We are happy to introduce AFS India’s Special Project for volunteer and chapter development called Learning Module for Chapter Growth. We proudly share that the project kick-started with its first training held in Gandhinagar Chapter, Gujarat on July 28th, 2019 and the second training was facilitated in Nashik, Maharashtra on August 18th, 2019.

The Module was duly facilitated by Divya Arora and Aadil Fahim from AFS India National Office in Gandhinagar and Aadil Fahim and Abdul Salam (Member, IPOT – Indian Pool of Trainer) in Nashik respectively.

What is Learning Module for Chapter Growth?

Learning Module for Chapter Growth is a new program developed by AFS India where a special training agenda is prepared for each individual chapter after reflecting on the chapter’s challenges.

The agenda of this need-based training is designed after the assessment of surveys taken by the volunteers focusing on volunteer engagement, retention, recognition, transparency, conflict transformation, respect, tolerance, inclusivity etc. Chapter Heads are consulted throughout the process — from designing to implementation.

Post the training, a structured plan is developed that will help the chapter grow and help in creating more engagement amongst volunteers. After six months, a survey will again be done, if needed, to measure the growth and development of the chapter.

Why Learning Module for Chapter Growth?

The aim of the Learning Module is to address the ongoing challenges and focus on chapter development and growth via a structured approach which is based on a Design-Thinking model. The intent is to survey the volunteers to assess the present situation based on which we plan and implement a need based training module for all the chapter volunteers.

Through Learning Module, each chapter focuses on finding its own identity and realities, helping them focus on areas they can better and improve.

Who were the target audience?

The major stakeholders of the training were chapter volunteers (senior and juniors), alumni, host families and educators from member schools who have joined chapter as volunteers. Through this, we could see a 360 degree perspective of the all the stakeholders engaged, so that they can feel heard and acknowledged.

How did the training look like?

The agenda to facilitate the training looked like the following:

  • Day 01: AFS India Staff had a discussion with President and Vice President to share expectations     from the module and what to look forward to. Discussion on challenges as per the survey’s assessment was also done, keeping in mind the how the training would look like and how to go about the day.
  • Day 02: Learning Module for Chapter Growth with chapter volunteers.
  • Day 03: Meeting with President and Vice President to share feedback and how to tread forward. A structured plan was developed for the next six months focusing on volunteer engagement while addressing the challenges that came forward as per the assessment.

The Module has been a happy addition to the volunteer development strategy for AFS India as we feel the volunteers have finally begun unwinding and opening up about challenges which is a major step towards building a healthy Chapter inclusive of all needs. We look forward to executing the Learning Module in various chapters in the upcoming months.