The Dianiño Foundation helps diabetic refugee children

October 2016 Dianiño Foundation refugee support

Support for children with diabetes

The Dianiño Foundation has extended its successful Dianiño nanny project to refugee children with Diabetes.


Tuttlingen – For 12 years, the Dianiño Foundation has supported children with diabetes and their families. Nearly 300 Dianiño nannies look after the affected families and are on hand to provide assistance in emergency situations. Up until now, the Dianiño nannies have been able to help children with diabetes in around 3,500 operations, totaling over 7,800 hours. The focus is always on the well-being of the children and the intention to help those most in need. The foundation states that its aim is to prevent children in Germany from suffering due to diabetes – regardless of where they come from. With the current refugee situation in mind, the Dianiño Foundation has therefore extended its nanny project to diabetic refugee children. "At the moment, we are noticing a high demand from refugee children," explains the foundation's founder, Ingrid Binder. "These children are already having to deal with difficult or catastrophic circumstances. If they are also diagnosed with diabetes, this can often have serious or even life-threatening consequences." This is where quick help is required as life in emergency shelters is already a challenge for the families. To add to this, there are language barriers, not to mention the sheer ignorance regarding the necessary treatment of diabetes. "The families are often traumatized, scared about the future, and have to find their way in a completely new environment. A diabetes diagnosis for a child is then just one problem of many," adds Dianiño nanny Anna-Maria Holfert. The Dianiño Foundation provides these children with quick and free help, just like it does for all other families.

Dianiño has taken initial measures to grant acceptable medical and also psycho-social care quickly and efficiently to diabetic refugee children. As a result, more than 550 hospitals and doctors have been informed about the extended assistance. An interpreter network for treating diabetic refugee children is being developed – the foundation currently has four Arabic-speaking and two Afghan-speaking interpreters. The Dianiño nannies are taking part in training sessions in order to prepare them for supporting children and parents in refugee facilities in the best way possible. As they are providing help under difficult conditions in refugee accommodation, they often have to improvise. "Children, even these children who have often experienced the unthinkable, have the right to their childhood, in spite of diabetes," emphasizes Ingrid Binder.

The Dianiño Foundation is made up of a network of voluntary helpers and supporters. Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier sponsors the foundation. Most of the approximately 300 Dianiño nannies are pediatric nurses and mothers affected by the situation themselves. They work on a voluntary basis and provide support for the sick children and their families. The medical and psycho-social care is provided in close consultation with the pediatrician in charge. The foundation also works with lots of children's clinics, doctors, schools, kindergartens, and youth welfare offices, creating a model which is currently the only one of its kind in the world. The foundation is fully financed by donations. BINDER GmbH has also been a firm sponsoring partner for many years, which is why it makes a four-figure donation to Dianiño every year in place of sending Christmas gifts or cards. You can find more information about the work of the foundation and ways you can support it at: