Every year since 1991, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have designated November 14th as World Diabetes Day. In 2007, it also became an official United Nations World Day.
Worldwide, the day is marked by lighting buildings and monuments in blue. Blue is the color of the global diabetes symbol-the blue circle. It was chosen as the color of the circle because it is the color of the UN flag and the sky that unites us all. The blue circle has also been adopted as the official logo for World Diabetes Day.
“There are activities planned worldwide. We hope to have them all listed on the World Diabetes Day website,” said Campaign Director Phil Riley. “We’re encouraging people to join in with activities in their community and contact us with their ideas.” Several projects are already underway.
A team of Silicon Valley professionals is racing the official World Diabetes Day race car – a 1969 VW Beetle – in the Baja 1000 in November. The team, Desert Dingo Racing, is conducting a drive-a-thon fundraiser for the Federation’s “Life for a Child” program and working with the Federacion Mexicana de Diabetes to distribute educational material in Mexico during the race.
In the Middle East, an Australian motorcycle enthusiast, Youcef Cummings, is piloting the World Diabetes Day motorcycle in World Cross Country Rally events in the region. Youcef is also conducting a ride-a-thon fundraiser for the Federation’s “Life for a Child Program.” Following a top-10 finish in the Rally of Tunisia in May, Youcef’s next race will be the UAE Desert Challenge in Dubai on October 24 to 31.
In Italy, Diabete Italia has partnered with current Italian League Champions, Inter Football Club, to have children sketch the World Diabetes Day logo on the field during the matches on November 10 and 16. The players plan to sign balls and T-shirts, which will be auctioned.
“One of the most popular and visible projects is to identify a monument in the community and arrange to have it lit blue,” said Phil Riley. “We hope that 500 monuments will be lit this year and are looking to promote these projects worldwide.”
Individuals interested in proposing new projects or getting involved in existing ones can contact Kerrita McClaughlyn and the World Diabetes Day team at firstname.lastname@example.org or at +32-2-5385511. For more information, visit the WDD website at http://www.worlddiabetesday.org.