3. Cultural Training & Country Program
4. Living with Diabetes
5. Team Building & Mentorship
During this Summit volunteer lodging, food, and group activities arranged and provided by AYUDA.back to top
AYUDA supports local projects that focus on youth empowerment as defined by AYUDA’s empowerment model. Once abroad, AYUDA volunteers undergo a cultural training program that is run in conjunction with local partner organization AAV. The AYUDA volunteer team works with AAV leaders, local medical students and rising youth leaders to foster leadership, team building, and prepare for the subsequent outreach and diabetes education workshops and/or camp programs. Emphasis is placed on sustainability and empowering local youth to replicate the activities throughout the year.
There are 5 components to the In-Country Program:
1. Cultural Training Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic:
- Volunteers stay together in a local hotel (NB homestays are not currently available for this program)
- Volunteers receive supplemental Health & Wellness training and Safety & Security training upon arrival
- Volunteer gain understanding of local customs, tradition etc.
- Volunteers learn about and understand reality of diabetes in Dominican Republic
- Volunteers participate in AYUDA/AAV group and leadership activities
- Volunteers begin outreach training to prepare for home visits and/or community workshops in underprivileged neighborhoods around Santo Domingo where many of AAV-supported children with diabetes and their families live
- Volunteers prepare for implementation of AAV outreach & education strategy according to volunteer skillsets
- Volunteers work with AAV staff, medical students, local youth leaders and their families
*Volunteer accommodations, some meals, and group activities provided/sponsored by AYUDA & AAV
2. Community Outreach Projects
- Volunteers are divided up into teams with other youth leaders and staff to run multiple workshops and/or other activities in local communities: keys goals are to: Inform, educate, motivate & lead participants
- Volunteers take part in selected home visits to increase the integration of families into the local diabetes community
- Additional activities planned dependent on specific needs of each community
- A goal of outreach is to motive AAV youth with diabetes to be leaders for other youth
- A goal of outreach is to motviate parents to be leaders/educators for their communities
3. Pre-camp training and Campo Amigo Dominicano Preparation
- AAV and AYUDA staff and volunteers prepare for Campo Amigo Dominicano
- Volunteers review local partner objectives and outcomes for activities
- Volunteers review protocols, preform team building activities, prepare activites with local leaders and divide roles
4. Campo Amigo Dominicano Projects
- Volunteers, youth leaders and medical staff take
- Diabetes education programs (target populations: newly diagnosed children, most at-risk children and their parents)
- Youth Leadership workshops (target populations: rising young leaders from AAV, medical students, some family members)
5. Wrap Up Session: Santo Domingo
- Wrap up sessions, initial AYUDA and AAV evaluations
- Next steps: Becoming AYUDA Alumni
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-AYUDA volunteers return to their respective communities and continue to serve as agents of social change
-E-course wrap-up sessions and feedback
-Post-program fundraising initiative support (Fundraising deadline Sept 1, 2014)
-Volunteers become part of a broader network of AYUDA volunteers and self-select to participate in additional US-based AYUDA activities
-Volunteers apply and are selected to become Volunteer Mentors for 2015 programs