Youth Leadership Lab 2024

The IDF Europe Youth Leadership Camp was launched in 2011 and it is aimed at nurturing a new generation of youth advocates and creating a strong pan-European network of Young Advocates in Diabetes.

The YLL 2024 will consist of an opening session and one online workshop in June followed by an on-site Youth Leadership Camp in Serbia, from 7 to 13 July 2024. We thank the Diabetes Association of Serbia for welcoming us in their country!

Applications to the YLL 2024 are now closed.

For any questions regarding your application, please contact [email protected]

IDF Europe Youth Leadership Lab 2023

This year, building on the success of the YLL 2022, which combined the vision of both the YLL and YLC into a hybrid camp, the YLL 2023 consisted of an opening session and one online leadership introductory module in June followed by an on-site Youth Leadership Camp in Bulgaria, from 9 to 15 July 2023. We thank the Bulgarian Diabetes Association for hosting it!

Read the YLL 2023 report

Youth Leadership Camp/Lab past editions

In 2022, the YLL was hosted by the Polish Diabetes Association (Polskie Stowarzyszenie Diabetykow) and consisted of one opening session in May and one online leadership introductory module in June, followed by an on-site Yoeuth Leadership Camp in Krotoszyce, Poland, from 10 to 16 July 2022.


The YLL 2022 was made possible through the support of the Foundation of European Nurses in Diabetes, Lilly Diabetes and Medtronic.

In 2021, the Youth Leadership Lab took place online over a period of four months.

In 2021, the programme consisted of six modules including webinars with the participation of expert guest speakers and fellow diabetes advocates as well as e-learning sessions and group discussions/exercises on the basis of a learning-by-doing approach.

Read more about the opening session of the YLL 2021 here.

As part of the programme, participants shared their empowering life stories and the challenges they face every day as people living with diabetes

Read the story of Cameron, one of the YLL participants from 2021, here

Participants from 14 different countries joined the first edition of the IDF Europe Youth Leadership Lab in 2020. The Lab took place from the 4th of August until the 14th of December. Two platforms were used to deliver the content and social aspects of the online youth leadership programme. Participants also had the opportunity to make use of Discord to share moments and memories with their fellow youth advocates.

The introduction of the #GoodNewsChannel helped participants share positive thoughts and good news stories to help cope with difficult periods of lockdown and the current global health crisis. The support received during the Lab was perceived as very valuable by many participants. “It’s amazing to have a community that feels like one big family, that we never met in real life but still know by heart”.

The 2020 programme consisted of weekly online sessions, alternating between education in the form of 1.5-hour webinars, Q&A sessions, best practice sharing and social gatherings. Spread over four months, various speakers joined the online sessions to cover a whole range of different topics. Bastian Hauck, IDF Europe Board member, actively engaged throughout the Lab period. His webinar about “why the patient voice is important” was an inspiration for all participants. Understanding the differences between healthcare systems and access to care across Europe is fundamental for diabetes advocates. Dr. Lauren Quinn, UK, and Dr. Iryna Vlasenko, Ukraine, facilitated the session on this topic and highlighted some of the disparities between Eastern and Western European countries. Participants actively contributed by sharing examples of innovative diabetes treatments in their country.

To talk about discrimination and stigmatisation, the YLL had the pleasure to welcome one of the strongest supporters of the #LanguageMatters movement, Renza Scibilia. Using practical examples, Renza pointed out the importance of effective communication with people with diabetes from the perspective of healthcare professionals. As it is a tradition in every youth camp, a session about physical activity WITH actual physical activity could not be missed! People got on the move behind their screen, despite it being a virtual event! Enara from Spain stated that this was her favourite session ‘because it was so funny to see people running and laughing behind their screen to win the game’. Aside from this physical activity, Bas Van De Goor, an Olympic Games gold medal winner living with type 1 diabetes shared his experience as a professional athlete. His lecture on diabetes and physical activity confirmed that, here again, there is no “one size fits all approach” for PwD but that different types of activities will require different approaches in terms of food and insulin intake and management. Annie from Greece later said that ‘Diabetes stopped her from doing things over the years, but after hearing Bas’ lecture, she felt inspired to challenge herself again when it comes to physical activity’.

One of the most successful sessions of the programme is the “taboo session”. As in previous years, it was moderated by Cristina Petrut, a clinical psychologist. She was joined this year by Sufyan Hussain, an endocrinologist. Both moderators live with diabetes and were able to create a safe environment for participants to discuss, as quoted by Melissa from Belgium ‘things that only people with diabetes will understand’. She also added that it felt like ‘we were all in the same room, but actually we were all in our own house – still it felt like a safe environment’. This event brought the participants even closer and contributed to strengthening the “community feeling” that is unique to YLC/YLL participants. The session on leadership was moderated by Cajsa Lindberg from Sweden. She described formal and informal forms of leadership and encouraged participants to find out about their own leadership skills. Her session followed the project management module, moderated by Sophie Hindkjær from Denmark and Jaivir Pall from the UK, where future YLL projects started to be discussed.

While participants were already working on developing their own projects, Sabine Dupont, Senior Consultant at IDF Europe, highlighted some fundraising opportunities to be explored to finance diabetes initiatives. Weronika Burkot from Poland and Dimitris Kaperdanakis from Greece, both active bloggers and advocates, gave a short introduction on how to conduct effective communication campaigns. During the last session, participants presented the projects they had been actively working on for weeks. YOURAH’s Steering Committee, the IDF Europe Board Youth Committee and some of the YLC alumni mentors attended this session to provide the participants with constructive feedback and help them further develop their respective projects in the future. The first edition of the Youth Leadership Lab proved to be highly successful. A big thank you to all who contributed to the programme! And congratulations to all participants who stepped up to the challenge of joining the IDF Europe Lab!

Click here to watch the Aftermovie for the 2020 YLL!

22 youth from 18 countries participated in the 9th Edition of the IDF Europe Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) in Şile, Türkiye on 7-13 July 2019. The camp, hosted by the Turkish Diabetes Foundation, aimed to foster the next generation of diabetes advocates and leaders.

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

Physical activity was one of the cornerstones of the camp, as it is for the management of diabetes. The welcome session concluded with the intervention of IDF Europe 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.

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. The IDF Europe YOURAH group was then introduced by three of its members (all previous IDF Europe’s camp attendees), during a session explaining what being part of YOURAH means: getting 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 the Wednesday, in front of Şile’s Town Hall, which was attended by the town mayor. This followed two workshops run by Prof. Karadeniz on policy, advocacy and leadership. The rest of the day was spent on a cruise on the Bosphorus, during which participants were able to strengthen their connections and discuss a variety of topics in a relaxed environment with several Members of the Turkish Diabetes Foundation Board.

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

Thursday’s highlights included 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 they may not feel comfortable addressing at home or with their healthcare team.

Following 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. Organisers, faculty and youth attendants shared a few words on the week and the youth participants received a certificate of attendance. 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.

Click here to watch the Aftermovie of the YLC 2019!