Life for a Child

Life for a Child’s mission is to support provision of the best possible health care to all children and youth with diabetes in less-resourced countries.

There is a high morbidity and mortality of young people with diabetes in less-resourced countries. Many die undiagnosed or soon after diagnosis. Many others remain chronically unwell with poor metabolic control, and develop early and devastating complications and die young. They struggle to complete education, find employment and marriage partners.

NCDA full member

About Life for a Child

In 1999, Maria de Alva from Mexico (President of the International Diabetes Federation) asked Professor Martin Silink to establish a program to help children with diabetes in less-resourced countries. Martin asked Dr Graham Ogle to work with him, and the Life for a Child Program commenced in 2000.

They started small, identifying clinics that needed help in Papua New Guinea, Fiji and the Philippines and giving doctors essential supplies to support the young people in their care. The program worked. Young people were not only surviving the diagnosis but thriving and quickly learning to manage their diabetes. Slowly the program expanded its reach to help more clinics in other parts of the world. A core principle of the program was the decision to always partner with local clinics, with the ultimate aim of supporting the clinics through to sustainability.

Today, Graham is the program’s general manager. He has seen children go from diagnosis through to young adulthood and published many scientific studies on the improved outcomes for young people supported by the program.

Life for a Child now supports over 34,000 young people in 45 countries.

Life for a Child's work on NCDs

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition requiring daily insulin injections, blood glucose monitoring, education and specialist health care. Access to this life-saving treatment is often difficult, and sometimes impossible, to achieve in under-resourced countries.Without support, many young people die soon after being diagnosed. Those who survive may develop complications, such as eye damage and kidney failure.

This is where Life for a Child steps in. We partner with diabetes centers in under-resourced countries to provide young people (up to the age of 26) with:

  • Insulin and syringes;
  • Blood glucose monitoring equipment and test strips;
  • HbA1c testing;
  • Diabetes education, workshops, camps, resources;
  • Support for health professionals.

Through these partnerships, we are supporting over 34,000 young people living with type 1 diabetes in 45 countries. In some of the countries where we work, we have the resources to help every diagnosed child.

Life for a Child's Vision 2030 was launched in 2020. Vision 2030 see an increase support from 23,000 young people in 43 countries to 150,000 young people in 65 countries by 2030. Vision 2030 will also facilitate access to a wider range of management options. Expand support for local partners, including strengthening diabetes education. Increase access to skilled medical care through various initiatives. Finally, Vision 2030 will continue to support research and evidence-based advocacy initiatives that encourage country-level sustainability.


Life for a Child C/O Diabetes NSW & ACT
Sydney NSW 2010