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European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.


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AFS Programmes Interculturels asbl


EVS Accreditation Details
EVS accreditation type
organisation_acctype: 
Sending
EVS accreditation expiry date 23/09/2016
Location Bruxelles, Belgium
Organisation topics
organisation_theme: 
European awareness
Intergenerational activities
Inclusion topics

EVS accreditation number

2013-BEFR-36

For more information about volunteering and European Voluntary Service in particular, visit the Voluntary Activities section of this website.

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Project Environment


Motivation and EVS experience

Since the start of the EVS program, we have been hosting, sending and coordinating organization. We would like to continue to promote this program which we find to be an incredible opportunity for the youth to experience informal learning abroad while receiving a european grant.

Our association promotes intercultural exchange in the long term. Through these experiences, young people acquire new knowledge and skills and it also contributes to their personal development. The values of the EVS program are shared by the mission and goals of AFS Programmes Interculturels and we want to allow as many young people to benefit from such an experience. The EVS program enables us to diversify the people applying and help develop a social identity of Europe. Our association tries to make cross-cultural experiences accessible to all, regardless of income or social class, and the EVS creates opportunities for disadvantaged youngsters. The EVS is a program that allows young people to develop a pro-active attitude in finding projects in perfect harmony with their personal aspirations.

We have framed programs for over 150 volunteers - both through our hosting and sending activities. Although we had decided to suspend our hosting activity in the recent past, we would now like to re-apply and offer a volunteer the opportunity to take part in a creative project within our organisation. AFS is a volunteer-based organization and we believe we offer a great space for an EVS project development. We would be very happy to support one volunteer throughout this experience.

Description of the organisation

The founders of AFS (volunteer ambulance drivers from the USA, during the World Wars) had an idea that was stunning in its simplicity: if future generations could empathize with and understand their global neighbours, recognizing and appreciating their differences, then perhaps future wars could be avoided. They began their exchange program modestly in 1947, bringing 52 high school students from 10 countries to the United States for a year-long exchange experience.

AFS asbl is a non profit organization and is recognized as a youth organization by the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles which we receive funding from. We are in charge of coordination, backing, and pedagogical follow up for international educative exchanges involving young people between 16 and 28 years old.

Those exchanges include either sending of Belgian people abroad or hosting young foreigners in the French part of Belgium. Our main objective is to develop intercultural abilities through a complete immersion in a new host environment.
AFS targets its activities on long term exchanges (at least 3 months) and works with a network of +/- 55 AFS partners all over the world. In the AFS network, we are known as AFS Belgium-French, as there is also a Flemish AFS organization known as AFs Belgium-Flanders.

Our main programs (sending and hosting in Belgium-French) are "studying one year or one trimester abroad" and for people over 18 years old we have a volunteer "community service" program. We are also a sending/coordinating organisation for the EVS, and were hosting organization in the past. We believe that placing exchange participants in hostfamilies helps them to better understand the local culture and to build strong links with their hostcountry.

Besides the necessary support to have a good experience (administrative support, 24/7 emergency system, mediation and support in case of adaptation problems), AFS help the participants to take the necessary stand back by a regular evaluation of their experience and give them the opportunity to compare it with other experiences from other students when we have collective activities (orientations, cultural activities) animated by staff members and volunteers of the organization. We work together with more than 200 AFS volunteers across Wallonia and Brussels.

We are partner of the international organisation "AFS Intercultural Programs" and member of EFIL (European Federation for Intercultural Learning).

Eleven persons (paid staff) with different background (usually bachelor or master degree) work in our office in Brussels, but we work on a volunteer base with local chapters decentralized in Brussels and Wallonia. Each student, volunteer or family is part of a chapter that is administrated by AFS volunteers (majority of young people supported by adults).

Contact details
Organisation name AFS Programmes Interculturels asbl
Street Place de l'Alma, 3
Postal code 1200
Town/city Bruxelles
Country Belgium
Email address info.please@afs.org
Website www.afsbelgique.be
Telephone number 02/743.85.40
Fax number ++322732 87 28

Last update: 23/09/2013