EFIL’s yearly theme of “Inclusive intercultural learning: exchange organisations contributing to equal opportunities for young people” was kicked off in Hungary at the end of last month. The seminar “Intercultural Learning for All” took place March 20-26 in the beautiful city of Budapest.

The aim of the seminar was to stimulate the reflection in AFS on inclusion at every level; in order to increase outreach to audiences with diverse Intercultural Learning experiences. The specific objectives were to:

  • analyse the current situation within AFS in terms of inclusion
  • explore the role of Intercultural competences in building inclusive communities with diverse groups
  • reflect on the needs of different groups in the society and on our competence and readiness to address them
  • share our organisational practices and learn from best practices of other organisations
  • come up with recommendations and plans for more inclusive intercultural learning at different levels
  • challenge personal views and theories on inclusion

The seminar gathered participants from 11 AFS organisations in Europe as well as three trainers from the EFIL European Pool of Trainers (EPOT) and one member of the EFIL secretariat. Furthermore, we were joined for the whole event by Matej Manevski, president of Youth for Exchange and Understanding (YEU) as an external trainer. The diverse trainers team provided an interesting programme for the volunteers who participated actively in sessions that focused on Intercultural Learning, Non-formal Education, Inclusion, AFS Values, Analysing Current Situations, and Tools & Solutions to name a few. Participants brought their different views, backgrounds and experience and contributed to the discussions in sessions and in informal moments over coffee or tea.

A great emphasis was put on the importance of inclusion within AFS as we work towards our shared mission of providing “intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.” Participants created recommendations that will be shared with participants of the EFIL Volunteer Summer Summit in Iceland this August and developed further from there. Additionally, participants formed their own personal action plans linked to inclusion within their national AFS organisations which they will work on in the upcoming moths. At the seminar participants were encouraged to take the first step (write an email, make a phone call ect.) already while still in Budapest to really start working on the action plan while at the event.

Apart from all the sessions the programme also included team building, a study visit to the European Youth Centre and a day out in Budapest ending with a lovely dinner in the city centre and more.

The seminar was financially supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe and we also enjoyed great support from AFS Hungary before and during the event.

For further questions regarding the seminar please contact: [email protected]