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Dozens Of Vulnerable Youth With Diabetes Seeking Help To See Another Day


Fayna Nzamuturimana, a 19-year-old orphan from the Northern Province has been struggling with type 1 diabetes since she was 7.
When Rwanda Diabetes Association (RDA) team paid her a visit, they found a hopeless and desperate girl.

Her blood sugar control was very bad. Had she not been enrolled in the RDA centre in 2015, this young girl would not have survived.

She underwent a 6-month treatment and education program at Mwulire Centre. She recovered and was helped to start a small banana selling business that helped her to earn money and make a living.

Life improved and now her blood sugar is much better controlled. She seemes to have found hope and trust in the future and is very grateful for the centre.

“If you have other problems, you worry a lot and you lose your strength. But I can say that from the time I came to the centre, I have a life,” Nzamuturimana says.

Francois Gishoma, the President of Rwanda Diabetes Association, who is also a patient living with type 1 diabetes.
He came up with the idea to set up a diabetes education centre for the most vulnerable youth and adults who did not have the chance to go to school or find other ways of making a living on their own.

“People living with diabetes have many problems. But the youth face particular difficulties. Youth living with diabetes need two or more injections per day.

They need a specific diet to grow properly. Many are expelled from school or their diabetes prevents them from going to school,” Gishoma explains.

He adds that when they discontinue with studies, it complicates their future livelihood. They cannot easily feed themselves and they are also unable to make their own families.

“That is why we put in place a centre for diabetes education and vocational training, which will help them to live better with diabetes,” he notes.

Now, he is proud of the progress the patientsn have made in only six months in the centre.
“They have been here for six months and all have improved their diabetes control. And this helps them to avoid complications,” he says.

Between 2012 and 2016, the centre was successfully teaching 160 patients how to manage their condition and harness various vocational skills such as hairdressing, sewing, baking and agriculture.

Unfortunately, as the owner claimed the land of the centre, it had to be closed in 2016. But RDA has started building a new centre in Gakoni on Lake Muhazi but lacks the funds to finish the construction.

So far, they already completed the construction of three classrooms. The restaurant, workshop and kitchen are half-finished but in order to accommodate 50 in-house students they need to build two dormitories, toilets and washrooms.

They are seeking for good samaritans to contribute. The fund raised will help to finish the construction of a school where vulnerable youth living with diabetes in Rwanda will be trained in diabetes management and various vocational skills.
Rwanda Diabetes Association (RDA) has been supporting and advocating for people living with diabetes in Rwanda since 1997.



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