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24 June 2017

News from Europe

Sweden: Youth leadership weekend creates strong group of advocates

SwedenYDIn April, the council of Young Diabetes (the youth organization of the Swedish Diabetes Association), arranged an educational leadership weekend where 18 hopeful youths came together to start their journey towards becoming advocates for diabetes.

The 18 young people that were selected came from all over Sweden and were between 15 and 28 years old. They all had type 1 diabetes, except for one participant, who didn’t have diabetes herself, but whose younger sister did. The weekend was open to all Young Diabetes’ members, and while some of the participants had been involved in Young Diabetes’ work previously, most of them were young people who wanted to take their first steps towards involvement in the diabetes world. The point of the weekend was to provide the youth advocates with inspiration, information and tools necessary for their future work within Young Diabetes, and it included sessions on communication, media training, project management, political advocacy, and information about diabetes in Sweden and the world.

SwedenYD2Four months on, the local youth advocates have started working on their projects and are also involved in various activities of the Young Diabetes council, for example as camp counselors or advisors on projects. They were also instrumental in the political campaign that the Young Diabetes council ran this spring. The campaign focused on the often problematic transition between pediatric and adult care, and the youth advocates contributed greatly by engaging with local and regional media, and by sharing their personal experiences and opinions of the transition from pediatric to adult care.

It seems as if the participants were happy with the weekend, and one of them commented on it, saying: “This weekend was really a wake-up call for me. Earlier, I didn’t really care about my diabetes and didn’t know what to do to get involved in the diabetes world. Now I feel like a new person. This weekend was very fun and inspirational, and I learned so much about my diabetes and myself. And now, I feel prepared to start fighting for it too!”

For more information about the activities of the Young Diabetes council and the local youth advocates, please visit the Young Diabetes webpage or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..