About Us

About Us

We believe: No child should die of diabetes.

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 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 22,000 young people living with type 1 diabetes.

In some of the countries where we work, we have the resources to help every diagnosed child. With your support, we can achieve this in all 43, and extend the program to help others in need (there is a waiting list for support).

Our Mission

Support the provision of the best possible health care, given local circumstances, to all children and youth (under 26 years of age) with diabetes in less-resourced countries, through the strengthening of existing diabetes services.

Conduct international advocacy and clinical research, and where possible help both young adults and also recipient countries with achieving sustainability.

Research and Advocacy

In addition to the provision of essential supplies and technical assistance, Life for a Child conducts clinical research, and assists local partners with the development of advocacy campaigns to improve diabetes care in young people.

Life for a Child is steered by the overarching view to promote sustainable solutions within partner countries.

View Research Library >


A comprehensive formal evaluation of the work of Life for a Child was completed by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2015.

It concluded that the program is strong, delivered well and highly valued by the centers, children, young people and families that it supports.

Click here to view the full report.


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 22, 000 young people in 43 countries.

Professor Martin Silink
Professor Martin Silink
Dr Graham Ogle
Dr Graham Ogle

USA: Life for a Child USA Inc. is a tax-exempt charity under IRS rules as a 501(c)(3) organization, EIN 47-4901579. Your donation is deductible to the full extent allowable by U.S. law.

Australia: Diabetes Overseas Aid Fund T/A Life for a Child is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). Eligible tax-deductible donations have Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status with the Australian Tax Office.

Life for a Child changes the names of all children under the age of 18 years of age in order to protect their privacy.