Thursday 24 September was the Intercultural Dialogue Day (IDD). The day is a tribute to AFS’ work to promote intercultural dialogue in local communities. It is organised each year by AFS volunteers from all over Europe – and this year IDD was also celebrated in the different corners of the world.

IDD was first initiated during the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue in 2008. EFIL is happy to have seen the development of the IDD every year. Last year, an IDD volunteer project team put together an IDD guide, posters and postcards to be used for IDD also this year, which were distributed to AFS partners in Europe. In addition, this year the ACTIVE project , financed by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe, developed a Manual of Activities aimed at linking Active Citizenship to the AFS exchange programmes and collected stories of active AFS volunteers and both are tools that can be used for IDD. In fact,  Active Global Citizenship was also the topic of this years’ IDD.

EFIL is collecting event reports from IDD celebrations worldwide to map and support the IDD volunteer initiatives within the AFS network.  So far, we are happy to hear about IDD activities and events in various places and communities, from Oslo, Norway, and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to Cairo, Egypt, and Tokyo, Japan. The annual IDD Photo and Video contest is open until 8 October through the IDD Facebook page – we are waiting for the contest submissions, to win free registration to the upcoming EFIL Volunteer Summer Summit in Venice, Italy, in 2016!

In addition, EFIL is organising its annual EFIL/AFS IDD Quiz to take place in Brussels on 1 October. The quiz is a fundraising event, and this year we will collect funding for two scholarships for volunteers of AFS Latvia to participate in the EFIL Volunteer Summer Summit in Venice 2016 (see elsewhere in this edition of EFILife). The quiz is at the same time a great way for EFIL to keep in touch with its network in Brussels’ diverse, international community.

This year also AFS International has contributed to the growth of IDD through specially designed marketing tools, which have been shared and appreciated by AFS partners, especially on Social Media. The hashtags #afsactivecitizenship and #interculturaldialogueday have been well used both on Facebook and Twitter.

While admiring and appreciating the outcomes of IDD 2015, let’s already look forward to the 2016 edition, which will focus thematically on Peace Education, following EFIL’s year theme!


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