On 16-18 March, a delegation of EFIL and AFS International visited the Polish AFS partner organisation, Fr Siemaszko Foundation, for a meeting with the Board to discuss the transition of the AFS partnership from the Foundation to the non-profit non-governmental organisastion Global Citizens, as foreseen in the Cooperative Agreement that was signed in October 2012. The AFS partner in Poland became an Affiliate Member of EFIL in 2013, at EFIL’s General Assembly in Belgrade, Serbia.

The Foundation is based in Piekary, near Krakow. Members of the delegation were Christine Leimgruber, Chief Program and Risk Officer of AFS International, and Paul Claes, Secretary-General of EFIL. Attending the meeting from the Polish partner were Board members Marek Bialkowski and Dariusz Dobbek, as well as staff members Urszula Slenczak and Magda Porebska. Next to the meeting with the Board, there were several other meetings with the volunteers of Global Citizens, the staff of the office, and a group of exchange students and returnees.

Various ways were discussed to make the transition possible from the current situation (with the Foundation as AFS partner) to the new set-up whereby the NGO Global Citizens will become the AFS partner in Poland.  Discussions included the future role of the Foundation, budget management, the situation of the staff and office, expansion of the programme, etc.  The plan is to launch the new structure by the spring of 2016.

A proposal with arrangements for the transition period will be put together, pointing out the responsibilities for AFS and for the Foundation in this period of change.  Also, an agreement for the future cooperation between AFS and the NGO Global Citizens (Partnership Agreement) will be drafted.