In each edition of EFILife, we dedicate some space to partner news, including personnel changes as well as relevant events that have taken place over the past months.

AFS Switzerland informs about several staff changes. Sonja Loosli, the French Region Support Coordinator, has decided to leave AFS in order to join the team of the Swiss National Youth Council SNYC, the umbrella organisation of youth organisations in Switzerland. Irene Schaerer, former Hosting Admission Assistant, took over the position of Sending Support since 1st October. Luschka Schnederle, returnee to Argentina and former intern and active volunteer became the new Hosting Admission Assistant.

AFS Turkey kicked off the training season by bringing together 80 volunteers in two venues in Turkey. A first training took place in the Akçakoca Teacher House with 34 participants. The topics included intercultural conflict management, tackling discrimination, team roles, active citizenship and civil society concepts. A second training took place in Nesin Maths Village, Şirince, İzmir with 46 participants. These trainings served as a space for the new team of trainers to learn and develop as well.


The office announced the dates for the Spectrum of Education V., the SOE Conference Series bringing together experts, volunteers, professionals, students, teachers and trainers from all around the world in spring in Istanbul: he SOE V will take place between 13-17 April 2016 with the collaboration of Türk Kültür Vakfı/AFS Türkiye and FMV Işık Schools. The conference will focus on “The Schools of the Future and The Future of the Schools”. There will be interventions from international and national guest speakers. AFS Turkey is in touch with UNESCO for the patronage. For further information, you can get in touch with [email protected].

AFS Turkey asks for cooperation within the framework of an Erasmus internship programme for university students within the European Internship Consortia in Istanbul. The European Internship Consortia has been established by eight partner institutions within the scope of “Mobility Project for Higher Education Students and Staff” within the ERASMUS+ Programme which is funded by the European Commission and Turkish Republic for the years 2014-2020.  The Consortium aims to offer international and intercultural internship opportunities for Turkish students. There are 90 candidates who are ready to start their internships by June 2016 for a minimum 2 month period in Europe. Interns are financially supported by the grants provided by the National Agency of Turkey. Please contact [email protected] for further information.

AFS France announced that Noémie Pagan will step in as maternity leave replacement for Anaïs Crouzet, Programme Director until mid-April 2016.

AFS Netherlands informs that Mrs. Annemarie Postma will take up the responsibilities of National Director as of 1st January 2016. Annemarie has extensive experience in working in the non-profit sector, in particular with volunteers.

AFS Bosnia and Herzegovina announces that Neira Milavica has stepped down as staff. The office is now managed by the following staff: Nadina Muslic, Organisational Development Coordinator (former Programme Director and AFS exchange in Germany); Muamer Isanovic, National Hosting Coordinator; Lejna Chelebichic, National Sending Coordinator.

BiH staff changes

As every year, AFS Mezikulturni programy organised its large scale educational event called Megavikend. This time it was held for the ninth time in mid-October in Ostrava with altogether 108 Czech and International participants. The programme consisted of 6 workshops and 6 trainings.

CZE Megavikend

The office also announced the 20th Anniversary celebrations of AFS in the Czech Republic to take place in 2016. Part of the anniversary celebrations will be the conference for volunteers, the conference for teachers, a Gala reception and the traditional annual ball.
The office informs furthermore that Monika Nikolova, Programme Director, is going on maternity leave starting in December. Tereza Branzovska, who has already worked as a Hosting Coordinator in the years 1998 – 2003, will replace Monika during her absence. The European colleagues will have the chance to meet her in person at the Programme Directors’ Meeting in Cork next March.

AFS Austria informs that Miriam Bammer, Hosting Coordinator, has decided to leave AFS. The office thanks her for her contribution, her energy and positive spirit, her engagement, her dedication and support to all volunteers. Marion Mitter is going to be Miriam’s successor. Marion has a university degree in history of art, journalism and Italian. She spent a year in Rome during her studies.