AFS India Newsletter | December 2018

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December 2018 | Issue XII

AFS Intercultural Programs India


Your source to stay up to date with AFS Intercultural Programs India’s activities, events & opportunities |

A world-class intercultural educational organization; a global movement to develop and activate global citizens


Discover new things about yourself and find your place in the world by going abroad.


Join a Global community of changemakers & serve a change agent in your community.

AFS Intercultural Programs India is an international, voluntary, nongovernmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.

Upcoming Events February HOSTHOST AN AFSer Experience your world through the eyes of a young person from another country.


Implement AFS Intercultural Learning Programs at your school for your students & educators.

- Annual Presidents, Board & Staff Meeting - National Community Service Project 2019

Editorial by Aadil F. The Best of 2018 Wishing you all a happy and prosperous new year 2019! 2018 has been a year of collaboration, engagement, association, partnerships and paving a way forward to build a more inclusive and diverse India. Last year, with new innovation and strategies, we refocused our commitment towards creating opportunities for our volunteers, schools, alumni students etc. to advance our mission by doing events, programs & activities. Amongst all the developments, it is important to highlight a few: AFS India’s initiative to raise funds for scholarships for the underserved via Garba for Global Peace event; celebrations of YES 15th Anniversary by doing a domestic exchange program titled Discovering Through Experience; providing training to over 700 students via Effect+ Workshop to advance the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); educators participating in AFS Global Conference 2018; and sending 80 students on JENESYS Program. AFS India also created platforms to build leaders for tomorrow by implementing Leadership Development Program & Thriving 30 where they brought staunch & resilient supporters of AFS together to work on areas of action such as programs, volunteerism, education and advocacy. Each of the engagement designed and implemented by AFS India created impact by expanding access to intercultural education, developing active global citizens and globalizing schools and institutions. Through all our activities, workshops, training & programs, we aspire to embrace differences and propagate the philosophy of learning-to-live-together. Whether it’s via creating an opportunity to engage volunteers to give back to the community or providing a platform so that alumni can act as an agent of change or creating right tools & training to advance global competency or globalizing schools via membership opportunities or engaging in the fundraising opportunities to further the vision of AFS India: to serve the underserved. A year full of engagement and commitment has only been possible because of our volunteers & partners. They are always ready to contribute their time and energy to further AFS’s values and mission. Reflecting back on the year 2018, it’s important to see how AFS India impacted the participants, students, volunteers, schools and other stakeholders in their own words. Here’s to #AFSeffect and our mission to build a just and peaceful world: “AFS creates change. I wasn’t much into volunteering or even imagined giving back to the community, but with AFS and its activities, I’ve realized the importance of giving back by being part of the community service” – Volunteer “I am a mother of three daughters from France, Germany and Italy. How many people do you know who have three daughters in different parts of the world? AFS has given that to me. I’ve a family beyond India, and they call me “Amma”” – Host Mother “What I should do as alumni is to give back to the community while working towards the mission of the organization [with Thriving 30]. At the same time, I want to inspire other volunteers to do the same. These actions need not be huge but it can also be as little as to 2

Aadil F. Chief Marketing and Development Officer AFS Intercultural Programs India ensure that all the volunteers are engaged and are not clueless about their roles in the chapter.” – Member, Thriving 30 “I learned that being a leader doesn’t mean that your ideas and opinions are better than anyone else’s. Being a leader means taking into consideration all opinions and creating them into one. I also learned how other people living under different circumstances think and it quite helped me to broaden my perspective.” Member, Leadership Development Program “These activities left a remarkable impression on the children. They learnt to share and care, to be socially responsible, to love their environment and, above all, universal brotherhood.” Educator on Global Youth Service Day Celebration “India is for me a kind of wonder you must see by your own eyes. And I still believe in it, every day I just walk around with my eyes wide open and feel the atmosphere here.” Participant, Sentio (18+) Program “For every person you meet, with every interaction we have with people, there are take-aways. Sometimes we can get too comfortable in our own world. The Domestic Exchange Program brought this new experience to us.” – Student, Domestic Exchange Program: Discovering Through Experience “A year away from home taught me valuable life experiences. I discovered myself and became confident. I have a lot more respect and pride for my country, India.” – YES Returnee “The conference broadened my understanding of intercultural learning and its importance in today’s classrooms. It also helped me look at the gaps that schools in India have to fill in order to be one with other nations, culturally.” – Participant, Educator Program


Level W Training in Nashik | What Every AFSer Should Know about Intercultural Learning Level W offers participants the opportunity to share an intercultural encounter that they have experienced in the past and reflect on ways in which intercultural learning could have helped them in that situation. They also get to explore with which cultural groups they identify, including some of the stereotypes and assumptions about those groups. On 28 January 2018, 24 volunteers attended Level W training in Nashik. The trainers of AFS India took the training.


January AFS Regional Class Exchange between Amity International School, Mayur Vihar (Sending) and Chettinad Public School, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu (Hosting)

Winter Academy on Intercultural Competence, Germany Vibhooti Maldhari, Volunteer from Rajkot, attended The Winter Academy on Intercultural Competence in Bremen, Germany from 15th to 26th Jan 2018. There were total 30 participants participating in the academy. The Winter Academy on Intercultural Competence not only imparted theoretical frameworks regarding intercultural learning, but also practical competencies and knowledge, that enabled participants to work as intercultural trainers themselves in the future.

Amity International School, Mayur Vihar and Chettinad Public School, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu participated in Regional Class Exchange from January 21 to January 27, 2018. A team of 9 students and 2 teachers were part of the same. The theme of the exchange was “Connecting and Collaborating the Culture and Heritage of Chettinad and Delhi� covering the culture, history, art and architecture and cuisine of the Chettinad region.


January - February


AFS Regional Class Exchange Program Between Rajmata Krishna Kumari Girls’ Public School, Jodhpur, Rajasthan (Hosting) and Vantage Hall, Dehradun (Sending)

Exhibition to Promote AFS Programs AFS Ahmedabad chapter was invited to participate with Table space to promote AFS Programs. 3 volunteers (Swetal Gajjar, Parul Patel, Hitesh Chandrani) & Ashish Kalal (AFS India Staff) were at school for this activity (Utpal Pathak joined later). The show was for school students and their parents. They were informed individually about AFS activities.

A team of 15 students from Vantage Hall Girls’ Residential, Dehradun escorted by Nirmala Khatri visited RKK from 28th January to 5th February 2018 under the aegis of AFS Regional Class Exchange Program.

February Presidents & Board Members Meeting 2018 Presidents and Board Members Meet took place in New Delhi from 11th to 13th February, 2018 where 14 Presidents and 9 Board Members came together to discuss strategies and plan of action for the year of 2018.

Learning | Building Deeper Relationships, Training Capsule II: Conflict Transformation, P2P between Presidents & Staff, 15th YES Anniversary & it’s Importance and Visibility of AFS India.

During the three day meet, various sessions were conducted to update, inform and share new updates with everyone. These are: Highlights of 2017, Network Strategy & Alignment with AFS India, 1 to 1 Meeting with Board Members & Presidents, New Programs, Training Capsule I: Intercultural

Board Chairperson, Board Members & National Director each appreciated the Presidents & talked about the hard work they are putting in chapter and how their advancement can help AFS be a leader in volunteerism.



March Level W Training in Ahmedabad What Every AFSer Should Know About Intercultural Learning

AFS Alumni Invited As A Speaker at TEDxNUV Talk Aadil Fahim, AFS-YES Alumni from 2007-08 batch; Manager - Communications, Branding & Volunteer Development, AFS India was invited as a speaker at TEDxNUV, an independently organised TED event on 25 March 2018 in Navrachana University. The topic of the talk was “Are we educating Peace?”

Level W training in Ahmedabad took place on 15th April 2018 with 35 volunteers participating. AFS India trainers conducted the training. Ms. Vibhooti Maldhari who attended Winter Academy Training in Breman for ICL also came to share her experiences & learnings.

March YES Alumni Social Entrepreneur Changemakers Workshop John Mota (YES’13), volunteer from Hyderabad attended YES Alumni Social Entrepreneur Changemakers Workshop conducted in Alexandria, VA from 19-22 March 2018. The main goal of this workshop was to create a change making project/venture and to craft a plan to achieve the desired outcomes.

April Annual Hosting Trip to Rajasthan for Hosting Batch 2017-18 AFS India conducted Annual Hosting Trip to Rajasthan as an optional activity for 37 Host participants along with 4 staff members. Rajasthan is considered as a prominent tourist destination for its different exotic desert safaris & colorful sightseeing destinations. The main objective of the trip was to help hosted students have a culturally immersive experience during their visit to Rajasthan. Scholarships were provided to three winners who shared their excellence in creating 30 seconds video on International Women’s Day.




End of Stay Orientation for Hosting Batch 2017-18

International Class Exchange between Fenestra, Private Art School, St. Petersburg, Russia and The Emerald Heights International School, Indore, India

The End of Stay Orientation was successfully conducted from 7th to 9th April 2018 in New Delhi. The focus of the Orientation was mainly towards preparing the participants for their return to their respective countries.

A group of 18 students and 3 teachers from Fenestra, Private Art School, St. Petersburg visited Emerald Heights International School under AFS India International Class Exchange Program. During the program, the students and the teachers were taken to historical places around Indore such as Mandu and Maheshwar. The group also visited Bhopal the capital of Madhya Pradesh and visited Sanchi Stupas. The school had also arranged a trip for them to Agra to see the Taj, which was a dream come true for them.

For students, this becomes a common vantage point to join the dots of their exchange from the beginning and end of the journey. Overall, 49 Host participants attended the orientation, along with 04 facilitators and the Hosting Team of AFS India

April Domestic Exchange Program: Discovering Through Experience An initiative to celebrate 15th Anniversary of YES Program The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange Program (YES) was founded with the understanding that there is a pressing need to empower the youth to become ambassadors of goodwill through establishing non-violent methods for peace, to counter prejudice and discrimination through intercultural understanding, and to become leaders that advances volunteerism and citizen responsibility. With focus on celebrating the 15th anniversary of YES Program, AFS Intercultural Programs India in partnership with DLF Public School, Sahibabad and Delhi Public School, Srinagar conducted a Domestic Exchange Program, ‘Discovering Through Experience’ from 3rd to 11th April 2018.



Principals Meet in Jammu & Chandigarh AFS India Principals Meet took place in Chandigarh on 17th April 2018 and in Jammu on 19th April 2018 respectively. In connection with the AFS membership drive, Dr. Sumer Singh, Chair -- AFS India Board member had organized Principals Meet at Strawberry Field High School Chandigarh which was hosted by Atul Khanna and at Heritage School Jammu which was hosted by Sunita Gupta, the Chairperson of Heritage School. Principals, Directors and representatives of 10 schools attended in Chandigarh while Principals and representatives of 15 schools attended in Jammu.

April Global Youth Service Day 2018 | Small Steps Big Difference The theme of this year GYSD Project was about building your community by taking small steps to make a big difference. All our wonderful participants worked towards creating a stronger bond. All participants proved that if we look after each other and care for our community, we’d create a world of understanding, care and love. In total 2360 participants, 2243 students from 9 schools and 117 volunteers from 16 chapters were part of the GYSD celebrations.


April Regional Class Exchange Between Queens College, Indore and Sunbeam School Lahartara (Date- 7th April - 13th April) A team of 9 girls with 1 teacher from Sunbeam School Lahartara reached Indore on 7th April 2018 under AFS India Regional Class Exchange Program.

Regional Class Exchange Between Rajmata Krishna Kumari Girls Public School, Jodhpur and Yadavindra Public School, Patiala (Date 20th to 30th April 2018) A team of 15 students from RKK with their teacher Mrs Neha Nautiyal visited Yadavindra Public School, Patiala for AFS Regional Class Exchange Program from 20th to 30th April 2018.


International Volunteer Exchange Program to Czech Republic With the aim of developing intercultural friendship, explore culture and creating better bonds between the countries, International Volunteer Exchange Program to Czech Republic took place between 12th to 26th May 2018. A group of six volunteers from Mumbai and Pune participated in the same. We appreciate AFS Czech Republic for being a great host.

May International Class Exchange Program


• Between Global City International School, Bangalore and Gymnasia 46, Russia from 21st April to 6th May 2018 | 8 Students and 2 Educators went on the program • Between Chettinad Public School and The State School, Bely Yar, Russia from 6th to 17th May 2018 | 4 Students and 1 Educator went on the program • DLF Public School with Schools around Cheboksary and Klin from 4th to 18th May 2018 | 10 Students and 2 Educators went on the program • The Shishukunj International School, Indore and Solnechny Secondary Compulsory School, Russia from 1st to 14th May 2018 | 10 Students and 2 Educators went on the program

Spectrum of Education VI | AFS Istanbul, Turkey Smita Chaudhary, Director-Internationalism, Mayo College Girls’ School, Ajmer participated in the Spectrum of Education VI in Instanbul, Turkey from 2nd May to 6th May 2018. The Conference aimed at enlightening and training the teachers in global citizenship competency that could further help them in preparing their students and colleagues for the same. The collective effort was also towards brainstorming and streamlining pedagogy for equipping individuals to become global citizens.


YES Re-Entry Orientation for 2017-18 Batch 33 YES students of the 2017-18 batch were welcomed at the Delhi airport on 9th June by AFS India staffs. All the students stayed till 11th June to be part of the YES Re-Entry orientation in New Delhi.



National Pre-Departure Orientation for 2018-19 Batch AFS Batch of 2018-19 came under one roof to attend a National Pre-Departure Orientation Camp in New Delhi from 18th to 21st June 2018 in New Delhi. The orientation was organized for 58 students going on the yearlong program. We sent participants to Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Russia, USA, Japan, France and Poland.


Moment of Pride for AFS Family On the occasion of Praveshotsav (22nd June), the honorable chief minister of Gujarat Shree Vijay Rupani and collector congratulated Sia, AFS Participant, for being selected to go on the program. Sia offered her regards by presenting them with a book.


AFS India obtains ISO 9001:2015 Quality Certification


July NSLI-Y Program Arrival Orientation for our Hosted Students 2018-19 Batch Arrival Orientation was conducted at National Level in Delhi for 49 participants from 15 countries. The orientation was from 3rd to 7th July 2018. The group had YES Abroad students, AFS core program students, Boarding School Programs students and student on Semester school Program.


19 participants arrived in India for the NSLI-Y 6 weeks long summer program on 1st July 2018. NSLI-Y is part of a U.S. government initiative that prepares American citizens to be leaders in a global world. Through this program, American students develop the necessary linguistic skills and cultural knowledge to promote international dialogue and support American engagement abroad. NSLI-Y aims to provide opportunities to American youth that will spark a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures.

June June-July

AFS India Leadership Development Program

With the aim of developing intentional leaders by giving them the right tools and techniques, AFS Intercultural Programs India facilitated the Leadership Development Program from 30th June to 2nd July 2018 in New Delhi. The pilot batch comprises of 18 participants who have been working closely with 5 mentors. They will graduate in 2019. The three-day program focused on providing an understanding and importance of Incomplete Leader. The base of the program was more on the learning they have had during the online course module before the live-event where the reflected on the concept of incomplete leader and its 4 attributes.

Sustainability Innovation Lab 2018 by Unleash Najmuzzaman Mohammad (YES’08), who is currently based in Bangalore participated in an event named Unleash Lab 2018 from 30th May to 6th June 2018 in Singapore which was an innovation lab where 1000 talents from more than 110 countries came together to build solutions aligned to the UN Sustainability Development Goals. He was a part of the “Quality Education” track and their team came up with an app that recommends parents of 3-5-year-olds experiential activities that they can do with their kids for their emotional and social development.

June - August July Effect+ Global Citizenship Education Workshop


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 700 plus students attended the workshops and started their journey to become global citizens. 10

STARTUP EDGE (the HandsOn Business Challenge) is a transformational competition designed to inspire young people to become innovative entrepreneurs and take their ideas to the next level. AFS India Member School, Emerald Heights International School, Indore, conducted STARTUP EDGE from 14th to 16th July 2018. The program went very well and it was well-received by the students and educators.

August Award by the Secretary of Gujarat Government AFS Gandhinagar Chapter President Dr. Varsha Parekh, who is also an assistant teacher of M B Patel English Medium Secondary and Higher Secondary School, was honoured with an award on 15 August, 2018 by the Secretary of Gujarat Government Mr. Sanjivkumar for anchoring in vivid activities and functions organized by the Gujarat State Government.

August Asia Kakehashi Project It gives us immense pleasure to share that AFS India sent the first batch of students for the prestigious Asia Kakehashi Project not just from India, but also from Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. AFS India partnered with other organization to recruit students from different countries. Our heartfelt gratitude to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) for this wonderful scholarship and opportunity to the students.


AFS Global Conference sets an agenda for global competence education worldwide AFS convened more than 450 leading educators, researchers, business leaders and policymakers to push for more global competence education at a time when “globalism” is under attack, and nationalism is on the rise. It was a proud moment for AFS India to have Mr. Rajesh Awasthi Principal, Choithram School, Indore conduct a workshop on ‘Innovative Strategies to Develop Global Competence at the School Level’ for delegates of different countries in AFS Global Conference 2018.

October Michele Peters Visit to India

September Principals’ Meet in Guwahati On 16th September 2018, a Principals’ Meet was organized at Maria’s Public School, Guwahati where 10+ School Heads from 10+ schools were part of the Meet.

Michele Peters, Branch Chief, Youth Programs Division, Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau, United States Department of State visited India in the month of October. Her visit led to interaction with host students who are on program funded by U.S. Department of State: NSLI-Y and YES Abroad. She interacted with host students and YES alumni in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kolkata and Indore. During her visit, she also met representatives from Schools and also showed her gratitude to host families.


October October - November Garba for Global Peace | AFS India Fundraising Initiative Garba for Global Peace, a mega national event of Gujarati culture and tradition towards a noble cause of promoting world peace, brought 45+ young AFS exchange students from around 15+ countries in the world including USA, Thailand, Italy, Germany, Japan, Spain, etc. and 200+ AFS well-wishers came together to celebrate and experience traditional Gujarati Garba including the ‘Dhol Style’. The event was presented by AFS Intercultural Programs India and hosted by Ahmedabad Chapter on 14th October 2018. AFS Ahmedabad Chapter organized a 3-day trip prior to the event for the hosted students where they experienced the culture of Gujarat, visited the city, enjoyed the cuisines and became part of the Gujarati family.

AFS Global Prep Rhode Island Short-Term Exchange Program to the USA AFS India sent 3 students on inaugral batch on Global Prep Rhode Island Program to the USA. All the students were equally excited for this unique journey of amazement.

Inaugural Principals’ Exchange to Italy The inaugural Exchange Program for Principals and School Heads with Italy from 17th-24th October 2018 witnessed several school visits and presentations. Principals shared best practices in themes including curriculum design and pedagogy. AFS India, in association with its Members Schools will be hosting the Italian Principals in April 2019. Participating educators: Amrita Burman, Sunbeam School Varanasi | Alpana Khound Phukan, Maria’s Public School, Guwahati | Meena Kak, Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, Kolkata | Dr. Mrignaini Khullar, DLF Public School, Sahibabad | Smita Rathore from Queens College, Indore | Ridhi Mulchandani from Queens College, Indore | Kiran Harika, British Co-Ed High School, Patiala, Punjab

October National Forum on Education for International Understanding and Roundtable AFS One Classroom Initiative, Beijing China The Education Forum was organised by China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) and AFS China from 16th-21st October in Beijing, China wherein we had Educators G R Ramesh, and Vallabhbhai Patel along with Board Members Joseph Kuok, Angela Roye(President, AFS Asia Pacific Initiative & Board Chairperson, AFS India) representing AFS India in the same. The convention offered an 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, educational program training for teachers and students, intercultural learning training programs. 12


November Conference | The Encounters That Change The World - 10 Years of Intercultural Exchanges For High School Students in Serbia

Volunteering in Hospital as part of AFS India Day Celebration

Zahra Rizvi, Delhi Chapter Volunteer, attended conference in Serbia, followed by Gala dinner, from 2nd to 4th November, 2018 to mark the tenth anniversary of Interkultura Serbia.

AFS India Day 2018


“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”—Winston Churchill To promote the spirit of united volunteerism and community service, we, at AFS India, celebrated AFS India Day on November 8 whereby we invited all the volunteers and host students to participate in the activities based upon wparticular themes. The themes for this year were, spreading awareness regarding voting or volunteering in a hospital. The volunteers could either choose one or both of the activities or plan to execute this in their chapter or school. The activity was supposed to close with a get together where all the volunteers could reconnect and have fun-filled celebrations. The campaign was open for the whole of November 2018.

Volunteering in Hospital as part of AFS India Day Celebration

The activity just didn’t restrict the volunteers to their chapters, but also, gave them an opportunity to work and interact with another chapter which they were assigned to work with. The activities were conducted across twenty-four chapters PAN India.

Voting Awareness Campaign


International Volunteer Day Celebration AFS India celebrates by recognizing the hard work and commitment of the volunteers by inviting them to celebrate International Volunteer Day. This year, volunteers in different chapters planned fun activity to celebrate International Volunteers Day such as having a get-together, watch a movie, have a picnic, go out of cultural immersive trip etc. In total 14 chapters celebrated International Volunteers Day pan-India. They also celebrated Christmas along with Volunteer Day.



JENESYS 2018 | 80 Young Cultural Ambassadors to Japan 80 high-potential youth from pan-India went under the prestigious JENESYS 2018 scholarship – short-term program, funded by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan went to Japan from 4th December to 12th December. The prestigious program is facilitated by AFS Intercultural Programs India. The young cultural ambassadors have further 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. 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.

Christmas & Volunteer Day Celebrations

Fun outing during Volunteer Day Celebration

Fun outing at Adventure Park Christmas & Volunteer Day Celebrations


Christmas & Volunteer Day Celebrations

Get-Together Lunch

Get-Together Dinner to celebrate Christmas & Volunteer Day

Community Service as part of the celebration


Volunteer Day Celebration

Wall Painting as part of the celebration 15

AFS Mission AFS Intercultural Programs is an international, voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit 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 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.

Edited & Designed by Aadil F. For any suggestions, or sharing stories or experiences, please write at Learn more about AFS at Be inspired by our history at Connect with us at:

AFS Intercultural Programs India Anand Bhawan, 12, Hailey Road, New Delhi - 110001 Office:+91-11-42512498/41501672/41540827 |

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