AYUDA invests significant resources in its volunteers. In return, volunteers invest valuable resources in AYUDA that ensure quality programs and strategic goals. Pre-program training is well established at AYUDA and begins the moment volunteers are accepted into their programs. Every volunteer participates in an intensive AYUDA Volunteer Training Program (VTP) that includes two elements: an online training course (E-course) and the VTP Summit - which is an in-person multi-day intensive program.

The purpose of the VTP is to prepare AYUDA volunteers to serve as agents of change in the diabetes communities where they will volunteer. This pre-program training is meant to compliment in in-country training that volunteers also receive.

The VTP is the only program of its kind: it offers a comprehensive, culturally sensitive and well-received approach to diabetes education, cultural awareness, lifestyle training, youth empowerment and leadership. This is coupled with the volunteer’s commitment to AYUDA’s mission, core values, goals and objectives. Each volunteer also raises funds to offset program expenses and to assist in defraying the costs of training, travel and program expenses in the host country.

Volunteer Training Program e-Course 
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 (i.e., how to set up an online fundraising page etc.).
-Support/coordination for in-person training programs in Washington DC and in-country.

Volunteer Training Program Summit (Washington DC)
This weekend training session in Washington DC offers the oppourtunity to unite all volunteers, volunteer project leaders, AYUDA staff, representatives from local partner organizations, and other AYUDA stakeholders and facilitators. The program includes group social activities, skill and team building activities, as well as didactic presentations from AYUDA local partners and experts in diabetes, youth leadership, social entrepreneurship.

Our VTP focuses on the following 5 areas.


Leadership Development





Volunteers learn about AYUDA’s mission, objectives, philosophy, and history, as well as about the diverse volunteer programs and opportunities.



2. Team-building & Mentorship



Volunteers strengthen their team bonds, get to know each other, and prepare to work effectively as a team.  They prepare for their roles of mentorship in the variety of contexts that they will encounter in their respective program.




Fundraising & Social Entrepreneurship



Volunteers learn to be effective advocates and fundraisers by practicing articulating AYUDA’s mission and describing their program.  Additionally, they collect fundraising strategies and materials as they share best practices and technological tools.



4. Foundations in diabetes management




Volunteers learn the fundamentals of diabetes management, train in hands-on peer-based practicum sessions, practice medical Spanish communication, explore the psycho-social issues surrounding diabetes, and practice the diabetes lifestyle.



5.  Specific Country Program Training



Volunteers learn about their program’s history and needs, their host country culture, prepare outreach strategies, and discuss safety issues.