Annual Report 2020 | AFS India

Page 1

years of making a difference! ANNUAL

R E P O RT August 2019 to July 2020


Content 3 4-5 6-7 8 - 11 12 - 13 14 15 15 15 16 16 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 - 29

AFS in 2019 Message from National Director & Board Chairperson of AFS India 15 Years of Making a Difference! Volunteerism Alumni Sponsored Sending Programs Sponsored Sending Yearlong Programs AFS Sending Yearlong Programs Short-Term Sending Programs Short-Term Hosting Programs Yearlong Hosting Programs Host Student Engagement Sponsored Hosting Programs Intercultural Learning Opportunities for Educators Virtual Educational Programs Member Schools Engagment Class Exchange Programs Programs for Educators & Schools Orientation & Training Partnerships & Collaborations Our Leadership in Chapters International Events Enhancing Strategic Relations with AFS Thailand Risk Management & Mitigation is Our Top Priority


The [AFS] program helped me in many different ways. I became more adaptable; learned to get over my fear; and became more independent. Most importantly, it gave me a chance to see the world in a different way. -- AFS Returnee


Dear AFS Family, This year on November 8th, AFS India celebrated 15 years of its rebirth in India. It is our CRYSTAL ANNIVERSARY representing the clear and sparkling bond between the organization and our various stakeholders. AFS India was there in the 1960s and due to various reasons, we had to close our operations. We restarted AFS India on 8th Nov 2005. The number 15 represents the sun, mercury, and power. All these combine well to yield MATERIAL SUCCESS, which is the hidden meaning of the number 15. Number 15 is also related to NEW BEGINNINGS, it is the time and a chance to try something new. It is a lucky number in Indian, Chinese, and many other cultures around the world. It combines lucky numbers 1 and 5 to form a numerical value that brings GOOD LUCK. It is a milestone to celebrate. So what are the reasons for us to celebrate? Why we should celebrate? We have Goals that have helped AFS India grow! Every year the Board Members and National office team members had meetings to plan for the upcoming year and evaluate the past year. This helped us to determine where we are going and how we will go forward. Slowly and surely AFS India has grown Indian Participant going abroad on various programs has increased from 35 to 224 The number of foreign participants hosted in India has increased from 12 to 110 The number of schools where AFS has a presence has increased from 12 to 130+ The number of chapters/cities AFS has a presence has increased from 4 to 40 We have had an excellent growth trajectory where we have grown both qualitatively and quantitatively. Development of our volunteers AFS India has been able to provide constant opportunities for self-growth and self-development which has in turn helped AFS India to grow into a powerful organisation. Our Volunteer base has grown from 20 to 800 plus. “ Volunteers are who we are “, this defines AFS. We invest in our volunteers by providing numerous training opportunities to help them develop personally and professionally. Great Teamwork! The excellent rapport between the Board of Directors, Volunteers, and the Staff have helped us to achieve our goals over the years. We have successfully developed Teams involving various stakeholders and this has checked and enabled us to achieve our targets. Our staff is second to none. We have grown from 3 to 25, a workforce that we can truly be proud of. Adapting ourselves over the time We realise that we have to seize opportunities and grow continuously. We have learned to be flexible, to adapt, and to change as and when needed, keeping ourselves updated to what is happening locally, globally, and in the network.


With your continued support, we look forward to celebrating the next 15 years because we know that “Together We Can”

Risk Management It has been a strong pillar of AFS India. We try to understand the risks we are open to and take the necessary steps to protect ourselves against them. Our risk management is strong and has stood the test of time during crises. We have made sure that we conducted training and created plans to help at times of any crisis. Communication Our communication is low-context and suits all age groups. Our communication with all stakeholders is direct and transparent. This has built excellent rapport because of which we are able to achieve all targets We have created transparent and clear policies Transparent and clear policies have helped our organisation to command respect from all its stakeholders. We have made sure that we follow all the polices laid by our government also. AFS India prides on keeping all the compliances up to date. Divya Arora National Director

Customer Service Lastly but very importantly, our Customer service concept has made us well loved organisation. We have been able to gain trust of all our stakeholders that is important attribute that AFS India has earned over this year. AFS India Customer Service Evaluation has stood at around 90% speaking volumes for our Customer Satisfaction. All this and more, despite the pandemic and its challenges,  has kept our morale high and has spurred us on to aim for the sky. We owe it to you, our well-wishers who have stood by us these past 15 years, in good times and in bad. The year 2020 is drawing to a close. We, like the rest of the world, are waiting to heave a sigh of relief as we see it end. In the meantime, we are doing everything possible to stay afloat as we sail through these turbulent waters, and we ask you to continue to sail with us. With your continued support, we look forward to celebrating the next 15 years because we know that “Together We Can�

Angela Roye Board Chairperson


years of making a dierence!


-- Established National Office -- First Volunteer Meet Took Place


-- Intercultural Program India restarted and registered under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. -- First batch of participants went on Exchange Program -- Sent from three cities


-- First batch of host students arrived in India -- Hosted in five cities -- Government sponsored program Jenesys started -- First time Teacher Exchange Program


-- ISO Certification -- First Short-Term Program -- Leadership Program


-- First Corporate Scholarship: TATA -- U.S. State Department Sponsored Program NSLI-Y started -- First President’s Meet took place -- First Counselor Training for our volunteers


-- International Study Tour for our AFS Partners -- International Staff Training -- Hosting Orientation Work Group-USA

2011 2012 6

-- First Volunteer Exchange to Germany -- First Promotional Video Made -- Navratri Event organised by Ahmedabad Chapter -- Corporate Scholarship BP started -- Strategic plan 2011-16 prepared for AFS India -- International Class Exchange Program Started -- Global Youth Service Day Started -- AAI (11 Asia-Pacific Partners) meeting in India -- Hosting Orientation Work Group- Italy -- Itero: AFS-INDIA joined



ICL Strategic Plan 2013-16 for AFS-India prepared New office established in Cannaught Place in USIEF Building International Branding Workshop Alumi Meet First W Level Training



YALE Alumni Service Corps National Qualifying Training First Time Advisory Council Meeting YES Alumni Workshop 2014: International



Principals Meet YALE Alumni Service Corps Returns Alumni Leadership & Development Workshop Formation of Alumni Association of India Alumni Leadership Development Program for Presidents AFS Global Prep Program Chapters increased to 23 in number



Training of Alumni Association of India Office Bearers International India Study Tour Counselors’ Training by AFS International US Girls Scout Program AFS Project: Change Program Launched AFS India’s Mobile App AFS Premier Cricket League


-- PEACE Project -- Global Competency -- Guiding the Way into 21st Century -- (Workshop) 3rd Annual AFS Asia-Pacific International Global Citizenship -- Education Forum -- AFS India Cricket League -- AFS-AAI Regional Partner Meeting


-- National Community Service Project -- Thriving 30 | Trendsetters of Tomorrow YES 15th Anniversary | Domestic Exchange Program: -- Discovering Through Experience -- AFS India School Membership Committee -- AFS Annual Inter-School Educational Fest -- Garba for Global Peace



National Community Service Trip Celebrating Friendship Project | India-Bangaldesh 100 AFS India Member Schools Inaugral Principals’ Exchange to Italy



Cultural Grip Over Virtual Trip Celebrating Indian Cultural Diversity Kamenori Home-Stay Program GCC Champions Program AFS Thailand Board-Staff visited India


Volunteers Engagement #SaturdaySurprise #SaturdaySurprise, earlier called #MondayMagic, is a day of engagement which is facilitated by the volunteer for the volunteer. Every Saturday of the week, AFS India family have had a 30-45 minutes engagement activity facilitated by any or one of our volunteers on themes such as cooking, do-it-yourself activities, yoga, language teaching, meditation, health, mental health awareness etc. AFS family members have come together to share their skills, talents, expertise, etc. We’re thankful to everyone for committing themselves to create a learning environment for everyone.

Regional Volunteer Exchange Program AFS India’s Regional Volunteer Exchange Program gives cultural learning to the volunteers with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the values of Indian cultural diversity. The program facilitates exchanges between different chapters (cities), allowing them the opportunity to learn about different cultures, traditions, languages, lifestyles that exist in the cities by engaging the volunteers in various extracurricular activities and other learning processes such as art, craft, music, dance, calligraphy etc. In-person Regional Volunteer Exchange Program to Delhi took place from 21st Jan to 27th January 2020. Virtual Regional Volunteer Exchange Program took place between Rajkot and Kolkata, June 2020; Indore and Guwahati, June 2020; and Nashik and Bangalore, April 2020 and July 2020

International Volunteer Exchange Program International & Regional Volunteer Exchange Program is a program where the volunteers are given a chance to visit an AFS Partner Country or AFS cities in India where they stay and experience the culture of that country or city. They live with a host family, meet the volunteers, teachers, host students, go for sight-seeing, undertake school visits and do presentations, understand the differences and enjoy their stay in a different cultural environment. In-person exchanges took place last year are: -----

India and Malaysia | 25th Aug - 1st Sep 2019 India and Sri Lanka | 16th Sep - 22nd Sep 2019 India and Egypt | 10th Oct - 18th Oct 2019 India and Indonesia | 24th Nov - 30th Nov 2019


Cultural Grip Over Virtual Trip AFS India’s Virtual International Volunteer Exchange Program named as Cultural Grip over Virtual Trip is a program designed to engage volunteers with a great opportunity to connect with volunteers around the world. This program bestows volunteers with a platform to learn aspects of culture and gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of a particular culture or practice through virtual knowledge transfer executed in a creative and innovative manner. This Virtual Engagement Program promotes and encourages cultural learning covering various detailed themes supported with live virtual sessions like cooking, dance singing, wearing traditional, having fun games etc. From August 2019 to July 2020, Cultural Grip Over Virtual Trip took place between: -- Egypt and Nashik | 16th and 17th May 2020 -- Indonesia and Chennai | 20th, 21st June 2020 and 5th and 12th July 2020

We ARE #CHANGEMAKERS Volunteerism At AFS, we encourage change-making activities. Our volunteers and alumni are engaged in various activities to work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, also known as Global Goals.

AFS India Day Celebrations 2019 To promote the spirit of volunteerism and community service, AFS India provides opportunities to volunteers to do a series of activities and events on different occasions throughout the year and the most special day is of course 8th Nov i.e. AFS India Day.This year’s theme of AFS India Day was ‘Include and Appreciate’ which motivated our volunteers to include in their celebrations,people who constantly help us in our daily lives. Volunteers committed to value the undervalued and appreciate the underappreciated. Appreciation for constantly helping us around was given to peons, helpers, maids, city cleaners etc. and they were equally included in celebrations by our chapter volunteers. We saw around 350+ volunteers engaged in 21 chapters across India into various activities at chapter levels.

Community Service to Fight Againt COVID-19 With the widespread pandemic, our volunteers came together with renewed commitment and energy to do their bit in helping those who are in need. They focused their time energy towards making masks, provided meals to the needy, collected sanitizers and shared, quashed COVID-19 rumors, paid tribute to health workers and much more. These are just few examples of the projects and initiatives started by AFS volunteers, alumni and exchange students during their time in India.

Global Youth Service Day 2020 Global Youth Service Day is the largest youth service and civic action event in the world and the only one that celebrates and builds the capacity of all youth ages to help our communities and democracy thrive by working together for the common good. To celebrate GYSD, we at AFS India, engage our volunteers of all ages and background to give back to the community by planning and implementing various activities, action events, etc. each April on various themes. With the outbreak of COVID-19 and increase in the widespread of the virus, we have been committed to taking prevention and precautions as per the directives shared by the Indian Government and health agencies. While doing so, the volunteers contributed towards the celebration of Global Youth Service Day 2020 by following all safety measures. Keeping the restrictions, rules and guidelines in mind, volunteers were asked to do 2 simple activities to celebrate GYSD 2020 virtually: Support COVID-19 Awareness Campaign | Share Your Story: COVID-19 is having a real impact on all of us—our plans, our families and friends, our day-to-day lives. AFS India, through its awareness campaign, started sharing helpful ideas and tips on how to protect oneself from COVID-19. Volunteers were expected to go online and share their story on what preventive measures they’ve taken to prevent the spread of the virus. Appreciate the Health Workers: During challenging times like these, health workers all around the world need our support and love. Creating a video or writing a message thanking and appreciating all that is being done by the health workers was another activity that the volunteers participated in tagging friends who are doctors, nurses, health workers, etc. On this note, we are thrilled and delighted to share that this year we have 400+ volunteers from 25 cities who have participated in GYSD 2020 with high spirits and great enthusiasm. This is a moment of pride for AFS India as we are filled with immense gratitude for the volunteers who never fail to surprise us with their dedication and commitment. 9

The Power of #AFSEffect during COVID-19 Outreach during COVID Times: The strong urge to do something for this community motivated school Principal of St Mathew’s High School & Junior College, Mumbai, Mrs. Larzy Varghees, to create a team with the help of her dedicated teachers who volunteered to help in this troubled time. They set up a community kitchen in the school building. With the support of NGOs, they gathered funds and distributed ration to many families (worth 17 kgs to each family). In this act, 2215 families benefited. They daily cooked food for more than 700 families, with a proper menu. This process continued for more than 35 days. Silaigram Upcycled Fabric to Aid PPE: Wasudev Mishra and his venture Silaigram are making fabric masks from upcycled fabric from garment factories to ensure the local police personnel get masks and stay safe on their Duties. Animals, “They Need Us”: Anushree Modi, an AFS Alumna from Ahmedabad began feeding the stray animals in her locality to make sure they are getting food and water. She has reached out and advocated for the same amongst her friends. Frontline Fighters Engage: Roma Shah, a volunteer from Indore conducted tutorials on how to make masks and sanitizers at home.

AFS transforms volunteers into global citizens and changemakers

Nishkam karam is the takeaway from AFS volunteers and hosts. The secret for success lies in the smile. I learnt this from the volunteers.

National Community Service Trip 2020 The National Community Service Trip 2020 was successfully conducted with the help of our wonderful volunteers in Gandhinagar from 22nd - 27th February 2020. The National Level Community Service 2020 was built on the idea of creating social impact where AFS volunteers from Pan-India were invited to join together to address the local challenges and bring diverse communities together by using their skills, knowledge and understanding to execute various projects & activities at a local community. This project was based on the self-sustaining model where the materials and resources needed to execute the community service were either donated in-kind. The project was implemented in the Schools that were selected last year, and also added 3 new schools to increase the impact. During the Medical Camp in Gandhinagar as part of the National Community Service Trip 2020, doctors did check-up of more than 225 people (faces below) for Blood Pressure, Eye (Glasses), Diabetes, Orthopaedist, Ayurvedic, Homeopathic, etc. They were supported by AFS Volunteers where our volunteers were engaged in translations, helping elderlies in coming to the camp, logistics, assisting doctors in execution of various projects and activities. The engagement of AFS volunteers in the medical camp symbolizes the compassion, integrity and dedication towards providing access to quality health and healthcare through the through the concept of community service. Villagers went back to happy faces, beautiful conversation and satisfying treatment. Self-Development (with a focus on developing personal and interpersonal skills) Personal Hygiene (with a focus on women and children hygiene) Sports and Extracurricular Activities Education (with a focus on teaching English, Mathema cs & Science) Medical and Health Awareness Camps (With a focus on medical check-up for Diabetes/Blood Pressure, Eye Care, Physiotherapist, etc. Doctors, who were experts in the ďŹ elds of Ayurveda and Homeopathic, were also present) -- Painting of Classrooms/School (interactive art-work done) Advancing Computer Education (with a focus on ďŹ xing computers and helping educators learn how to use them) -- Art & Craft Classes (with focus on teaching painting, sketching, origami etc.) ------

Gratitude and thanks to the donors who contributed in cash as well as in-kind to make this project successful. Big thanks and special shout-out to all the Gandhinagar volunteers for hosting volunteers from Pan-India.


-- Participant, National Community Service Trip 2020

The AFS program helped us communicate and collaborate with people from different cultures and backgrounds. I realized that children are a reservoir of hidden talents and new ideas, if only they are given a chance to express these. I helped the students develop interest for art, as I feel art can be of help for them in their daily life. -- Participant, National Community Service Trip 2020

AFS Empowers Volunteers to be Changemakers



Alumni Engagement Thriving 2020 Thriving​2020 is an AFS India leadership initiative comprising a total 29 highly motivated and committed alumni​who will further mobilize and drive alumni engagement activities for 2020-21 with alumni pan-India. The initiative is being formed ​under the leadership and guidance of 3 AFS Alumni who form the​​Advisory & Executive Committee members. Alumni selected for this leadership initiative had to pass a rigorous application process, followed by rounds of interviews where they presented their action plan for AFS Alumni engagement.

Voice of Peace: YES Alumni of India Sensitize 1000+ Youth to Resonate the Voice of Peace Voice of PEACE- a series of overwhelmingly successful peacebuilding workshops across 6 cities in India initiated and driven by the YES and AFS Alumni sensitized over a 1,000 youth in Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Indore and Gandhinagar. The workshop was sponsored by the U.S Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by AFS Intercultural Programs India.

​ lumni also enjoyed A this event and it was a learning experience for us too​and f​ or us sharing experiences and answering their questions will never get old. Me as alumni have personally experienced that, there’s no age limit, to learn anything, because even the wisest mind has something yet to learn -- AFS Alumna

The workshop engaged active school students of age 14-16 years to sensitize them about the importance of peace and celebrate cultural integrity in diversity. The modules and curriculum of the workshops, co-facilitated by YES Alumni were designed primarily to educate the youth about positive world narrative, global friendship, empathy and respect. Highlighting the vision of these workshops, Divya Arora, National Director of AFS Intercultural Programs India also adds, “When I see these young students become torchbearers of peace, start such a meaningful initiative on their own to nurture more young minds believe in peace building - I am assured that the future is secured.” One of the student participants, of class XII expressed after attending the workshop, “I am amazed to know PEACE was so simple yet impactful, and even I can be an advocate of active peace building.” It was indeed heartwarming to see how over 1,000 youth came together to celebrate friendship. As part of the workshop collaboration with organizations to facilitate segments of the workshop was also made with Youth for Peace International and World Youth Council. 12


This workshop gave opportunities to questions and be questioned about global peace. -- AFS Alumni

Do Your Bit | AFS India Alumni Initiative to discuss SDG 13 – Climate Action AFS Alumni successfully conclude a series of workshops (virtual) towards SDG - 13 Climate Change with an initiative Do Your Bit. This project aimed to provide youth with necessary practical & theoretical knowledge to raise awareness, equip them to develop local yet integrated initiatives virtually to address climate change. Started as a national initiative, project soon received international appreciation with exchange program alumni from India, Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan & Mongolia participating. The dialogue was conducted over 3 virtual workshops (27 May, 3 June & 10 June), each attended by 30+ changemakers received overwhelmingly positive response. In the end of the series, participants came up with 22 climate action projects that were submitted and discussed. Do Your Bit was developed & led by the two Alumni from India - Jasma Vekaria (USA 0910) and Vyom Raisurana (USA 10-11). It was supported for outreach by: -- Vishakha Koshti (USA 2015-16) from Ahmedabad -- Mohammed Bilal (USA 2018-19) from Hyderabad -- Jash Shah (USA 2018-19) from Kolkata -- Dushyant Saraf (Russia 2018-19) from Indore We are also thankful to our partners and friends from Egypt and Malaysia for very active participation.

Reunion of Kakehashi Alumni Kakehashi alumni from India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh & Nepal participated in the Virtual Reunion 4 May 2020. To address the convening, two guest speakers were invited, Ankur Dhoot, Alumnus from Japan 2008 batch & Kalpana Ramsharma, Alumna from USA batch 2014-15 who is currently studying in Japan. The call was to interact with the students and see how they wanted to take the associations and learnings of their exchange year in future.

Slam Poetry Initiative AFS Alumni based in Hyderabad facilitated Slam Poetry on the theme of Active Global Citizenship in our AFS Member School, Suchitra Academy International School (Hyderabad), on 13 November 2019. There were​three Member schools​invited to this Event, the Hyderabad Public School (Begumpet), the Hyderabad Public School (Ramanthapur), and Solitaire Global Schools (Hyderabad). Slam Poetry participation helped in building positive stories and perception about positive PEACE among the Young children who are passionate about new constructive thoughts. 10 students​from four schools participated​among them, 4 students were selected as the top best​. They are: -- Paridhi Sarda from Suchitra Academy International School (Hyderabad) -- Syeda Sameeha Fatima from Solitaire Global Schools (Hyderabad) -- Mihiran, from the Hyderabad Public School (Begumpet) -- E. Jhanvi from the Hyderabad Public School (Ramanthapur) The students were amazing with their performance and the event was very successful.



It feels truly empowering to get a platform where we can urge the students at a very young age to recognize how empathy and peace are the way out to most global concerns -- AFS Alumna

Sponsored Sending Programs Through various sponsored programs, AFS India empowers those who come from underprivileged backgrounds. AFS India is thankful to all the sponsors for providing scholarships.

Asia Kakehashi Program

Sponsored by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) AFS India selected the second batch of 28 young scholars for the Asia Kakehashi Project from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. Our heartfelt gratitude to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) for this wonderful scholarship to the students. Participants on this program will build their global competence and become future leaders by spending an exciting time studying abroad in Japan. It was a great experience to recruit students from the Indian subcontinent region. They will get to live with a host family or in a dorm, will attend a Japanese high school and make friends with the Japanese peers. All this will help the participant improve their Japanese speaking skills, academic prospects and intercultural competence. We also want to thank AFS Japan for their continuous support and guidance round the clock.

BP Global STEM Academies Sponsored by British Petroleum

It is a study abroad scholarship opportunity for secondary school students with demonstrated interest in science, technology, engineering, math and making a global impact. This is a unique four-week full-scholarship program to Brazil, USA and Egypt where the participants are exposed to the key STEM principles, methodologies and critical global competence skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and foreign languages. AFS India sent 13 participants on this program.


Sponsored by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan 76 high-potential youth from pan-India were selected under the prestigious JENESYS 2019 scholarship, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan. The prestigious program was facilitated by AFS Intercultural Programs India. JENESYS stands for “Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths” and is a people-to-people exchange program between Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. The young cultural ambassadors furthered the objectives of the program i.e. to promote mutual trust and understanding among the two countries, build a basis for future friendship, cooperation and encourage an understanding of Japan’s economics, society, history, diverse culture, politics and diplomatic relations. In Sports Exchange (Rugby), we had 17 participants, in Science & Technology, we had 20, in Japanese Communications and Cultural Exchange, we had 39 participants respectively. This year, two wheelchair rugby players from India also participated which helped us in creating a more inclusive group of participants. 14

Sponsored Sending Yearlong Programs

AFS Sending Yearlong Programs AFS Sending Yearlong Programs

The U.S. State Department’s Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program

Sponsored by U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA) AFS India is happy to recruit students for the prestigious The U.S. State Department’s Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program 2019-20. The YES program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA) aims to provide scholarships for high school students to study for one academic year in the United States. Participants live with a host family, attend an American high school, acquire leadership skills, and engage in activities to learn about U.S. society and values; they also help educate Americans about their home country and culture. AFS India is happy to select 40 finalists from all across India for the program.

Indian Students Selected as YES “Student of the Month” in 2019-20 The Student of the Month is chosen by the Department of State from all YES students that are nominated for that particular month. These students come from all placement organizations that participate in the YES program. Mohd. Shadab (Aligarh), Reetika Singh (Guwahati), Suresh Kethavath (Hyderabad) are a few students who got named as Student of the Month for their extraodinary engagements.

This [AFS] program that not only gives to the chance to visit these lovely countries and meet new people, experience their culture, food etc., but also teaches you life skills. You get a beautiful opportunity to learn about life in a young age which is really a pride. Don’t ever forget that you are here to gain an “experiential learning”. Have a great time during your exchange experience. -- AFS Returnee

Every year, AFS India sends students to various countries for one academic year for an exchange program. The objective is that the students becomes future-ready, develops life-skills, empathy and has an experience that makes him/her be a global citizen. In 2019, 9 students went on this program to 7 countries - Belgium (Dutch), Belgium (French), Italy, USA, France, Denmark and Netherland. The programs give opportunities to stay with a host family and study in the host school while learning a new language, taking up more skill based activities and making strong bonding and networks internationally.

Short-Term Sending Programs AFS intercultural adventures transform lives forever! We call it the #AFSeffect. Along with flagship yearlong program, AFS India has short-term programs ranging from 2 to 6 weeks in various countries. In 2019-20, we have sent Indian students to countries like USA, Brazil, Egypt, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Turkey, Finland, Italy, Spain etc. on programs related to language learning, cultural immersion, STEM, intercultural learning etc. We have also hosted from countries like Germany, USA, Italy, Portugal, Japan, Turkey, etc.

PEACE Program Started in 2018, PEACE Program is an intensive trimester program that offers an imbibed researched curriculum of Active Global Citizenship and You. As part of this curriculum, students -- Research on community problem -- Engage in and develop community service project -- Prototype in other country -- Replicate in home country upon return. 5 students have been on PEACE program and consider it as a transformative journey.

Italy Winter Home-Stay Program Language, Culture and Homestay. Overall Celebrating Christmas with Volunteers and Host Family. The Students had a full program of activities focused on Italian traditions in music, cuisine, art and culture, as well as attend Italian lessons. Various excursions to well-known Tuscany Towns with their Unique historical, artistic and naturalistic beauties was organized for the group. 8 students have been on Italy Winter Home-Stay program and had a lifechanging experience.

Global Prep Program, London 1 student from Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, Kolkatawent on this program to London on sustainability and creative thinking. This program was designed in partnership with Get You- a London based organization. The program included hands-on practice through assignments on environmental sustainability and climate change. It included CV building and career enhancement mentoring as well. 15

Short-Term Hosting Programs

Yearlong Hosting Programs

Through short term hosting programs, AFS India provides theme based intercultural learning experiences to students coming from various countries. These programs vary from as short as 10 days to 3 months and have themes such as language learning learning, school immersion, STEM and alike.

Opening Hearts & Homes to AFS Students

Germany Reciprocal Program

Host families and schools across 20 cities opened their hearts and homes to have another child from a different country under various categories of year program viz School Year Program, Boarding Program and Global Choice Program.

47 participants hosted in India on an AFS yearlong exchange program from Argentina, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, USA, France, Thailand, USA, Mexico.

This program is an initiative between AFS India and AFS Germany to strengthen relations. As part of this, each year select students from India and Germany undertake reciprocal program. First, the Indian students go to Germany in the beginning of the year and then in the second half of the year, German students come to experience India.

Host Students Engagement

3 Students came to India on Germany Reciprocal Program from July to September 2019 in Indore (The Emerald Heights International School & Shishukunj International) and Kolhapur (Sanjay Ghodawat International School)

Amity International Model United Nations Conference

PEACE Program

The Amity International Model United Nation Conference 2019 (AIMUN) was held from October 16th to 18th, 2019 at Amity University Noida, India Campus. This conference was the 10th edition of Amity International MUNs. 12 AFS Host students from various chapters participated in this event. The students were divided into committees and had the opportunity to engage in international dialogue. The students also performed during cultural evening and had a great learning exposure!

AFS India proudly hosted 8 students in the inaugural year of 2019 from Belgium, Portugal, Turkey and Italy on PEACE Program (hosting). The students spent a trimester in cities Varanasi, Indore and Delhi. The program included identifying a problem area that the students would want to work towards in the hosting community, work towards building solution for the problem statement through research and develop a prototype of the solution. Each students were provided with extensive support from host schools and mentorship to develop their projects.

AFS Navratri 2019 at Ahmedabad The Ahmedabad chapter organized AFS Navratri event 2019 from 04th to 07th October 2019. The event had the participation of host students, volunteers and staff members. The objective of the event was to provide an opportunity to the host students to explore a different part of the country, get together and know the folk culture of Gujarat during the festival. There were total of 34 host students from different parts of India who participated.

Italy STEM Program India has always been a forerunner in the space of STEM and AFS India hosted 9 students on STEM program in Global City International School, Bangalore in July and August 2019. The students focused on hands-on learning at robotics, industrial visits along with cultural experiences of heritage, yoga and cricket.

English Language Intensive Program 13 Students from Japan, Italy and Canada were hosted at Amity International School, Pushp Vihar, New Delhi in July and August 2019 and underwent intensive English language learning. The students had overwhelming progress at the end of the program and the deep bond they had created with their host families.

AFS is one of the inevitable parts of my life, which has led to my personal development, taught me to be patient and embrace new cultures. And I’m thankful to AFS for giving me opportunities like community services, development trainings, and hosting. -- Host Family


AFS Program helped me see how I fit in this world. -- AFS Student

Sponsored Hosting Programs NSLI-Y Program

Sponsored by U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA) The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) aims to provide American youth linguistic skills and cultural knowledge that will spark a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures. Sponsored by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, students come to India under this scholarship to learn Hindi under an academic year and summer program. 5 students came from USA to India for the NSLI-Y Academic Year program in 2019-2020 and 15 students came under the NSLI-Y Summer Program in 2019.

YES Abroad Program

Sponsored by U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA) The YES Abroad program is a U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsored cultural exchange program between the U.S. and India. Participants live with a host family, attend a local school, promoting mutual understanding between the United States and India by forming lasting relationships with their host family and friends. This program was hosted in Ahmedebad, Kolkata and Mumbai Chapter. There were 5 students who were enrolled into the YES Program 2019 -2020.

Kamenori - HomeStay Program Funded by the Kamenori Foundation

AFS India is proud and delighted to have hosted 8 young citizen ambassadors and their chaperone from Japan on the prestigious Kamenori program from 2nd to 9th November 2019. An intercultural high school exchange program funded by the Kamenori Foundation aims to foster friendly relations and mutual understanding through exchange between the youth of Japan and the youths of other countries in Asia and Oceania. The theme of the program focused on culture, heritage and cuisine and we’re happy to have designed a combination of these elements into the program. Japanese students visited 11 prominent and historical places in and around Delhi and Agra.The ethos behind making the students visiting these historical places is to make them acknowledged the roots of Indian history. Students also got a privilege to interact with the Mr. Akira Inoue, Second Secretary, Embassy of Japan in India. Students were very well able to relate to Mr. Inoue’s thoughts and suggestions being a Japanese living in India for many years and how India and Japan co-exist. Objectives of Program were to develop the leadership skills of Japanese youth, observe the school system in India, exchange friendship with the Indian students, the relationship of Japan and India in the past and in the present, learn about peace as unifying factor in creating a bridge between countries and exploring the Indian history, heritage, architecture and cuisines


Intercultural Learning Opportunities for Educators Educators in country who are currently working in secondary schools and who would like to experience teaching in different country can apply for this program. It is a condition that the school, at which the teacher is employed, will support and take an active part in the program. By these activities, the participating teacher will have a unique opportunity to achieve a thorough understanding of how teaching is done abroad as well as share Indian Education System. At the same time he/she will be able to -- share teaching approaches in host country-not only with the participating teacher but with the entire staff at the school. give the pupils at the school an intercultural experience by sharing his/her -- culture with them. Here are three ways intercultural learning help educators & improve schools: -- Intercultural competence helps students become more empathetic and flexible. -- It helpes educators facilitate and teach global comeptence, teachers must prepare themselves for the challenge. -- Global classrooms helps prepare schools to be more collaborative in their communities.

My experience of this exchange was EXUBERATING. I am proud to share that the EXCHANGE PROGRAMS WITH AFS INDIA has now become AN INTEGRAL PART AND ANNUAL FEATURE OF OUR SCHOOL CURRICULUM. What was even more enlightening was my discovery around our commonly shared - emotions, struggles, joys and contentment in life despite our social, cultural and political differences across borders. I further believe numerous unquantifiable take away and experiences by Ms. Silvana (an Educator from Argentina) in return. -- Principal, Rajmata Krishna Kumari Girl’s Public School

3 educators were hosted in India under Educators Exchange Program from Columbia (2) and Argentina (1)

Educators Program-Trimester AFS India takes a lot of pride in hosting educators from Argentina and Columbia on Educator Exchange Programs. The educators not only experienced the Indian education system, they were able to get hands-on experience with structuring and conducting lessons

There are many feelings and emotions that I have lived through this experience as a volunteer teacher. I think after become as a mother, this is the most exceptional and amazing episode in whole my life, firstly because this has been a dream come true that it has allowed me knowing and learning all the cultural diversity that owns this fantastic country. -- Laura Cano from Argentina, hosted at SelaQui International School, Dehradun

In my first week in India, September 2019, I was invited to a wedding where I wore an ‘Anarkali’ dress that the teachers in the school helped me find and matched it with the ‘meenakari earings’. It was a lovely evening & I am thankful to the school for letting me be a part of the celebration. At another occasion, I went with a teacher and her daughter to Secunderabad for a music program. By the time we were leaving, a little girl came running and said “hola” - it was a really heartwarming moment. What leaves me happy is that I am able to connect with the students as little as in kindergarten and teaching them something new every day. -- Julieta Kachizky from Argentina, hosted at Suchitra Academy, Hyderabad for an educator program


Virtual Educatioanal Programs The AFS Global Competence Certificate (GCC) is a blended learning program that develops tangible global skills essential to live, work and make a real social impact around the world.

building. The program provides the opportunity to earn an AFS Global Competence Certificate to add to one’s university and job applications.

Offered to 18+ participants to help achieve the goals around selfawareness, awareness about others, emotional intelligence, and bridges across differences, it can be undertaken by anyone including University Students, Professionals as well as Teachers. From August 2019 to July 2020,

The program offers students to be a part of the global classroom with global expert sharing and learning from each other strengthening the idea of Global CItizenship in an interconnected and interdependent world.

-- 9 participants were part of GCC Abroad; -- 8 enrolled in GCC Educators and; -- 4 Qualified Facilitators were added in the pool

GCC Special Edition We are happy to share with you AFS India’s engagement with AFS GCC Special Edition. This Special Edition GCC has been modified and adapted from the GCC Study Abroad version used by the AFS network to meet the specific needs of the high school participants at this time whose program was affected due to COVID-19 crisis. The tool provided our AFSers with a safe, private platform that helped them process their experience, come together and continue the intercultural learning journey that was cut short so unexpectedly. AFS India is proud to have enrolled 80 participants sent by AFS India on various programs with the modules. Alongside, we are extremely proud of our 7 Qualified Facilitators, Aditya Chowdhury, Ajay Mehta, Angela Roy, Arvind Agrawal, Bhavya Arora, Sapna Simi Sukol and Sarita Badhwar who volunteered their time and effort to help facilitate sessions for their assigned participants. AFS India Qualified Facilitators were assigned 500+ participants from India, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Argentina & Uruguay, Indonesia and Russia.

GCC Teens GCC Teen is the teen-friendly version of the award-winning Global Competence Certificate features a closed, minors-only platform for connecting and sharing with other learners worldwide. A national program for students from 14-18 Years offers national exposure and focus on building competences in individuals to be an active and engaged global citizen. The program of 8 weeks provides the opportunity for students to stand out from their peers exhibiting excellent traits around - Intercultural competences, critical thinking and Interpersonal skills.

New Inititiaves

GCC Champions Program The 1-year program commencing in March 2021 is built with the intent to create and engage a cadre of active, equipped and empowered resource pool from amongst its network stakeholders (Volunteers, Educators and Alumni) to spread awareness around AFS Global Competencies educators, students, early life professionals to masses. With 18 select champions covering PAN India, the force together with the National Office are working hand in hand in an organised approach towards the project implementation. With rigorous capacity building, one on one sessions and monthly touch base calls the group is now a strong pillar supporting the program in some chapters. Launches of the Year

AFS Global You Adventurer A truly global program was designed and launched for young people from 14 to 17 years of age looking to embark on a new experience, with new people from around the world. The program inspired by the Global Competence Certificate Course for Teenagers is an exciting and adventurous journey offered to participants to ensure first-hand access to an innovative experience that will start and continue their journey in global skill


Member Schools Engagement AFS India School Membership AFS India School Membership is an initiative to help create active global citizens, globalize schools & expand access to intercultural education through membership opportunities to School in India. Apart from providing intercultural learning programs that builds global competence, AFS India School Membership help educators and students develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.

Effect+ Global Citizenship Education Workshop

Owing to the Pandemic, AFS India suspended in person trainings starting March 2020. The pandemic has only affirmed AFS India’s belief of Global Citizenship as an urgent need of the hour. There was a complete overhaul done for the trainings and to adapt to the new normal new versions of member school training offerings for both students and educators were developed and launched within a very short span of 3 months.

Effect+ workshops used interactive learning methods to teach students how they can advance the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while also helping them develop intercultural competences, become savvy about the world around them, and be prepared to make an impact in their local communities. This supports the global movement to advance intercultural learning and global citizenship education and AFS’s role in it. AFS India conducted Effect+ Workshop with the help of intercultural learning trainer teams in various schools in India. Keynote speakers brought a spice to the workshop. Students had interactive sessions wherein global concerns like gender equality, leadership, sustainability, environment, educational opportunities, inclusive societies and caring for rivers were discussed. Around 800 plus students attended the workshops from August 2019 to July 2020 (around 18 through virtual training). After the workshop, students started their journey to become global citizens.

Pathways to Global Classrooms for Educators Pathway to Global Classrooms for Educators is a virtual training course modified to provide educators with intercultural learning skills and aims to provide secondary school teachers and educators with new methods and tools to promote intercultural dialogue, in order to prepare students for living in diverse societies and working in a global labour market. This is a significant, practical tool to support our efforts to help globalize schools and make intercultural learning more accessible. Around 500 plus educators attended the in-person workshops from August 2019 to July 2020 and around 16 through virtual training. After the workshop, students started their journey to become global citizens.

Celebrating Indian Cultural Diversity To adapt to the this new normal and to keep students, educator and schools engaged, AFS India convened a 5-series virtual program to commemorate May 21 as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue & Development. The program, named as Celebrating Indian Cultural Diversity, integrated aspects of intercultural learning and was a carnival of showcasing varied diversity present in India. Through this program, we engaged 21 schools in India between 8 May to 21 May 2020. Each of the 5 sessions has participation from 4 – 5 schools. This program was an avenue to connect, learn and share with each other a little more about India. 14 out of 28 Indian States were represented through this Program. The presentations were completely led and presented by the students of the participating schools. They presented an Indian city. Each session provided us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of Indian cultural diversity and to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions. This program underlined AFS ethos - to become active global citizens, we must embrace diversity and work for peace and understanding in a diverse world. 20

What I really liked is that these presentations were led by students. Not only the three participating schools depicted diversity present in India but even their presentation style was so diverse. I am so proud of these children. They transported us to three destinations. -- School Principal, Celebrating Indian Cultural Diversity

Delhi Public School, Srinagar Shrishti English Medium School, Anand January 2020 Heritage School, Jammu Rajmata Krishna Kumari Girls’ Public School, Jodhpur December 2019 Sunbeam School, Varuna, Varanasi Rajmata Krishna Kumari Girls’ Public School, Jodhpur November 2019 Rajmata Krishna Kumari Girls’ Public School, Jodhpur Amity International School, Pushp Vihar, Delhi November 2019 Rajmata Krishna Kumari Girls’ Public School, Jodhpur Vantage Hall Girls’ Residential School, Dehradun November 2019

Virtual: Sanjay Ghodawat International School, Kolhapur Rajmata Krishna Kumari Girls’ Public School, Jodhpur June 2020

International Class Exchange Program

Class Exchange Programs

International Class Exchange Program is an exchange opportunity that we offer exclusively to our AFS India Member Schools. The exchange is between a group of students from two schools (one Indian and one International). In total we have sent 18 students and 2 teachers to 1 Country (France) and hosted 19 students & 2 teachers in India.

Domestic Class Exchange Program Since its inception in 2015, AFS Domestic Class Exchange has gained a lot of appreciation amongst the School Fraternity. The program facilitates Short Term Exchanges between different schools of India, altogether giving an opportunity to the students to experience the different and diverse cultures, languages, lifestyles that exist in our country. Since August 2019, more than 240 students and 36 Educators have been part of this prestigious program. Exchanges between the following schools have been conducted

By attending foreign school activities and living with foreign families, students and teachers from a whole class/group try an intercultural experience that fosters and encourages their international understanding, their awareness of sharing common values and make them better world citizens of tomorrow. From August 2019 till July 2020, one exchange has been conducted:

In-person Exchanges: The Punjab Public School, Nabha Sunbeam School, Lahartara, Varanasi September 2019

Lycee Clos Maire Beaune, Burgundy, France Yadavindra Public School, Patiala October 2019

Him Academy Public School, Vikas Nagar, Hamirpur Suchitra Academy, Hyderabad December, 2019 The British Coed High School, Patiala The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet November 2019 & January 2020 Sri Aurobindo Mira Universal, Madurai Springfield World School, Vidisha November 2019 & January 2020 Heritage School, Jammu SelaQui International School, Dehradun October 2019 The Hyderabad Public School, Ramanthapur SelaQui International School, Dehradun November 2019 Maa Anandmayee Memorial School, Dehradun Solitaire Global Schools, Hyderabad January 2020 21

Programs for Educators & Schools North Regional AFS India Member Schools Meet

Principal Exchange Program with Russia

AFS India First North Regional Member Schools Meet was held on 16th and 17th November 2019 in one of the AFS India Member Schools of North region- SelaQui International School, Dehradun. The goal of the Meet was to Engage, Empower and Expand (3E’S) AFS’s mission in the North Member Schools while sharing all the opportunities provided by AFS to students, educators and schools.

The 1-week Principal exchange program took place with Russia in the month of December. 2 Principals from Russia were hosted in 2 AFS India Member Schools- The Mann School and Abhinav Global School in Delhi. The program focussed on the understanding of the education system in Indian schools, functioning of the classrooms, to know about the culture which is different from one’s own, visit to different cultural places, and to understand the diversity.

West India AFS India Regional Schools Meet

Malaysian Educator Program

AFS India organised the West India Regional Meet in Mumbai on 7th and 8th February 2020 hosted by one of the AFS Member Schools of West Region, Bunts Sangha’s S M Shetty High School & Junior College, Mumbai.

2 educators from Malaysia, Ms. Lee and Ms. Siththira Thevi visited India on an educator exchange program from 8th to 18th December. The program was a platform for the educators to adapt, adjust and accept the diversity to the fullest. The educators were hosted in Mumbai Chapter.

The meet brought together the school leaders, the coordinators and the students from 14 AFS India member schools of West India Region. The keynote speaker of the event was Mr Nandkumar, Principal Secretary, Mantralaya Mumbai. The meet was also attended by Mr Jayant Lal, AFS India Board Member, Ms Divya Arora, AFS India National Director and the AFS Team.

National AFS India Member Schools Meet for Principals AFS India Member Schools Meet for Principals was held on 14th September 2019 in one of the AFS India Member Schools, The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet. The meet aimed to bring together schools and institutions to ideate for maximizing impact. It was attended by 48 Principals and Directors of the AFS Member Schools from 5 different regions of India. The meet featured discussions, presentations, expert sessions, networking to advance our 3 impact goals: develop active global citizens, globalize schools & institutions and expand access to intercultural education. 22

Orientation and Training AFS orientation sessions (before, during and after AFS program) helps AFS participants navigate personal and cultural growth opportunities while they are abroad. Throughout the year, AFS India facilitated various orientations for AFS participants going abroad from India & AFS Hosted Participants from various parts of the world. In support of this mission, AFS has created 16 educational objectives, each focused on different aspects of personal, interpersonal and community development. These goals serve as the backbone for AFS exchange programs, and help participants develop the knowledge and skills that are necessary to succeed in an increasingly globalized workforce. Orientations Going Virtual: The pandemic limited our scope to do in-person orientations but did not prevent us from providing strong support to the students, volunteers and families. The modules and curricula of were adapted for all-virtual orientations without putting a pause to these critical areas of support and risk management Pre-Departure Orientation During pre-departure orientation, Indian participants share their concerns about the challenges they may be facing while adjusting to their new surroundings, and to hear the stories of other exchange students going through similar experiences. Gateway Orientation Gateway orientation begins with the overview of the Pre-Departure Orientation, preparing the participants finally before departure to the host country.

National Arrival Orientation This orientation provides participants a chance to meet with others from around the world who are hosted in India while providing an introduction to essential program information, tips of adjustment and knowledge about intercultural learning. Mid-Stay Orientation Orientation is intended to be both a look back at the students’ exchange so far and to think about how to grab the maximum benefit from the remainder of the exchange. End-of-Stay Orientation This orientation provides participants a chance to reflect on the experiences of being on exchange program. During the orientation, they focus on reverse cultural shock, re-adjustment and getting back to their country. Host Family Orientation at Local Level The Host Family Orientation is an important step to prepare a family for the experience of hosting an AFS participant in their home. They are told about process of hosting, rules, adjustment process & introduced to intercultural learning world. AFS Intercultural Link Learning Program The AFS Intercultural Link Learning Program helps our volunteers and staff improve their intercultural skills, teaches them about key education theories and practices, and makes them better able to support the learning of others.


Partnerships & Collaborations Capacity Building for Youth Employment | Collaboration between AFS India and United Nations Volunteers In the month of June 2020, battling the ongoing pandemic, AFS India collaborated with United Nations Volunteers to train youth in life skills, soft skills, vocational skills in parallel with career counselling. The virtual initiative of the Youth Resource Centre (YRC) aimed at capacity building and skills training for youth employment, is part of a UNV project ‘Strengthening Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and National Service Scheme (NSS)’ in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and UNDP. The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. To this end, UNV India led online training programs revolving around Online Counselling and Personality Development, Life Skills Training, Professional Communications, Exam Preparation, Resume Building, Digital Literacy, Micro-Enterprise Literacy, etc. set in 5 districts. The training was facilitated by the Educators, Principals and Heads of our Member Schools. In total 17 trainings were conducted with 2,016 participants.

The session gave me the feeling that as facilitators when we implant seeds of change, the ripples of the same are felt for years amongst the learners. It is always a pleasure to teach to learn

Karlshochshule International University, Germany Strengthening partnership with Karlshochshule International University, we were able to offer 1 full scholarship opportunity for a full degree program at the university in Germany to one of the AFS Alumni. With strong overwhelming inquiries of over 50, in the end two students were awarded scholarships: Sumayia Siddiqui (full scholarship for Bachelors)) and Sanyukta Buwa (50% scholarship for Masters)

-- Trainer from AFS India Member School

Strengthening Ties- Meeting with Consul General of Italy in Mumbai

It was not until this session that I was able to allow myself a new experience. I learned that I can’t let fear hold me back if I hoped to grow as a person. This experience helped me push myself out of my comfort zone and I am extremely delighted to have had this opportunity.

National Director, Ms. Divya Batra Arora met Hon’ble Stefania Costanza, Consul General of Italy in Mumbai on 10 February 2020 which was then followed by an elaborate dinner meeting of the Consul General with 8 host students and 3 AFS Alumni in Ahmedabad in on 16 February 2020. The meetings were not only a privilege for the hosted students but also a platform to convey about the programs and initiatives of AFS.

Global Peace Fest 2019 with Bennett University AFS India organized Global Peace Fest from 30th November to 1st December 2019 at Bennett University. The intent of the Fest was to discover students of various talents who can establish a true and meaningful intercultural dialogue and become Peace Ambassadors. We witnessed participation of 70 students and 10 educators from PAN India at the National Event.

-- Trainer from AFS India Member School


I shall always remain indebted to the organization for providing me with an enrapturing opportunity to visit Germany for the Volunteer Development Program adding new dimension to my global competence learning. AFS has indeed played a pivotal role in shaping my career path and enhancing my learning curve. -- Volunteer, AFS India

AFS leaders promote inclusive societies for sustainable development AFS India has presence in more than 24 cities in India. With 850+ volunteers in Pan-India, AFS volunteers focus on creating impact to build a peaceful and sustainable world. Volunteers are engaged towards promoting the concept of inclusivity and tolerance. They work closely with other experienced volunteers, educators, like-minded organization and stakeholders to find creative solutions to world’s problem. While volunteering with AFS, they also take on challenging situations for personal growth and polish their leadership skills. Cheers to the chapter heads (mentioned below) for committing their time and energy for advancement of AFS India and its mission in the year of 2019-20. Utpal Pathak

Dipti Patel

Ameet Gohel

Madhusudhan Rao

Ashish Agarwal

Elango M.

Sweta Parmar

Varsha Parekh

Nellie Ahmed

Nishi Mishra

Michelle Sisodiya

Meenu Raisurana

Neera Singh

Sasmita Mohanty

Arun Kumar K

Meena Kak

Sabita Kotenkar

Jagpreet Singh

Wasudev Mishra

Shivaji Shinde

V. Karthikeyan

Harsimranjit Dhindsa

Yashodhan Shende

Nayan Shah

Ahmedabad Delhi

Jodhpur Nagpur


Gandhinagar Kolhapur Nashik


Guwahati Karaikudi Ooty

Bangalore Gwalior Kolkata Patiala

*2019-20 Chaper Heads.


Bhopal Indore

Mumbai Pune


Jamshedpur Nabha Rajkot

International Events Network Strategy Meeting AFS Network Strategy Meeting was held in Montreal, Canada with the objective of bringing more focus on Network Strategy Process. The Strategy Meeting witnessed various meaningful conversations and solutions. The startegy meeting was attended by National Director, Divya Arora, and Board Member, Siddharth Singh.

AFS Global Conference 2019 With the essence of creating smart goals and active global citizens, the AFS Global Conference 2019 networked more than 500 participants in October 2019. Educators from AFS India were part of the conference. The startegy meeting was also attended by National Director, Divya Arora; Board Member, Siddharth Singh; and Seema Shaikh, School Principal of Pragnya Bodhini High School (Sanskar Vikas Society).

8th National Forum on Education for International Understanding & Roundtable AFS One Classroom Initiative ‘Colorful Belt & Road: Dialogue with the Future’ - The theme of AFS One Classroom Initiative facilitated in China in October. The forum offered opportunity to link 100+ schools from China and participating countries to facilitate dialogue, intercultural learning, and global competence acquisition by actively engaging in online classroom exchanges. The event was attended by Aadil Fahim, Chief Marketing and Development Officer of AFS India.

AFS-USA Summit 2019’s AFS-USA Summit was designed around one of the objecves outlined in AFS USA Strategic Plan 2.0 strengthening partnerships with educators and schools. All the sessions revolved around the theme of educaonal partnerships. Winners of the presgious Gala and Peggy Art & Howe awards were also honoured. The summit was attended by Divya Arora, National Director of AFS India where she was invited to share her guidance about school relationships and engagement.

AFS India Represented at Negotiations Project at AFS International Nishita Mehta, Manager- Programs, Alumni and Fundraising represented AFS India at an international co-creation project on program negotiations in January 2020 in New York, USA. As part of this project, select 5 representatives from the AFS network deliberated on strategies to make inter-partner process on programs and finances stronger.


Enhancing Strategic Relations with AFS Thailand AFS Thailand Staff Members Visit India AFS India proudly welcomed 6 AFS Thailand Staff Members in India from 17th to 22nd November. The objective of the visit was to experience the host schools in India and to understand how AFS India and Thailand can work together to create intercultural opportunities for students and maximize AFS Impact. The school visits entailed the school tours which included seeing the classrooms, laboratories, dormitories and other necessary facilities. The team met the Thai students hosted in the schools which gave them great insights and experience from the students. It was indeed a privilege to be able to interact with the head of these schools and understand their perspectives of exchange programs. This visits offered the first-hand experience to Thailand staff members on cultural diversity and realities of India, the strength of STEM and language learning and more.

AFS Thailand Board Members Visit India On 11th December 2019, AFS India Board Chair and National Director were invited by AFS Thailand Board Members for their meeting with the Ambassador of USA in India. We were delighted to host and have a very constructive meeting of Board Members of AFS India and AFS Thailand on 12th December 2019 in New Delhi. The meeting witnessed discussions on how to strengthen the relationship and develop specially focused strategy between India and Thailand to increase our program impact.

Apart from the school visits the staff members were exposed to the cultural places and also collected the souvenirs from South India which fascinated the team besides relishing some authentic Chettinad cuisine, getting mesmerized by the landscape of Ooty or living in the tech-city of India (Bangalore). Through the visit AFS India is looking forward to strengthening with Thailand. We express our sincere most gratitude to the Schools, Heads and Educators who hosted us, for sharing such invaluable time with us and supporting us at every step of the visit. We are also thankful to Chapter Volunteers for the same. The success of the visit wasn’t possible without the incredible support from the Schools. AFS India is indeed proud and honoured to have strong association with such schools. We look forward to strengthening Partnerships with AFS Thailand.


Risk Management & Mitigation is Our Top Priority Action to Deal with COVID-19 Outbreak AFS Intercultural Programs closely monitored the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the measures and actions by global health experts and government officials, including the declaration by the World Health Organization of the COVID-19 pandemic. In these circumstances, many countries started to suspend schools, closed borders, and enforced strict quarantine measures. In response to the pandemic, AFS Partners networkwide implemented a coordinated plan to bring home the participants where possible and safe. AFS continued to provide all program support and services to those participants that remained under the care of the host family. AFS did everything it can to ensure that participants who were sick did not travel. This meant complying with mandatory temperature checks and other health screenings enforced by local governments.

I am extremely proud to have such a wonderful, loving, supportive, empathetic and amazing AFS Family - THANK YOU. Each and everyone has done incredible work with quick action and precision to ensure safety and support for all our students Hosted students and the Indian students on exchange programs abroad. It was a time when the whole AFS Family came together towards working as One AFS. -- Divya Arora, National Director, AFS India

AFS strongly believes it was in the best interest of AFS participants to be back with their families in their home countries. Return travel plans were finalised after considering the official information from reliable sources, like the World Health Organization and national governments, as well as the urgency and safety of moving our participants. AFS staff and volunteers remained in all countries and cities, and were available to assist all the participants. As leaders in global intercultural education, we know first-hand the transformative nature of the full exchange experience for participants, families and volunteers. It saddens us to have brought these experiences to an early end. We were committed to sound prevention practices, before and after our participants’ return.

AFS India’s Response to COVID-19 In response to the pandemic, AFS India Crisis Team worked on implementation of hosting and sending students’ evacuation. After strategizing, a well-coordinated plan was executed as per our risk management policy. The staff members along with the committed volunteers and member schools worked round-the-clock from their homes to ensure the safety and security of the participants during such challenging times. An overhaul of organizational strategy, re-designing of the programs, heightened risk management measures and innovation with agility was adapted to suit the new normal. GCC Special edition for students whose programs were disrupted in March 2020 were conducted engaging 7 India’s Qualified facilitators. In this special editin at the end of whoch participants also received a special GCC Certificate, 80 Indian students participated.


Departure of Hosted Students from India With the tremendous and continued support of volunteers pan-India, AFS India was able to pull off a well-coordinated and consolidated evacuation plan of the students hosted in India. Some quick points on the amazing feat achieved by chapter volunteers, host families and host school ensuring seamless departures of hosted students -------

FRRO Exit Process: The exit document that the students need before they leave India (it typically takes 1 week in normal circumstances). Our volunteers at the local chapter worked hard on getting the FRRO Exit within half-a-day. Health Letter Provision: This was an additional document provided to students to mitigate the chances of them getting questioned at any airport. Preventive Measures: Students were instructed to carry Masks and Sanitizers with them, and wear the masks at all times. Host Family & School Support: We’re thankful and grateful to all the host families and school for providing tremendous support towards preparing the students emotionally to go back home. Farewells: Virtual goodbyes and thank you’s done by hosted students to avoid exposure. Logistics: Giving support and making flight arrangements in a way where the students didn’t have to change terminals that helped in minimising the exposure.

We very proudly share that out of 44 hosted participants in India departed safely and reached their natural families.

Arrival of the Indian Students We worked round the clock to bring our Indian Students back from various Countries. Throughout each step, we kept the Indian Students, Natural Families and the Schools in India in the loop so that they were aware of the process and the developments. To make this happen, our plan of action was: --





Travel Advisory and Recommendations for International Traffic: Checked the travel advisory shared by Partners, Indian Government Officials and Embassies evaluated if it’s safe to bring our students back home. We had also ensured to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization’s website for updated on outspread of COVID-19 Partner Communication: We moved to work with Partners to get the international tickets booked for our Indian Students. The tickets were approved by Host Families as well because they were needed to be able to drop the students to the airport because of travel restrictions in the host countries. Domestic Ticket: As needed, we then booked domestic travel for our participants after confirming the same with the Natural Parents. Natural Parents were updated about each and every step constantly and periodically. Follow-up: When the Indian Students departed from their host country, we kept following up with the Indian Students to give us update of where they had reached, if they were healthy, the screening at the airport, security, etc. The follow-up happened before, during and after the travel. Arrival: Once the students arrived in India to their natural parents, we shared a best practice e-mail where we urged the Indian Participants and Natural Families to self-quarantine the students for their own safety. We kept checking with them on a daily basis. Our aim herewas to create awareness and minimise the risks.

We successfully brought back 79 participants safely and returned to their families.


AFS Mission AFS is an international, voluntary, non-governmental, nonprofit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. AFS enables people to act as responsible global citizens, working for peace and understanding in a diverse world.

AFS Values AFS enables people to act as responsible global citizens working for peace and understanding in a diverse world. It acknowledges that peace is a dynamic concept threatened by injustice, inequity, and intolerance. AFS seeks to affirm faith in the dignity and worth of every human being and of all nations and cultures. It encourages respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to race, sex, language, religion or social status. AFS activities are based on our core values of dignity, respect for differences, harmony, sensitivity and tolerance.

Designed by Aadil F. Learn more about AFS at Be inspired by our history at india.afs. org/afs-timeline/ Connect with us at:

AFS Intercultural Programs India 908 9th Floor Arunachal Building 19 Barakhamba Road New Delhi - 110001 Contact: +91-8586-925-582, +91-8586-925-127, +91-7827-285-463 |

AFS Supports Global Goals

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.