The ‘Diab Maldives virtual youth camp’ was a three-day camp for youth from the Republic of Maldives. Professor Hassan Ugail, a mathematician and computer scientist from Maldives, was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony. The focus on the first day was building connections and fostering camaraderie among participants. Mohamed Shujau, a dedicated volunteer from the Diabetes Society of Maldives, facilitated engaging ice-breaker games. Throughout their time at camp, the children enthusiastically participated in a multitude of enjoyable activities and games.
The second day started with Fajr prayer at 5:30 am, followed by early bird exercise with one of the leading fitness centres, Glowfit. The doctors and the diabetes clinic staff made sure that the children checked their blood sugar levels and noted them down, starting from fasting blood sugars until after dinner.
During the second day, various sessions were conducted as part of the programme. Dr Aiminath Malha Saeed delivered a talk on “Embrace your diabetes,” focusing on accepting and managing the condition. Masitha and Rasheedha from the youth centre led a session on life skills, emphasising their importance in navigating life with diabetes. Muaz, a fitness instructor from Glowfit, guided participants through an interactive session called “Exercise for me,” highlighting the benefits of physical activity. Ms Shilpa Joshi discussed “Nutrition and carb counting,” providing valuable insights into maintaining a balanced diet while managing diabetes. Additionally, two YLDs shared their experiences during a session titled “Living with diabetes.”
The third day commenced once more with the Fajr prayer, followed by an early morning workout led by Glowfit. This was followed by a session titled “Troubleshoot your diabetes” animated by endocrinologist Dr Mohamed Siruhan. A distinct mental health session was then held, facilitated by psychiatrist Dr Arif. The day continued with a presentation on “New technologies in diabetes” delivered by Sumesh Nair from Medtech Maldives and a session from the “Sweet Project”.
Ending in tears of joy and happiness, the camp was a tremendous success for me and the Diabetes Society of Maldives. The camp provided a unique and relaxed environment where young people increased their knowledge of diabetes through educational activities. They gained knowledge about the appropriate diet and exercise required to manage their diabetes effectively. Additionally, they had the opportunity to express their personal experiences and emotions regarding living with diabetes and learn how to support others in similar situations. Above all else, they shared three days with peers who faced similar challenges.
A total of thirty people from various parts of the Maldives took part in the camp, which resulted in heightened involvement with diabetes. Additionally, they were introduced to innovative technologies employed for treating this condition.
The Diab Maldives virtual youth camp generated many fun and happy memories and fruitful sessions. The camp facilitated the development of transparent and efficient communication, enabling participants to select and employ appropriate monitoring tools. It also emphasised the importance of working in a flexible team with complementary skills, ultimately maintaining motivation within the project team. I want to thank the CEO of the Diabetes Society of Maldives, Aishahth Shiruhana, and the whole team for always being there for people living with diabetes and never giving up on us. Finally, I would like to thank the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Ugail Foundation and Dhiraagu for sponsoring the first-ever diabetes virtual camp in the Maldives!