Editorial by Aadil F, Manager – Communications, Branding & Volunteer Development
“Why do you volunteer with AFS?”, asked a new member of AFS family at an AFS event who recently joined as a volunteer. Before I could answer the question, one of the volunteer raised her hand and asked if she could answer. She gave a very emotional yet unfinished response. After giving her reasons of volunteering with AFS, she added that one can’t really do justice by sharing 5 or 10 reasons for why they volunteer with AFS. Her response prompted others to put forward their life-changing experiences and stories of being part of the AFS family.
AFS is always proud to have an inclusive community of global citizens and a diverse group of volunteers. Volunteers present at the event came up with plethora of exciting, meaningful and impactful reasons, but their main focus always centered around to making a difference by being part of the cause that mattered them the most i.e. believing in the mission of AFS to create a just and peaceful world. I’m happy to share few of the thoughts of our motivated and dedicated volunteers from their AFS journey:
“Volunteering in AFS is one of the best ways for my own personal growth as well. I have always loved to meet new people & know them. AFS provides me an excellent opportunity for the same.”
“I volunteer with AFS to do my bit to create a better world. It gives me a sense of happiness by associating with great people and to interact with younger generation. It also helps me think of what I can do as an individual.”
“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”
“AFS makes us a Global Citizens. Stepping out of my comfort zone has been one of my biggest achievements. I have become more confident, extrovert, social, empathetic and a responsible human being, and that’s what happens when you get a platform to explore more about yourself, and AFS gave me that”
“We all are agents of change. We get training. We get platform to showcase our talents and share our skills. We’ve resources to move forward. As one of the youth of the country, AFS India provides us with everything to do our part, and that’s more than enough”
“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””
“AFS is a never ending experience”
“AFS is the best way to create awareness of harmony all around the world. ‘To understand the world we need to experience the world.’”
“AFS helps me growand with the platform I’d like to contribute towards changing the world in a positive way”
“I love volunteering with AFS. When we love something, or somebody we don’t have any questions or reasons. But we just love. So, I along with my family love AFS, that’s why we volunteer.”
“After being part of the AFS Exchange program, AFS has made me a global citizen and I would also like many more to be global citizen and to promote peace. AFS is a family to me and I want many more to be a part & also experience this family.”
I could go on with the reasons they gave during one of the events, and if we start compiling all the reasons and experiences of over 40,000 AFS volunteers from AFS world beyond India, we’d end up writing for days or weeks or even years and still not be able to cover all the reasons as each of the stories are unique, different and motivating. All volunteer for different reasons ranging from personal growth to creating change in the world to developing cross-cultural skills to being a leader in the community or creating an inclusive society for a better tomorrow.
Our volunteers have their reasons to be part of AFS family; for being part of the #AFSeffect. If you’re reading this and haven’t been able to join our family, reach out to us, we’ll get back to you.