Around 30,00 children in Russia suffer from childhood diabetes, a complex issue with significant health, social, and financial consequences. Many factors contribute to quality of life and diabetes management for children with diabetes, including genetics, medical care, individual behavior, and the social and physical environment where they live. Peer support has been increasingly recognized as a successful model for diabetes self-management education, behavior change, and support, yet very few parents of children with diabetes in Russia are informed about patient support organizations in their regions. Enhancing the role and capacity development of these organizations is greatly needed to improve the quality of life of children with diabetes.
The U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program, implemented by JSI with funds from the U.S. Department of State, is working to improve the well-being and quality of life of children with diabetes in ten regions of the country. To achieve this aim, the project will work in partnership with the Foundation for Philanthropy Support and Development (CAF) to build the peer support skills of selected community-based patient organizations. This partnership will allow the project to examine a range of successful models that will enable children and their families to thrive in a community-based and community-supported living environment.
The program will include training for selected community-based patient organizations in Moscow focused on strengthening self-identified organizational challenges and weaknesses, followed by a peer visit to the U.S to learn how innovative organizations in Boston are successfully supporting children/adolescents with diabetes and their families and/or children at risk for diabetes due to obesity and unhealthy activities.