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In December the PEACE project participants gathered in Malle, Belgium, for a week-long seminar. The seminar had been scheduled to overlap partly with the annual ECTP end-of-stay Camps in Brussels and Malle, giving the PEACE project participants the opportunity to learn from it and reflect, putting together ideas for the future programme and the closing camps in resp. Brussels and Kuala Lumpur.

Parallel to the seminar the PEACE project’s Steering Group’s held its third in-person meeting, also in Malle. Items on the agenda included defining Global Citizenship within the concept of the PEACE programme, discussion of the outcomes of the participants evaluation, the role of the Steering Group in the camp in Brussels (April).

Members of the PEACE Steering Group are: Divya Arora (AFS India), Armieyah (Mae) Ayob (AFS Philippines), Katharina Schulze-Herking (AFS Germany), Inga Menke (EFIL) and Paul Claes (EFIL). Inga Menke will leave EFIL at the end of 2017 (see elsewhere in EFILife), but she will continue as member of the PEACE Steering Group as a volunteer. Jenny Larentsinusdottir, new staff member of EFIL as of February 2018, will join the Steering Group as representative of the EFIL secretariat, taking over the role of Paul Claes.

The PEACE project runs over two years, 2017 and 2018. PEACE stands for “Peace in Europe and Asia through global Citizenship Education”. The EFIL project is sponsored by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme. The goal of the project is to design the framework for a new sustainable three-month secondary school exchange programme similar to the intra-European “European Citizenship Trimester Programme” (ECTP) which EFIL has been running successfully each year since it was launched in 2009.  In the PEACE programme trimester exchanges will take place between Asia and Europe, with end-of-stay camps on global citizenship in Europe (Brussels) and in Asia (Kuala Lumpur). The target group will be secondary school students between 15-18 years old. The programme will be open to all EFIL and AAI Partners.

The PEACE project participants are staff and key volunteers of 8 European AFS organisations (EFIL members) and 7 Asian AFS partners (AAI members). Throughout the two years of the EU sponsored project, they will play a relevant role in the development of the future PEACE programme.

As part of the PEACE project, a pilot programme will involve Asian youngsters going for a trimester exchange to various countries in Europe with an end-of-stay camp in Brussels in the spring of 2018, followed by European participants going to Asia in the autumn of 2018 and ending their trimester stay with a joint closing camp in Malaysia.

The PEACE Program has been granted “innovation status” by the President of AFS International (see Board of Trustees Policy “Incentives for Innovation”, adopted 29 January 2011 and amended 14 November 2014). We are very grateful for this recognition.