From the 10 to 15 July, 160 AFS volunteers gathered on the island of Utøya, close to Venice, Norway for the 11th edition of the EFIL Volunteer Summer Summit, by now one of the biggest international AFS event in the network. More than 30 different AFS partners were present including most of EFIL’s Member Organisations as well as: AFS Argentina and Uruguay, AFS Ghana, AFS Japan and AFS South Africa.

At the event participants enjoyed a wide selection of quality workshops, the famous intercultural bazaar, a Norwegian cultural evening where participants learned about different aspects of Norwegian culture, the famous community project, leisure activities of all kinds, and most of all: fantastic company and lively AFS discussions!

The theme of this year’s VSS was Civic Education against extremism and participants were offered space to engage in discussion, project building, best practice sharing, intercultural learning, critical thinking and a lot of fun. Participants explored the topic in workshops dedicated to 5 different tracks: Intercultural Learning in Civic Education, Shaping Public Opinion, AFS as a Stakeholder in Civic Education, Civic Global Activism, and Peace through Inclusion.

To facilitate these workshops a team of experienced EPOT (EFIL European Pool of Trainers) and external trainerswas recruited. Together with the trainers, the prep– and support team formed the team behind the whole event. We were lucky to have such a hardworking and amazing team that made this VSS an unforgettable one. With all their “behind the scenes” work they offered participants space to work together and develop not only in workshops but throughout the whole event.

We want to thank AFS Norway for being a great host for the VSS and for all the help and support it provided as a host country. With the end of the VSS we at the EFIL office were sad to say goodbye to our EVS volunteer, Alma Dóra Ríkarðsdóttir, to the EFIL office, who is off on her next big adventure across the Atlantic, we wish her the best of luck. At the same time we are happy and excited to welcome our new EVS volunteer, Nicolas Martig, who’ll work with us for one year.

For those who missed the handover of the sunflower, the next VSS will be hosted by AFS Austria on the theme of #AFS Effect: Volunteering for Impact. We are excited to see many motivated there next summer, so until then: See you in Austria!

For more info: [email protected]