Last year, Action4Diabetics (A4D) launched the ASPIRE programme to give young people with Type 1 Diabetes the opportunity to access higher education.
A4D now have two people on the programme, which sponsors 100% of university tuition fees. Pandy and Grym are both from Thailand and A4D are proud of their progress so far. Both are following their ambitions and becoming role-models for the young people on our Clinic Support Programme across the SE-Asia region.
Ambitious young students with Type 1 Diabetes
Grym, who is 19 years old and wants to become a teacher, said that the support from A4D has given him a ‘new beginning’. The charity sponsors both his Type 1 Diabetes care and his tuition fees. With this support, Grym said he is ‘able to manage [his] condition and live a normal life.’ Even though he is very busy with his Performing Arts Degree, he says he feels ‘in control’ of his condition and is working hard.
Although Pandy has found it ‘hectic’ at times has enjoyed her start to university saying it has been a ‘fun experience’. Like Grym, Pandy gets tuition fees and medical support from A4D but still works part-time after class to help with extra university costs. But with an extra allowance from A4D, she is going to be able to leave this job to focus on revision during exam season. Pandy, who is also 19 years old, this year wants to achieve good grades in her Thai Bussiness degree and improve her English.
University life with Type 1 Diabetes
At A4D, we want young people we support to develop into happy and healthy young adults who are able to achieve their potential. That is why we think it is important that they have the opportunity to socialise and make new friends. Often, at a young age and especially in rural communities the condition can leave people feeling marginalised.
Since joining the ASPIRE programme Pandy says there have ‘been lots of changes’ in her daily life. She says she is now living in a dorm, meeting new friends and there are many activities to take part in. Like Pandy, Grym also says that he has ‘many groups of friends in university; close friends, classmates, and friends from different faculties, which is a new experience that is different from high school’.
How does ASPIRE work?
Over the past year, we have been promoting the ASPIRE programme with our medical partners on the ground. If a young person with Type 1 Diabetes would like to register for financial support, they must first fill in a financial qualification form. This allows us to ensure that those who need it most receive support.
A4D currently have two young people on the programme with both having 100% of their tuition fees covered. Our hope is that they will help to inspire other young people with Type 1 Diabetes from across the region. It can be hard to see a bright future when you are born to a disadvantaged family and have Type 1 Diabetes. However, young people like Grym and Pandy are becoming fantastic examples of what is possible with the right support.
Looking to the future
We hope that Grym and Pandy will become advocates for the charity and leading figures in the Diabetes community. This would be fantastic, and all of us at A4D have been following their progress with interest.
Both Grym and Pandy would like to extend their thanks to our supporters for giving them this fantastic opportunity. Currently, we only have two young people on this support programme due to lack of resources.
Find out how you can get involved with our next fundraising coming up in the UK this April: The True Grit Challenge!