Seminar on AFS host families as learners

From 14 to 19April, 25 participants from 17 different AFS organisations gathered in Sweden (Sigtuna) to re-think the learning process within AFS families, focusing mainly on host families.

Group photo

The project was called “Youth exchange: community engagement across generations” and was itself a nice concrete example of intergenerational learning, thanks to the diversity in age and roles represented.

The main objectives were:

  • to explore the role of AFS as facilitator of learning of host families;
  • discuss needs and learning opportunities of different age groups in exchanges;
  • share realities, cultural approaches and practices of supporting families’ learning in different countries;
  • work on improved non-formal education methods to facilitate mutual ICL across generations;
  • formulate follow-up plans for seminar participants and their organisations to increase educational impact on AFS families.

Concrete outcomes were not only the participants’ individual action plans but also ideas for concrete future improvements and initiatives, leading to learning and involvement of hosting and sending families, which can be used by different AFS organisations. The results of the seminar will also feed into the work of the AFS International Educational Methodology Review Working Group, whose focus is on host families. There will be a final report coming out soon with the seminar content and outcomes explained in much more details.

A very much appreciated part of the programme was the interaction with the AFS Sweden General Assembly which was taking place at the same venue. The seminar group had the opportunity to share with the Swedish volunteers their work on future improvements regarding AFS families’ support and to collect new insights from their side.

From EFIL’s side we would like to thank all the participants for their hard work and enthusiasm, the preparatory team, the hosting organisation – AFS Sweden, and finally the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission for its financial support.

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(The preparation team, starting from the left: Mirella Simeonova AFS Germany, Yves Gheysen AFS Belgium French, Paola Cane EFIL, Izabela Jurczik-Arnold EFIL, Staša Stojkov AFS Serbia)

For more info: izabela.jurczik-arnold@afs.org