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The Type 1 Documentary Project

I will be photographing and interviewing children in Latin America living with Type 1 Diabetes. The footage will be used in marketing campaigns for AYUDA Inc, a global NGO that educates and empowers children living with diabetes worldwide.

The Type 1 Documentary Project

Project Overview

The Type 1 Documentary Project is a collaborative media project between documentary photographers Kevin Kovaleski and Natalie Eidelman, and international NGO, AYUDA Inc. The immediate goal of the project is to leverage AYUDA’s ability to promote their mission by creating a comprehensive media package that intimately portrays the stories of children living with Type 1 Diabetes whose lives have been positively transformed by AYUDA. On a macro level, our goal for the project is to help create national and international awareness of this global health emergency. To accomplish these goals, The Type 1 Documentary Project will travel to Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and Bolivia over the course of one calendar year to visually document the realities these children face, and to record the life-saving programs that AYUDA undertakes in each respective country.

The Global Health Emergency of Type 1 Diabetes

Children around the world living with type 1 diabetes face many physical, emotional, and economic challenges on a daily basis. Type 1, or “insulin-dependent” diabetes, is a precarious balancing act that must be managed with a combination of balanced nutrition, consistent exercise, and daily injections of insulin. Without proper diabetes control, children often suffer from severe depression and may develop preventable complications and even death at an early age. Poverty, illiteracy and a lack of education markedly intensify these issues for children with diabetes and their families. Moreover, in these countries, many children go undiagnosed or untreated, leaving the primary witnesses to the condition isolated and unable to tell their stories. Although today there is no cure for diabetes, the condition can be effectively managed for an individual’s entire lifetime with the appropriate tools, motivation, and education.


AYUDA’s mission is to empower youth to serve as agents of change in diabetes communities in Latin America. Employing a youth-to-youth education model, their programs first teach children and youth the building blocks for health around the essential skills of diabetes management, using locally sustainable, alternative methods. The longer-term goal of the programs is to empower young people to create sustainable community networks and carry out projects for social change in their local and national arenas.

AYUDA’s teams of volunteers travel abroad catalyze change on an institutional and community level. They carry out grassroots outreach projects and conduct home and clinic visits; they bring youth with diabetes together to build networks for leadership training and community project training; and the team gathers children from across the local country to come together diabetes camps where participants build relationships and learn the essential diabetes skills that will keep them well from day to day and last them a lifetime.

About the Photographers

Kevin Kovaleski found his passion for documentary photography on a student volunteer trip to South Africa. While taking photos of children afflicted with HIV/AIDS in the townships surrounding Pretoria, he discovered that photography is a powerful vehicle for creating awareness and making social change. Since his first exposure to documentary photography in South Africa, Kevin has photo-documented the life of garment and shoe factory workers in Thailand and Vietnam, and has photographed those affected by the rapid globalization and modernization in cities in India. As a result of these projects, Kevin’s photographs have enhanced the marketing efforts for many nonprofit organizations. Most recently Kevin completed a collaboration with nonprofit organizations in Guadalajara, Mexico to tell the story of the lives of the Guadalajara’s street children.

Natalie Eidelman was diagnosed with type 1 Juvenile diabetes at the age of 12. After learning of AYUDA in 2004, she became aware of how children live with diabetes in the developing world: often lacking access to insulin, family support, and most importantly, education. That summer, she joined AYUDA as a volunteer at Campo Amigo Ecuador, and has since participated in many of AYUDA’s programs throughout Latin America. Through these travels, she has realized that she stands as a symbol of hope and survival for these children living with diabetes. Natalie always passionately documented her experienced with AYUDA through her photographs, and now, after graduating from the Hallmark Institute of Photography, Natalie is prepared to bring together her passion for photography and children with diabetes to give a face and a voice to AYUDA, and these children's stories.

Project Details

Goal: To produce a documentary project portraying the reality of life for children with Type 1 Diabetes in the developing world. We will utilize primarily photography, supplemented with some audio and video, to bring to life the stories of children afflicted with this condition in underserved communities.

Locations: The project will be carried out in Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and Bolivia because AYUDA has made lasting impact to communities suffering from Type 1 Diabetes in these specific countries. During our time spent in the countries, we plan to live with, or near, the families of the children we are featuring, for 2-3 days each per visit. We believe that it is important to build trust with the families and to tell their stories with utmost respect. We will interview the child being featured, as well as the family members to get an understanding of how each person is affected by the condition. Each family will be given minor compensation for hosting the photographers.

Duration: During the course of twelve months the photographers will balance on-site execution of the project with periods of time dedicated to editing and final production. Each country will be visited on two separate occasions, for a total of six individual trips. Each site visit will last approximately 2-3 weeks.


The video will be used for multiple purposes to fit into the layers of AYUDA’s mission. On a stateside and volunteer level, the video can be used for effective recruitment and training, as well as to find new partnering organizations and sources of funding. Additionally, it can be utilized to raise awareness for the cause by way of social media. In the field, the video can be used for recruitment, training, and motivation of local youth leaders, in outreach to families, and for prospective collaborators.

Upon completion of production, AYUDA will host two video launch events in strategic locations--one in New York City and the other in Washington, DC—to bring past supporters, volunteers, and potential donors and partnering organizations together to celebrate the launch of the tool and to solicit support.

Rank: 30 | /the-ideas/type1ayuda/the-type-1-documentary-project/ Report Abuse Report Abuse



This is very similar to the #1 voted dream in the contest. You might want to contact her. I'll give you a vote because you obviously have put a lot into this. Good luck to you.

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This is the best idea yet! I love that this has a strong organization behind your idea.

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This is a great idea with a strong plan. I bet you could do even more than two video launches with a story like that, really raising awareness of the issue. Let me know what you think of my idea too.

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let's vote this up... what a comprehensive and change-making idea!

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I'm thrilled with the reception for this idea...I think it differs from #1 because it has a more tangible application than just "raising awareness." This is a really solid plan with the chance for creating a tool that can be leveraged for awareness, funding, training, and inspiration.

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I like this a lot more than the #1 voted idea. Good job. Voted.

Check out my project on innovation and technology as change for the developing world and my portfolio here: http://maclellanimages.com/blog1/galleries/

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Excellent idea getting more than one photographer involved on this. I'm voting for you. Feel free to return the favor and vote for my project on political upheaval, land seizures and rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

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It is a blessing that there are people of such character and willingness to share their lives and abilities with those that are less fortunate. AYUDA seems to be an excellent organization that will definitely get my VOTE.

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Niños con diabetes no tienen derecho a ser diagnosticado ni a recibir tratamiento por parte del Estado. ¿Autocontrol? imposible, significa el salario familiar. Denles VOZ y hagan conocer la triste realidad en los países en desarrollo de tener diabetes y ser pobre: ¡es morir en vida!

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Children with diabetes do not have rights to be diagnosed nor receive treatment by the state. [Diabetes] Control? Impossible, it costs an entire family's salary. Give them a VOICE and make known the sad reality in developing countries to have diabetes and be poor: it's to die alive!

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A unique vision. If you would, please vote for mine too. Maybe one of us may win! Good luck. and vote for yourself!

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suerte nat :) i hope you win!
juntos somos mas fuertes!!!

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Come on Nat! You got this, where are all those facebook peeps?

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Great Idea. I hope you get to do this project you've put some thoughtfulness here. Got my vote! Please visit mine about Family and how it affects war and peace


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Excellent! Having volunteered in diabetes and diabetes field, I can tell you how this changes lives. What a great idea and a great cause. Good Luck!

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Hi Voters! Thank you so much for your support so far, we've made leaps and bounds in the last couple of days. Please, if you have voted... personally send this to one other person who you know will vote. If everyone promises just one voter, we'll jump into the top 5!! Let's make this dream happen.

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