September 2019 Newsletter | AFS India

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

HOST AN AFSer Experience your world through the eyes of a young person from another country.

A world-class intercultural educa onal organiza on; a global movement to develop and ac vate global ci zens AFS Intercultural Programs India is an interna onal, voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organiza onthat provides intercultural learning opportuni es to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.

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

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

Newsletter Your source to stay up to date with AFS Intercultural Programs India’s ac vi es, events & opportuni es |


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Alumni Stories & YES Program


Editorial by Aadil F.



AFS Effect+ Workshops and ICL Educators' Training

10 11 Interna onal Volunteer Exchange To Malaysia & Volunteers Stories


AFS India Member Schools Meet


End of Stay Orienta on | Germany Reciprocal


18+ AFS Programs


12 Regional Volunteer Exchange To Nashik Chapter

Volunteer Think Tank | Second Mee ng, 13 14 15 Learning Module Chapter for Growth | Bangalore & Pune

& Community Service At Nashik, Kohlapur & Gandhinagar

How Is Teamwork A Transformational Practice? There is something enriching about working with people, a set of myriad brains and talents that bring life to an idea. Of course, the challenges are inevitable but overcoming the challenges that stray along working together is a sign of progress. As Charles Darwin said, “it is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effec vely have prevailed.” Having been at AFS India for the last decade, I have had the privilege of working as a volunteer, teammate, and a team leader, and this month’s editorial draws from my invaluable experiences at these various stages. At AFS India, right from the beginning, we encourage volunteers to work in teams and learn the ethics of teamwork by actually prac cing it. Undoubtedly, it turns out to be hard to crack the surface of the challenges at mes, but it also increases their opportuni es to grow and learn manifold. Ironically, the most charming and difficult part of a team is its diversity and dynamism. Each one in the team comes from a different cultural background, has different academic and professional experience, and a different set of values. Amidst all this, the success of the team, the project, and the individual lays on the indispensable set of ethics of teamwork, like: - Collec vely interpre ng team’s goals Many studies have found that this o en turned out to be one of the most conten ous issues while working together in teams. People coming from different backgrounds and experiences tend to interpret the team’s goals in their own ways, however this can be dealt with right at the brainstorming stage. The purpose of the project and the clear goals must be interpreted in the same colour and tone by each one in the team. - Learning to learn from each other One of the most posi ve traits that we can voluntarily imbibe while working in a team is to learn from each other, irrespec ve of our designa ons and roles. At AFS, we encourage every volunteer to express their interests in various departments and work with different people in different teams simultaneously, thus learning new skills from them and coming out with added skillsets. - Empathy Efficiency and empathy make the most desirable combina on. Especially in today’s world, while our brains rack the whole day, we need to put our hearts on exercise and sense emo ons that make us humans. Perform, observe, and empathize in every team and place you are a part of. - Acknowledge diverse opinions In a team, there will never be a dearth of opinions on anything. It ma ers to put your opinion on the table as much as it ma ers to respect when others put theirs. The process of decision-making should not be bound by the compe on in looking at whose opinion won or lost, it largely depends on widening our own horizons and suppor ng the most pragma c opinion post a healthy team discussion measuring the pros and cons. - Transparency In decision-making or work rela onships, it is of excessive importance to prac ce and value transparency. While working in teams, transparency can pump in immense trust and security at every stage, symbolising significant progress within the team. Transparency accompanied by humility, accountability, and honesty can build a team with a solid founda on. We all strive for personal and professional milestones in our lives. Being part of a team can build a strong sense of confidence and self-esteem, create an atmosphere of healthy compe on, and create strong working rela onships that support us to be a be er version of our own self. Page 02 | September 2019 | Newsle er | AFS India

Photo Above: Group Photo During Training

Intercultural Learning | Educa on AFS Effect+ Workshops and ICL Educators' Training

#InterculturalLearning AFS Effect+ and ICL Educators’ Training workshops were organised in the months of August 31st to September 1st 2019. - Springfields Word School (Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh) This supports the global movement to advance intercultural learning and global ci zenship educa on and AFS's mission to create CHANGEMAKERS! The workshops were duly facilitated by Ms. Sarita Badhwar for about 40 students and 17 teachers. The Effect+ workshop received posi ve feedback and was enjoyed by the students. It made them understand how important it is to be Changemakers.

Addressing the Students

The ICL training was very well received by the teachers and engaged the teachers meaningfully. The following schools were also in the trainings: - Medi-Cap Interna onal School (Indore) - St. Raphel Hr. Sr. Secondary School (Indore)

Engaging the Educators

Effect+ workshops uses interac ve learning methods to teach students how they can advance the United Na on’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 communi es. This supports the global movement to advance intercultural learning and global ci zenship educa on and AFS’s role in it.

During the Presenta on

Page 03 | September 2019 | Newsle er | AFS India

Photo: Group Photo During AFS India School Principals’ Meet

School | Educa on AFS India Member Schools Meet

#MemberSchool #Education 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 ins tu ons to ideate for maximizing impact.

It was a ended by 48 Principals and Directors of the AFS Member Schools from 5 different regions of India. The meet featured discussions, presenta ons, expert sessions, networking to advance our 3 impact goals: develop ac ve global ci zens, globalize schools & ins tu ons and expand access to intercultural educa on.

Ligh ng of The Lamp

Welcoming the par cipants by HPS Begumpet

AFS India Na onal Director introducing AFS Team to the par cipants

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Par cipants A ending The Principals’ Meet

Dance Performance by student

Keynote By Dr. Sumer Singh

The meet entailed the following sessions: - The keynote by Dr. Sumer Singh about AFS, its network and the ini a on of AFS programs. Dr. Singh encouraged the Principals and Directors to choose AFS to send students abroad on exchange programs. He emphasized how AFS has a strong network and how the volunteer-based organiza ons provide excellent support and risk management compared to any other organiza ons in India. - Followed by a presenta on on AFS as a Brand, its existence, programs AFS offers, its risk management, and strong support system, fees structure, the benefits, components of intercultural learning, orienta ons, etc. Through this presenta on, the aim was to create awareness of AFS as a brand. Directors and Principals were given a background of the mission of AFS, the brand a ributes we stand for and how AFS's Study Abroad experiences are unique and different and has educa onal curriculum a ached to it.

- Directors and Principals used the pla orm to have a Regional Mee ng to strategize on how they can help in expanding access to intercultural educa on in various regions of India. The regional mee ng was facilitated by Mr. Jayant Lal also focused on the expecta ons of the member schools in terms of AFS programs and the opportuni es schools are interested in. - An expert session by Mr. Sambhav Srivastava, Under Secretary, (Evalua on) Retd., Associa on of Indian Universi es talked about AIU, its incep on, role of evalua on department, structure of higher educa on in India, equivalence of degrees authorized Indian agencies, latest policy, school level qualifica on, +2 level qualifica ons in other countries, procedure to apply for equivalence of qualifica ons and so on. (The Evalua on Division of AIU issues the Equivalence Cer ficate to students with foreign qualifica ons to facilitate their admission in India)

Networking during tea me

Forum for Idea on

Regional Mee ng Facilitated By Mr. Jayant Lal

Presenta on by AFS Team

Ques on & Answer Session

Sharing of Best Prac ces in Schools

Expert Session By Mr. Sambhav Srivastava

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- AFS Study Abroad Resource Center was shared with the a endees which brought clarity on how resource center can help anyone get complete informa on on AFS Programs, BeneďŹ ts, Fees Structure, Des na ons, Scholarships, etc. A endees were encouraged to share the same with their School Representa ves so that promo on of AFS can be done with much awareness. - Unlocking Alumni Success Stories Through Technology was another session facilitated by the representa ves of Univariety. Univariety is India's foremost Career Counselling, Guidance, and College Planning pla orm.

- Principals and Directors shared their experiences of being involved with AFS. They spoke about Principals' Meet and how it has helped them have a be er understanding of AFS and its programs, and how they look forward to advancing AFS's mission in India. The meet ended by felicita ng the Principals and Head of the schools with the memento as becoming an AFS Member School. We’re thankful to Mr. Skand Bali, Principal of The Hyderabad Public School to co-host the Principals' Meet 2019 in their school. We look forward to hos ng such meets in the future to maximize AFS's impact in India.

Opportunity sharing for AFS Member Schools

Regional Mee ng by West Schools

Sharing of Idea for AFS Cultural Fest

Regional Mee ng by North Schools

Regional Mee ng by South Schools

Extending Gra tude to the Guest Speaker

Felicitated by AFS India Member School Memento

Page 06 | September 2019 | Newsle er | AFS India

Announcement for Regional Program in East

Orienta on End of Stay Orientation | Germany Reciprocal

#EndofStayOrientation Three high school students Germany, spent their three months in two different ci es of India. As these students depart from India, AFS India conducted their End of Stay Orienta on on 5th September 2019. The ethos behind this orienta on was to help these students, to stop and reflect on their learnings, experiences, and journey in these three months. The students were asked to take a few moments and share insights of their exchange program. It was deligh ul to know these young teenagers, coming from Germany, leave behind their comfort zones to experience another part of the world, which is so culturally, tradi onally, linguis cally diverse. It was also intriguing to know the values they have gained, and things that they had to unlearn, to connect and live with people they never knew. These students summed it up so beau fully, that they said, “Being away for three months and living in a completely different world has taught us a lot of things. We have grown and changed in our perspec ves in ways we never would have imagined."

18+ AFS Programs Teacher Exchange Program By Julieta Kachizky, Argen na, Hosted in Suchitra Academy, Hyderabad

They could now say that they are open to new ideas, they can now be er understand their family and friends and feel more confident about themselves. Having their own cultural experience has proven to them that anything is possible and how choosing to go out and discover what the world has in store for them was life-changing and will be something they will always cherish

Group Photo: During End of Stay Orienta on

running saying “hola” it was a really heartwarming moment, she is a Suchitran from KG, when I was speaking with her mother she told me by the me the li le one arrived from the school she was saying “hola” and telling her family about her Argen nean teacher.”

#InternationalClassExchange “In my first week in India in September 2019, I was invited to a wedding. I wore an Anarkali dress that Sujana and Rashmee (Teachers in Suchitra School) helped me to find and match with meenakari earrings. It was a lovely evening, very nice for le ng me be part of such nice celebra on. Also, in my first week at school, I have been able to walk around the wonderful campus and speak with the students, they came to me asking a lot: regarding about our food, our culture, our music, they want to learn how to speak Spanish. It is heartwarming to see all the kids coming to you, saying Ma'am and namaste in the most respec ul way. These are my first days in India, and I am already in love with it. On Friday 20th September 2019, we went with Anne (Suchitra School Teacher) and her daughter Tamara to Secunderabad Club for a music program where the band 'Best Kept Secret' from Bangalore performed. We enjoyed the lovely evening, ea ng pani puris and listening to the boys playing tribute to bands such as Coldplay and The Police. By the me we were leaving the club one li le girl came

Interac on with Students

First Day in School | Introduc on

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Group Photo: Parita Patel with her Host Family

Photo: Yashodhan Shende during Exchange Program

Alumni Stories Once You Have Been On An Exchange, You Don't Stop Being A Global Citizen By Parita Patel | YES’15 Alumni from Anand

#YESAlumni “My exchange year has helped me in ways I never even imagined it would. Even now, 3 years a er my exchange year, I s ll cherish every moment of it and every me I see a student go on exchange, a part of me yearns to relive mine. An exchange year is that something amazing which makes you realize how li le you are in the grand scheme of things and how lucky you are to be a part of this huge society – something immensely diverse, surprisingly dynamic, everchanging throughout the centuries and yet inherently beau ful. If anyone is given the opportunity to go on an exchange, I feel that they should take it, like I did. I feel that nowadays Indian Youth is more career focussed. They might be hesitant to go on an exchange because they feel it will waste precious me which they could further use in their academics. I have a different viewpoint which I would like to share - You know, before making a big leap, we take a small step back. I see exchange year as that step back, as that stepping stone. Yes, I had to redo an year a er I came back. But because I went on the exchange, I learned skills like selfawareness, confidence, people skills, perseverance and the a tude that come what may I will face it. Once you have been on an exchange, you don't stop being a Global Ci zen. You are exposed to a plethora of opportuni es that increase your interac on with people of other cultures and your own society. This contributes to your personal development throughout your life, if you let it. Even if you don't, the lessons you take away from a single year provide valuable guidance years a er your exchange. Therefore, I would definitely recommend going on an exchange to everyone. The important thing is mindset here, the exchange year is what you make it to be. If you're open to learning, it definitely will be an amazing experience.” Page 08 | September 2019 | Newsle er | AFS India

Alumni Stories Volunteer - “It Has So Much To Offer” By Yashodhan Shende | YES'14 Alumni from Pune

#YESAlumni “When I returned back in 2013 from my YES exchange year, I had no idea how much experience and skills I was going to gain while volunteering with AFS Intercultural Programs India and the KL-YES Network. 6 years down the line, I have gained and s ll gaining so many new experiences and skills as an AFS Alumnus. Now, volunteering as the AFS Pune Chapter President, I learn so many new skills every day that I can't keep a count of. From managing YES Discovery Day, while not being there physically, to planning the chapter ac vi es for 3 months at a stretch, I believe had I not volunteered with AFS India, I would not be able to do the same. O en, par cipants believe that they have got a complete experience of being a global ambassador once their exchange year is over. But, that is not the truth. You grow and keep growing when you volunteer with an organiza on such as AFS. AFS provides you with not only a great experience and an amazing leadership skillset, but also a great network of people and more importantly a good amount of lifelong friendships. To summarize my short but sweet six year volunteering experience with AFS Network, I believe AFS taught me a plethora of things – Leadership, Empathy, Social & Global Commitment, Change making and a lot more which cannot be expressed in words. To all those fresh alumni and those who have not been ac ve in the network, I would take this opportunity to really request all of you to take the first step and volunteer with the network because it has so much to offer you that you will be le spellbound. Thank you AFS for providing me with such great experiences, skill sets and moreover lifelong rela onships that I will cherish forever. Thank you.”

Group Photo: Jiya Bahar with Her Host Family

YES Program The Most Memorable Birthday of My Life! By Jiya Bahar | YES’2019-20 From Guwaha Photo: Hitesh Meharchandani During His Exchagne Program

Alumni Stories When Expectations Become Reality By Hitesh Meharchandani | 2018-19 Alumni From Gandhinagar

#AFSFrance “Before leaving for my exchange to France, AFS Staff has made me write a le er of expecta ons before I le . When I read this le er a er an year, it brought tears of happiness. I expected my personality to change for be er and it really did. I am now much independent and confident individual. My maturity levels are high and I now understand things be er. Hunger for knowledge is the best thing that happened to me through this exchange. I may have never learnt things in India which I learnt in France. The experience this exchange year gave me is something that cannot be explained in words. I would recommend other young person's to go on an Exchange year program as Interna onal learning and knowledge propels students towards acceptance and understanding of an array of different cultural and community perspec ves, it enhances one's interest in global issues as well as a broader general knowledge apart from just making one learn a new language.

#KLYES “It's been more than a month in the United States now, and it s ll feels so surreal. Its s ll hard to believe that I could make it this far and now it's a new life and culture. When I landed in Sea le, my host family was wai ng for me with a extremely huge beau ful poster and welcomed me with warm hugs and smiles. Pre y soon a er my arrival I celebrated my 17th birthday with them. It was my first birthday away from home, yet they made me feel like home. Each day I learn a li le more about my own country and culture. It is Amazing to see how beau fully different we humans are and yet to bonded and close to each other. I am cherishing each and every day since the me I have landed.”

Group Photo: During Her Birthday Celebra on

If a young goes to an exchange program, his level of thinking and Ideas might get enhanced as one has explore and see the world through his eyes. We could become Big thinker by believing in our ideas, learning by experiencing, being determined.” My message for Indian Youth would be: -

Believe that you are special but don't show that you are. Travel when you get the chance Respect your parents and be nice to them. Do not be afraid to be different and sharing your ideas. Think before you speak.

Group Photo: Enjoying with Friends During Her Exchange Program

Page 09 | September 2019 | Newsle er | AFS India

Photo Above: Volunteers In Malaysia

Volunteerism International Volunteer Exchange To Malaysia

#Malaysia Mesmerizing Malaysia By Shikha Jain, Volunteer, Bangalore Chapter “What can you ask from a volunteer exchange program? Experience, Cultural Exposure, learning about people and their way of living, Food, Lifestyle and so on. It was a holis c experience which gave us an insight on Malaysian people, culture, food and customs of Malaysia – A true AFS experience. Ipoh is a town with beau ful cityscapes, flanked with towering white cliffs with magnificent temples pocketed in the limestone. It is a peaceful town unlike KL and one could feel the warmth of Malay culture here.

associated with AFS. We visited the Rehabilita on center, Persatuan Pemulihan Dalam Komuni Buntong where we were amazed to see the energy and selflessness of the trustees and volunteers who are working with the people of special needs. It was such an experience to see the greatness of these pure souls.”

Volunteer to create change Join a movement of ac ve ci zens helping people and communi es learn to live together.

The fun we had together will always be cherished for years. I'm so thrilled and geared up again for many more volunteering work

Group Photo: AFS Perak Chapter welcoming AFS India Volunteers

Group Photo: Visit to SMK Dato' Panglima Perang Kiri, Tapah

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Group Photo: During School Visit in Tapah Town

New Culture Exploration Through International Exchange

Outset of Motivation

By Shivaji Shinde, President, Nashik Chapter

By Mrs. & Mr. Kanak Pathak, Volunteer, Vadodara Chapter

“I did not know where I was going, but I was already on my way. New people, new lifestyle, new food, new thinking, to a totally different culture. Staying in India and a country which is roof to every religion and every human, I never no ced it. But during this exchange unknowingly I was surprised to see this Unity in diversity. And second impac ul thing was every ci zen following all traffic rules and regula ons which was applaudable. People would follow the traffic signal even at 5 a.m. In all my experience was memorable and full of happiness.”

“At the outset, we would like to thank AFS India to give us a wonderful opportunity to par cipate in Volunteer Exchange program to Malaysia with spouse. The Educa on system here has been well organised and we were surprised to know that this school has been a Government school and has been provided with all equipment and facility need to the students. Every classroom were well decorated and hygienic. The atmosphere was such that mo vated to study.”

Group Photo: Temple Visit

Group Photo: Volunteers At Ipoh

Transmitters of Culture

An Amazing Experience

By Seema Sheikh, Volunteer, Mumbai Chapter

By Santosh Gaikwad, Volunteer, Nashik Chapter

“It was an edifying experience that gave us a first hand experience of intercultural learning and also made us reflect on our own prac ces. My wishes are all keeping in mind the growth of AFS as an organisa on and the impact that we as transmi ers of culture create on the rest of the world.”

“The program was very amazing. I got to know many new things. Malaysia is very clean and beau ful country. The new things I got to know is that all the schools in malaysia are Government schools. The overall program was very nice.”

Volunteers Stories When You Make Others Feel Better By Anjali Vishwakarma, Volunteer, Nashik Chapter

#AFSEffect “It has been said that giving one's me to others is the best gi one can give, but as per my point of view, we receive more than what we contribute towards the others. As of today's reality, nobody wants to do anything if they are not paid for that or they don't receive any benefits from it. One should understand, life is short and we all will die someday, so the me that we spend in helping others is very important. Time can be seen, to some people, as being more valuable than anything else. When I became a volunteer with the AFS Intercultural programs, India (Nashik Chapter), many people appreciated me for that wonderful work that I used to do but at the same me, some people were not happy with my decision. “What would do you get out of it?, Do you know you will be not paid for that and there would be a wastage of me and effort that you would put into this”. Even my family members were against my decision but somehow I convinced them and I stood by my decision. They ques oned me and made me rethink this decision of mine. I started thinking about that and began to search for answers to those ques ons. I started interac ng with my peer volunteers and very soon I realized that each and every volunteer was so much involved in doing their best to contribute towards the vision and mission of the chapter. Be it any ac vity, from planning the community service ac vi es to helping the Pulwama a acks to

Anjali Vishwakarma with her Daughter

host the students and le ng them know the cultural importance and tradi onal history of the city and country, approaching the new schools, and the host families, everyone did their best. A er seeing the spirit of people, I found my answer that “When you make others feel be er, and give them affec on and a en on– it makes YOU feel be er” Working with them I found some changes in my life also. It helped me in developing social and technical skills, making new friends, it built confidence in me, reduced my stress and it helped me forget about my own problems for a while because I had to concentrate on other events. As with any endeavor where people come together for a common goal – creates the feeling of ownership among other volunteers, like they are part of something bigger than themselves, part of a team where the individuals only make up a whole. So now I definitely believe in doing the best for my community and I believe that when the world will change, at that me people will understand your commitment towards the work that you've been doing.” Page 11 | September 2019 | Newsle er | AFS India

Volunteerism Regional Volunteer Exchange To Nashik Chapter

#Nashik 6 volunteers from Anand, Delhi & Chennai were selected for the Regional Volunteer Exchange Program to Nashik. The program was very successful. Nashik chapter has gone an extra mile in giving the volunteers a great Regional Exchange experience. We extend our hear elt thanks to volunteers and the host families of Nashik Chapter for such a wonderful exchange. The rich cultural vibes were spread during the 'Ganpa Fes val' while they stayed.


The most heart touching thing and a learning from this was the bonding between families as well as between family members. Everyday conversa on with my host family took me to many new doors which I had never thought of. Before going there I had a totally opposite thinking about their culture. On my return I can surely tell that I have my own 10 families in Nashik. The exchange was only for a week but memories would be for life me and bonding with the host families are forever. Lastly, the exchange was full of joy, learning and memories. - By Pranav Mistry, Volunteer From Anand Chapter

Group Photo: Welcome Party organized by Nashik Chapter

“ “ “

I am impressed by how Nashik people accept their culture proudly even in public places. She learnt how one can embrace dissimilari es and be open enough to accept them easily. - By Vinod Choudhary, Volunteer From Delhi Chapter

They have arranged the theme of tradi onal dress and all the volunteers were in tradi onal dresses. We were welcomed with Roses, coconut, and shawl. They have even arranged Nashik Dhol players so that we can dance and enjoy to the fullest. - By Deep Patel, Volunteer From Anand Chapter Group Photo: Volunteers with Host Students

By living with the people of Nashik and their warm behaviour towards us taught me how to be kind to others without asking anything in return. I learned the sense of hospitality, the kind of behaviour required to connect people. I can say that I've fulfilled the mo o of AFS that says “AFS is helping us to develop skill and understanding which is necessary to make the world more peaceful. - By Mohd Shadan, Volunteer From Delhi Chapter Group Photo: Celebra ng Ganpa Fes val

Group Photo: Volunteers receiving cer ficates

Exchange programs have always impacted me. There is always an unexpected and great learning that comes from an exchange. The journey with the host family will remain forever in our hearts. They made me understand the value of their culture and tradi ons. Sharing my culture with them was amazing. Ganesh Chaturthi celebra on was fun, learning and amazing experience. From trying Misal Pav to making modaks and understanding the importance of the fes val, it was a great experience. - By Urja Patel, Volunteer From Anand Chapter

Page 12 | September 2019 | Newsle er | AFS India

Volunteerism AFS India Volunteer Think Tank | Second Meeting

#AFSvolunteer The Volunteer Think Tank is created as a layer between AFS Na onal Office and grassroots chapter volunteers. The purpose is to strengthen the hands of the Na onal Office on one hand and to strengthen the hands of the volunteers on another. The Volunteer Think Tank is part of the problem-solving machinery of AFS India. The members act as mentors, advisors, and guides and they must keep their finger on the pulse of the chapter at all mes.

The Second Volunteer Think Tank Mee ng was held in Bengaluru on 7th & 8th Sep 2019 where 15 VTT members and 2 AFS staff par cipated. The discussions around AFS growth and measure towards growth were discussed. highlighted the target of increasing the AFS program sending numbers. The possible issues were iden fied and were discussed in detail amongst the par cipants. Various sugges ons were brought up by the group itself. Importance of hos ng language programs emphasized.

Group Photo: Volunteer Think Tank Members

Volunteerism Learning Module for Chapter Growth | Bangalore & Pune

#LearningModule Learning Module for Chapter Growth was conducted in Bangalore & Pune on 8th September & 22nd September 2019 respec vely. Trainings were facilatated by Divya Arora and Aadil F. The main objec ve of the training was to iden fy the challenges at the chapter level and find out prac cal solu ons to the same. It was great to see the volunteers engaging in healthy discussions, sharing

Group Photo: Pune Chapter

feedback and commi ng to improve the health of the chapter. The chapters came out with plans of ac on that the volunteers intend to follow. There were several facilita on techniques used which included ques on and answer, brainstorming, group discussions, case study discussions and prac cal implementa on of some of the topics by trainees on flip charts and paper sheets. Since challenges and opportuni es were unique to chapter, the plans were framed accordingly.

Group Photo: Bangalore Chapter

Page 13 | September 2019 | Newsle er | AFS India

Volunteerism Relief Materials To Kolhapur Flood Affected Victims By Manisha Bhole, Volunteer, Nashik Chapter

A villager told us - “There is a famous temple in Nashik which we have never been able to see. However, the volunteers from Nashik came in the form of God to help them.”

#BuildKohlapur “The ravaged floods across the Kolhapur and Sangli districts incurred tremendous losses to the livelihood and assets of people. AFS Volunteers at Nashik have shown their commitment to the flood affected popula on by par cipa ng in immediate response and relief in front lines joining hands with respec ve District. Moreover, in order to relieve the thousands of vic ms from pain and agony, Volunteers at Sanjay Ghodawat Interna onal School and Nashik chapter came together and contributed various items that helped the vic ms.

Group Photo: Before Leaving For Community Service

We bring you face to face with some of the selfless volunteers who worked behind the scenes. members. Bhupesh Khairnar, Jeevan shinde, Pramod Kangune, Jayshri Jadhav, Manisha Bhole travelled overnight to the site which is 450 kms away from Nashik. Manisha Bhole says - “One of old villager Mr. Pa l told what actually happened with them and how they made possible to survive. He shared that just because of this kind of help they were able to survive, since flood situa ons they had no work for income and no source at all for ge ng daily basic need things. How can we describe our feelings. its difficult to say anything.

Distribu on Ac vity

The people, the children were looking at us with a great pain and with the hope that maybe we had come there to give them the food for the next few days and many more I addressed the people that may be they got help for few months but then they must have to stand on their own feet. Its difficult but they are not alone, thousands of helping hands are with them. Just fight with the situa on and take responsibility to survive. We were not doing any kind of favor on anybody but sharing what we have to our people. Maybe our hands are li le. We observed the village, saw the broken houses, heard the broken hearts, felt the pain, gathered the courage to wipe the tears, gathered the courage to see the truth of life everything made us silent just silent.”

Art Workshop, Organised for Underprivileged Students, Kolhapur By Indrajeet Thorat, Volunteer, Kolhapur Chapter

#AFSEffect “Students associated with Aakar Founda on were part of the Art Workshop organized by Kolhapur Chapter. They were also introduced to 'AFS' and its values. They really liked and appreciated the concept of AFS. Indrajeet from Sanjay Ghodawat School says, “We have successfully completed art workshop for 120 students of Aakar founda on. These students are underprivileged but very talented, so Kolhapur chapter is associated with Aakar Founda on from the last 2 years. This though ul workshop taught them various life skills. The art team of Sanjay Ghodawat School was involved in it along with AFS volunteers. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to our beloved Sasmita Mohanty Ma’am for constant encouragement and support.

Page 14 | September 2019 | Newsle er | AFS India

Distribu on Ac vity

The students come from backgrounds where they struggle to meet their ends. This workshop taught them to make 'Lanterns'. This will surely help them in doing small efforts towards contribu ng to help their families and ge ng closer to a be er life. Kolhapur chapter keeps coming with great ideas which gives us real goals on how we can work for our community. A sincere thanks to all the volunteers involved.”

Students during the Workshop

Photo Above: Host Students During Independence Day Celebra on

Volunteerism Gandhinagar Chapter Activities By Shreyasi Roy, Volunteer, Gandhinagar Chapter

#VolunteerEngagement Independence Day Celebra on “This year, India celebrated its 73rd Independence Day On 15th August. On this occasion, our Principal, Arpit Chris an, Supervisor Suparna Mukherjee along with Silvan and Marica took part in the flag hois ng ceremony in the Governor's House of Gujarat, Raj Bhawan, in Gandhinagar. Hon'ble Governor Shri Devvrat Acharya hoisted the Indian flag. A er the ceremony both the students a ended the flag hois ng ceremony of the state capital, Gandhinagar, held in Ram Katha Maidan. There Dr. Varsha Parekh explained the significance of Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan to them. The students, then, gave Independence Day gree ngs to the Regional Officer and Deputy Secretary Shri Sanjiv Kumar and were also introduced to the Higher Officers of the Educa on Department of the Govt. of Gujarat. They also saw the school parade presented by M.B. Patel School and enjoyed the different cultural programs.

During the event students of M.B.Patel School, including Marica and Silvan (Host Students) sat beside the blind students and interacted with them. Everybody was deeply moved by the excellent performances of the blind students in both singing and orchestra. This made the bonding stronger. The Chief Manager, Senior Manager and Officer-in-charge of Hindi language of Bank of Baroda, Principal of the blind school and Principal of M.B. Patel, Mr. Arpit Chris an graced the occasion. Besides the prizes given by Bank of Baroda, Arpit Sir also gave the winners a token of apprecia on on behalf of the school. Marica and Silvan enthralled the audience with their Hindi prayer song. Everybody appreciated their song - 'Na phool charaun, na mala charaun....' and lauded their efforts of picking up Hindi in such a short period. They also par cipated in the card-making compe on and made beau ful cards for which they will be receiving government cer ficates. They too lend their hand in escor ng the blind students and teachers to stage. The smile on their faces revealed how good they felt. They were touched by the en re event.”

Principal Arpit Chris an and Dr. Varsha Parekh briefed the officers of Gujarat Collectorate about the different ac vi es of AFS. Therea er, Silvan and Marica introduced themselves in Gujra . Everybody present there were happy to meet them. Marica also ed Rakhi to Silvan and celebrated Raksha Bandhan. The programs le a deep impact on Marica and Silvan. They whole-heartedly appreciated the Indian culture. The impact was so great that on the very next day Silvan told Varsha Madam in Gujra that he has started loving India.”

Hindi Diwas Celebra on “14th September is observed as Hindi Diwas in order to make Hindi as India's Na onal Language since 1949. Today, Hindi is the fourth most spoken language in the world a er English, Spanish and Mandarin. “The theme of Hindi Diwas Celebra on was 'Lend your handExtend Your Support'. This year M.B Patel School came together with Blind School students in grand celebra ons in the event.

Host Students Perform During Hindi Diwas Celebra on

Page 15 | September 2019 | Newsle er | AFS India

Blanca Bondia From Spain, Hosted in Rajkot

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