A well-attended EFIL Meeting of AFS Support Staff took place 5-9 February 2018 in Brugge, Belgium. It was already the 5th edition of the EFIL-organised Support Staff gathering, which is now a fixed and expected feature on the training calendar every other year. This year’s Meeting enjoyed the presence of as many as 28 participants from 24 AFS Partners – mostly from within the European EFIL membership, but also including staff of AFS organisations in Paraguay, Dominican Republic and the USA, as well as some key volunteers dealing with local support. This number and variety of people was very much appreciated by the group and certainly contributed to the rich discussions and sharing of practices.
The agenda elements included some recurring contents (such as Risk Management, AFS Standards and Procedures, sharing best practices, case studies, introduction to AFS international structures, office-to-office communication), but there were also some special hot topics addressed, among them: mental health of participants, preventing sexual misconduct and the role of support staff in implementing new AFS Participant and Host Family Curricula.
The satisfaction of the participants should definitely be attributed to the excellent team of trainers: Diana Rosta from AFS Hungary, Paolo Murru from AFS Italy and David Blythe from AFS International, assisted by Izabela Jurczik-Arnold and Katrina Kalnina from EFIL. Important success factors were also the picturesque city of Brugge around and the sunny weather of the week.
Thank you all for contributing to this great meeting and see you again in 2020!
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