Meet Our Team

Get to know more about our volunteer mentors, staff, and board of directors.

Misson & Vision

Click the link below for more info about our history, mission, guiding principles, and objectives.


Contact Us

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Media & Newletters

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About Us

AYUDA (American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been offering life changing educational and empowerment programs abroad for more than 20 years. AYUDA was established in 1997 with the vision that youth can serve as agents of change for other youth in diabetes communities around the world. AYUDA was founded in reaction to seeing children with diabetes who had access to insulin and basic medical treatment but still suffered complications and early death, because they did not know how to manage their condition. To this end, AYUDA operates under the guiding principle that a lack of education is just as dangerous as a lack of insulin.

AYUDA uses an innovative peer leadership model through which international volunteers serve as catalysts to empower local youth living with diabetes to manage their diabetes and be agents of change in their own communities. AYUDA’s volunteer service-delivery model includes a robust pre-program training (online and in-person), meaningful experience abroad, and post-program evaluation. AYUDA’s volunteers work in partnership with local diabetes organizations to support and enhance diabetes education and outreach programs that target underserved youth with diabetes. In the countries where AYUDA volunteers work, AYUDA’s empowerment model directly impacts young people with diabetes and their families, local health professionals, and local governments and ministries of health.

Since 1997, AYUDA has trained over 600 volunteers who have served in over 20 countries. The volunteer program is distinguished for its excellence by the International Volunteer Program Association and has been recognized for social entrepreneurship and innovation by Ashoka, the World Bank as a 2007 Development Marketplace Finalist, and the United Nations as an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (UNESCO).

AYUDA’s model is unique in that we place an unprecedented responsibility on our volunteers. AYUDA selects volunteers from a competitive pool of high school, university, and graduate students, as well as young professionals throughout the United States and abroad, for an extensive semester-long training and summer public health outreach program to benefit youth living with diabetes in communities abroad. Once accepted into our program, every volunteer participates in the AYUDA Volunteer Training Program (VTP). Volunteers then spend two or three weeks abroad working with the local diabetes community to motivate youth to live happier and healthier lives with diabetes. In addition, volunteers are eligible for 200 to 400 hours of service-based learning credits and often receive course credit for their work with AYUDA. Volunteers are encouraged to return for multiple years and are eligible to take on leadership roles, such as mentoring new volunteers and participating in the training and program planning processes. By involving all of our volunteers in multiple elements of our program preparation and delivery, we provide hands-on experiences that inspire and empower them to serve as agents of social change, not only internationally but in other areas of their lives as well.