The 9th Youth Leadership Camp took place in Türkiye on 7-13 July 2019

18 July 2019

Twenty-two youth participants from 18 countries met in IDF Europe’s 9th Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) in Şile, Türkiye over 7-13 July 2019. The camp, hosted by the Turkish Diabetes Foundation, aims to foster the next generation of diabetes advocates and leaders. 

 YLC family picture
 YLC 2019 participants with IDF Europe Chair, Board Members and staff

IDF Europe Chair, Sehnaz Karadeniz, together with a Board member from the Turkish Diabetes Foundation, Prof Mehmet Sargin,welcomed the participants and kicked off the one-week camp where participants honed their communication and presentation skills, learned about a wide range of leadership topics, networked, and shared their knowledge and experience with other youth advocates.

Physical activity is one of the cornerstones of the camp, as it is for the proper management of diabetes. The welcome session concluded with the intervention of IDF Europe’s Board Members Kyle Jacques Rose and Iryna Vlasenko, who stressed the value of exercising and explained that playing different sports would be a daily activity during the camp. And so it was that the YLC’s physical activities kicked off playing volleyball!

The second day focused on the importance of communication with a lecture run by Ayse Naz Baykal, a professional video producer and previous YLC participant, who explained why and how to make impactful videos. This was followed by a hike around a nearby lake, which was covered by Türkiye, one of the leading Turkish dailies.

YLC basketball
 YLC particpants playing basketball

IDF Europe YOURAH group was introduced by three of its members (all previous IDF Europe’s camp attendees). The session explained what being part of YOURAH means: to get involved in a variety of activities to raise awareness of diabetes and advocate for the rights of people with diabetes.

As has become a camp tradition, a flash mob was organised on Wednesday, in front of Şile’s town hall, which was attended by the Şile town mayor, İlhan Ocaklı. This followed two workshops run by Sehnaz on policy and advocacy and leadership. The rest of the day was spent on a cruise on the Bosphorus, when participants were able to strengthen their connections and discuss a variety of topics in a relaxed environment with several of the Turkish Diabetes Foundation’s Board Members.

Thursday was another busy day. IDF Europe Board Member, Cristina-Maria Petrut, led a workshop on project management followed by a workshop on Healthcare Trends in Europe run by Kyle Jacques, Iryna and YLC coordinator, Sabine Dupont. This workshop focused amongst others on personalised medicine, artificial intelligence, big data and telemedicine. The results of a survey on diabetes care in their country filled by each one of the participants ahead of the camp was also presented during this session. These results showed the wide disparities in access to diabetes medicines, care, technologies and devices across the region.

 YLC participants attending a workshop

One of Thursday’s highlights was certainly the visits of Prof Dr Mithat Melen, an economist and Turkish Politician, Can Seyhan, a businessperson, and Gurkan Acikgoz, an ultramarathon runner, who shared their inspirational experiences of living with diabetes.

The day ended with the “taboo forum”. During this session, participants shared their perspectives and debated subjects and issues which participants may not feel comfortable addressing at home or with their healthcare team.

After sessions on leadership styles and the psychology of diabetes led by Cristina; working with volunteers, presented by Iryna; and new technologies, introduced by Kyle Jacques, the camp ended on Friday night with the closing ceremony. After organisers, faculty and youth attendants shared a few words on the week, youth participants received an attendance certificate. Many of them then decided to showcase their talents – dancing, comedy, and entertainment in the form of quizzes etc. – in the “kaleidoscope of talents” competition.  

A survey of participants will now be sent to get participants’ perspectives on the 2019 camp and help shape the 2020 camp! Don’t forget to support the YLC 2020 by sending a representative, or hosting it!

The IDF Europe YLC is sponsored by Eli Lilly and Co and FEND 

Learn more on the YLC here