The first diabetes youth camp in Rwanda took place with success at Mwulire Educational Center from 6th to 12th January 2013.The camp was attended by 52 diabetes youth under 26 years old from all areas of the country. Organized by the RWANDA DIABETES ASSOCIATION and supported by special guests from GERMANY, Mme Heidi Schmidt- Schmiedebach (Insulin Zum Leben) and JuttaBurger-Busing (Diabetes-Zentrum), together with Rwanda Diabetes Association were the main sponsors of the camp.
The reason of this camp was to start to resolve some problems which came from the status diagnosed in most of the young people with diabetic in Rwanda helped by Rwanda Diabetes Association characterized by lack of knowledge about self management vis-à-vis diabetes, loneliness, lack of confidence about their future because many of them stopped schools because of diabetes and stigmatization from themselves and their circle of acquaintances.
The purpose of this camp initiated by Rwanda Diabetes Association was to raise hope of youth with diabetes in Rwanda which is rarely existent in the youth’s diabetes life. The MOTTO word of the first camp in Rwanda was “Live better with diabetes“.
– An experience that will change their lives
– 5 days of diabetes education, sharing experiences and fun
– Making relationship between youth
– Meeting with others from all regions in order to avoid isolation
– Survive counting on their families without depending on them
– Get more information about diabetes
– Get a chance to ask as much as possible the questions about challenges of their life style.
The camp was opened officially on its 5th day by the delegate of the Minister, Dr Adolphe Karenzi from the Ministry of Health, Non Communicable Disease department because of his many duties; he could not come on the first day. He encouraged youth with diabetes to follow up carefully their health by following seriously the tips got from the camp and from their treating team; you are the future of Rwanda and we want you to be healthy for its best, he added.
He saluted ARD initiative and the honor of being partner of such innovative efforts. He ended by saying that the Ministry of Health in collaboration with their partners like ARD will do the best in order to improve the life of diabetes patients and to keep this happening.
The local authorities were represented by the delegate of the mayor who has in his speech guaranteed the authority’s support and security during the activities of camp.
Opening speech by Dr KARENZI the representative of Ministry of health (left), Crispin Gishoma, coordinator of the camp (right)
The ARD representative in his speech, Crispin Gishoma thanked and welcomed participants and guests, he invited the youth to be attentive during the camp in order to have sufficient knowledge about diabetes and to share experiences acquired among them. He invited also the youth to express their fillings and ideas and have fun.
Heidi Schimidit Schimiedebach from Insulin Zum Leben from Germany, the main sponsor of the camp has emphasized on the use of the assets they have to live better with diabetes. According to her own experience as a diabetic and diabetes educator, having diabetes is not the end of life. The objective of the camp is to restore hope so that anything cannot stop your activities. Note that other anonymous German donors supported this camp.