By Archana Gunjal, Mother of Saharsh Gunjal, AFS Regional Class Exchange Program Participant
“Saharsh who is in 9th std. had participated in Regional Class Exchange Program for a week. I was so impressed seeing the change in Saharsh that I joined as an AFS volunteer. This experience was extremely beautiful, and it cannot be measured.
Initially, we were not ready to send him but we agreed because of his request. He got a Gujarati Pandit family there. We also got a new relationship for whole life. In the beginning, I was a little worried about my son and his adjustment in a new family but surprisingly he got mixed up very easily with them and was enjoying so much that I was worried if the program period gets extended then he would definitely forget us!
I was happily surprised that he was easily accepting all things which he never did here at his own home even after being told multiple times, he never did it but now he does things happily.
He changed in just one week, his behavior, lifestyle, confidence. He became more positive about everything. We observed that now he is also taking more interest in his studies.
Before this program, whenever any guest or relatives came home, he never took interest to interact with them. We had to call him many times but now he himself takes interest to welcome guests and to communicate with them happily and confidently. I must admit, this is an amazing change for which we feel so happy and content.
Actually, everything is beyond words.
I couldn’t have given a more precious gift to my son than this. In future maybe we will arrange a bigger trip but I’m sure that trip won’t be able to give such happiness and exposure that my son got from this exchange program.
So, hearty thanks to AFS Intercultural Programs India. Thanks to Maratha High School, Shivaji Shinde Sir and HM Pingale Sir. Special thanks to Baste Sir of Maratha High School.”