The official countdown has started. With less than 50 days to go until the start of the Volunteer Summer Summit 2017 participants are now in the process of selecting their workshops.


As always, we have a wide selection of workshops divided in 5 thematic tracks, each exploring one aspects of the overarching topic. By following a track participants have the opportunity to train in depth about a certain issue and develop tools and come up with ideas and solution specific to that particular issue. At the end of the 4 days training participants have a chance to gain insights into what has been discussed in the other tracks and what has come out of it during the sharing of the outcomes and they will also receive a certificate attesting their new knowledge.

This year the topic of the VSS is equal opportunities and the tracks will focus on:

–          Inclusive Intercultur al Exchanges: This track is all about AFS programmes! It gives an opportunity to have a critical look at the structures, guidelines and practices of AFS’ programme related activities.

–          Practicing Equal Opportunities: This track gives space to reflect on our ways and habits, and consider (little) differences among us that matter regarding how people are treated and what resources they have access to.

–          Intercultural Learning and Equal Opportunities: This track tackles questions about the role of ICL in the fight for equal opportunity both on theoretical and practical level, seeking to ground local actions in a broader discussion on global topics.

–          Inclusive Leadership: Most volunteers in AFS are female, however, when looking at the AFS boards, there are suddenly more male representatives. This track explores leadership practices within our network and how they reflect and affect the inclusiveness (or not) of our organisations.

–          Inclusive Volunteering: AFS sees diversity as a resource but do we walk the talk? This track offers the opportunity to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of AFS in terms of equal opportunities and encourages us to think of creative and innovative solutions to implement our mission in a more inclusive way

You can find a description of the individual workshops and trainers in the third Herald, the VSS newsletter:

10. VSS_group


Another element of the VSS that has become a tradition is for the host organisation to set up an exhibition that relates to the topic, the host country or both. This year the Icelandic Support Team has gone all out planning two exhibitions for the participants to enjoy. One of the exhibitions is called “10 Years of summer” and it is a celebration of the VSS that this year turns 10. Participants will not only be able to admire past VSSes’ pictures and gadgets but they are asked to actively contribute to the exhibition making it fully interactive. The second exhibition goes hand in hand with this year’s topic – Equal Opportunities. It’s called The fight for women’s rights:  The  history  of gender  equality  in  Iceland  through  the  years. This exhibition will give you an insight into Iceland’s history and battle for gender equality from the beginning of the 20th century to today.

10. VSS_Past VSSes


Thanks to the Council of Europe sponsorship, we are once again able to offer a contribution in money to great ideas presented by volunteers for follow up project. The projects can be almost anything but should obviously help the promotion of the AFS mission and message, and the diffusion of Intercultural Learning. All projects will be presented at the end of the 4 days event and participants will be able to vote on their favourite. You have an amazing idea for a project? Present it at the VSS and you could get seed money to help you implement it. More information on how to present projects will come but if you have any question write to


If you would like to participate in the VSS but have missed the deadline, don’t worry! Contact