The morning started with the AFS Grand Award Ceremony which was one of the most important part of this event as it highlighted and recognized the tireless efforts of our superb volunteers, alumnus, schools, chapters and host families.
There were awards in different categories like Best Volunteers, Best Alumni, Best Sending Schools, Best Chapter, etc. Each and every volunteer in the room was extremely motivated after receiving the award.
After the tea break, the highlights and achievements session was done to create awareness about the major happenings in each of the departments at the national level during the last year. For the same activity, volunteers were given the chance to reflect on the work done at their chapter level by pasting their chapter names for the activities they had done. Through this, volunteers were given the opportunity to discuss and learn about the best practices from each other – helping them plan for the future. This was one way of highlighting the major works of the chapter.
Moving further, volunteers attended the Paper Presentations on different topics which was facilitated by 4 different speakers focusing on promoting the global citizenship like.
- Implementing Global Citizenship Education in India by Mr. Deepak Solanki: The session focused upon different ways to implement Global Citizenship Education in India along with the role played by the government and policy makers in advancing it. By the end of the session, the participants had about 30 ideas and project plans to be implemented in their respective communities.
- Creating Global Classrooms for a better tomorrow by Ms. Sukhnidh Kaur: Global classrooms entail equal opportunity for all, and this requires functional inclusivity. Offering a peek into the lives of vulnerable students, their perspectives, and experiences, this session introduced audiences to differently abled, LGBTQ+, socio- economically under-served and special needs (both learning disabled and academically gifted) students, within the classrooms of Indian schools.
- Strategies to Implement Global Citizenship Education in India by Ms. Kalai Selvi: The session introduced participants how the concept of Global Citizenship can seamlessly blend into the School Curriculum when internal members of the School community engage and involve with external organisations to consciously collaborate. The speaker talked about various initiatives that immerse students in a deeper understanding of their connection and interdependence with the world around them that help them recognise the inevitability of Globalization and its influence on enriching their lives.
- What it means to be a responsible Global Citizen? by Ms Nandita Kothari: This session built understanding on sustainable measures of innovation to promote SDGs as a Global Citizen. The session laid in lines with Meemansa, a garment manufacturing company that produces women ethnic wear, producing garments from upcycled left-over fabric waste, reducing impact on the environment and also empower rural and urban underprivileged.
20th April 2019
The day started with an influential talk on the topic of Volunteerism and intercultural education: why it is more needed than ever by the key note speaker for that day, Mr. Francisco Marmolejo, (Lead, Global Solutions Group on Tertiary Education & Lead Education Specialist for India of The World Bank Group).
After this engrossing session, the volunteers went on to attend the concurrent sessions which were planned for the day.
- Intercultural Learning – Heart and Soul of AFS by Ajay Mehta and Bhavya Arora, AFS India: This session introduced participants to the significance of having intercultural learning at the very heart and core of AFS Programs and initiatives and how it in turn builds tools for Global Competence. The workshop took them to reflect on the metaphor of Culture and the role it plays in everyday life and introduced the concept of “Global Citizenship” and its link with every day action.
- Decoding 21st century skills for Global Citizens by Mr. Vaibhav Mittal and Ms. Urvashi Goyal from the World Youth Council: This workshop took participants through an unconventional and fun approach towards understanding the “QI” (Key) skills that every individual must have to be globally competent in the 21st century. The workshop enabled volunteers to introspect and challenge the pre-existing ideas of self and others, be a critical thinker and have a creative approach towards choosing from various alternatives.
- Sustainable Development Goals – Understanding them better and creating sustainable projects by Hosherdar Adil Polad, CISV: The session facilitated understanding of the word in trend: SDGs. The session looked at a few SDG goals to understand them in details and also looking at creating projects and activities (Long and short term) related to them.
- Conflict Resolution- Conflict Styles Presentation and Assessment by Saumya Aggarwal and Mannat Dhillon, Youth for Peace International: The way we address conflict directly affects the effectiveness of the conflict’s outcome. Through this session, facilitators built an understanding among the participants about conflict styles and its consequences. There are many ways to approach conflict and decisions regarding conflict are based upon the importance of issues and relationship.
21st April 2019
The last day of the program began with the motivating talk on the topic of The Need of Changemakers in the 21st Century delivered by the key note speaker for that day Mr. Ankit Kawatra, who is the founder of Feeding India (a leading NGO working towards the eradication of hunger, malnutrition and food wastage in India). He presented his views on the process of change making and discussed how, youngsters can bring a positive change in the society through ideas and efforts. His enthralling talk encouraged the volunteers very much.
After the motivating talk, Partners from Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan talked about their respective organizations and shared their insights about their countries’ cultures and traditions.
The day ended with The Joy of #AFSEffect where the volunteers appreciated and recognized the other volunteers by
- Designing Certificates of Recognition for the fellow volunteers.
- Creating different ‘hats’ they wear throughout their journey with AFS
- Wrote letter of appreciation to volunteers in Pan-India
- Sending special shout-out to other AFS volunteers via social media
- Filming a short-video to showcase the impact AFS made in their lives.
This session was aimed towards celebrating and recognizing the efforts of the volunteers who dedicated their time, energy and love for the advancement of AFS’s mission in India. The Joy of #AFSEffect depicted the true spirit of #AFSEffect. During this session, we also presented the gifts as a token of love and appreciation to the volunteers. Lastly, the day ended with a thank you note to all the volunteers who attended the Annual Volunteer Meet.
Overall, the meet was very successful, fun filled and motivating. It surely encouraged the promotion of intercultural learning, volunteer engagement and recognition among everyone. All volunteers bid goodbye to each other with the promise of meeting again soon and of course working more closely towards achieving new goals.!