AFS Egypt hold a large volunteer assembly yearly to train volunteers and to share success stories. This year one hundred and twenty four volunteers representing fourteen chapters from nine governorates attended. The event took place in the Oasis Hotel, Giza, from 26-28 January, 2018. The theme was “Learning to Live Together”. Several workshops were conducted on that topic.
Upon their arrival, each volunteer received a backpack, the events T-shirt, a book marker, an upcycled name tag, and a present, all AFS Egypt labelled. After the opening session, all volunteers participated in cultural games to break the ice and to focus on our culture.
Because our volunteers act locally and think globally, they were asked to sign the Accra Declaration. Mr. Daniel Obst, president of AFS International, video recorded a talk where he discussed the goals of the Accra declaration (Accra Declaration attached), and thanked them for their contributions. He encouraged them to be active global citizens.
On the second day, five parallel sessions were conducted to train the volunteers to learn to live together and to help them succeed in their local chapters. Four sessions: (“We and They”, “Domestic Recipe”, “The Face and the Other Face “, and“See with my Eye” were in Arabic and the fifth: “When Intercultural Competence meets everyday Life” in English. Later, all the volunteers attended parallel sessions about change making, after which they designed several change-making projects. Trainees were asked to share their feedback on each session.
In the evening, both Ms. Helen La U.S. Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Fave and Ms Ruth Ann Stevens: U.S. Cultural Attaché dined with the volunteers and enjoyed an oriental music show.
On the third day, IMPACT conducted team-building training that was customized and designed, based on the needs of our trainees, with the aim of achieving lasting results.
In the last session, the Chapters’ Competition winners were announced, chapters’ activities in the previous year were reviewed, and AFS Egypt 2018 plan was distributed and discussed so each chapter can design their annual plan.
All attendees were asked to fill out a survey on AFS Egypt cultural Hub and an evaluation form for the whole event.
Over the three days, volunteers were invited to buy Egyptian eco-friendly products (produced by active NGOs) labelled with the AFS Egypt logo to sponsor some intercultural programs for needy students.
Each participant received a certificate for his attendance.
Analyzing the evaluation survey, most of the sessions were graded 5 or 4, with 5 being the highest score. The volunteers made new connections, shared experiences, gained new skills, had fun, and above all became more and more engaged in achieving goals with AFS Egypt. All their comments will be considered when designing next year assembly.