Three cheers for EFIL: in 2021, the European Federation for Intercultural Learning celebrated its 50th anniversary! 

EFIL would like to extend a sincere word of thanks to the numerous people that have supported the Federation over the past five decades, sparing no time or effort to keep things moving, helping EFIL think of directions for the future: the European institutions, several foundations, NGO’s and non-profit organisations, the staff and boards of the national offices and of AFS International, the very many AFS volunteers across Europe (and beyond) who participated in EFIL activities and helped with the coordination of events as facilitators or members of the preparatory teams, support teams or trainers teams, and many individuals who devoted their time and energy to EFIL in some way or another.

Travel through 50 years of EFIL

50 years of EFIL: Intercultural learning in Europe through the eyes of volunteers

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Youth Partnership – The History of Youth Work in Europe (Chapter 2 – p.29-42)

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40 years of EFIL: 1971 – 2011

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“Once upon the time in Torino, Italy…” How did it all begin? During an informal meeting volunteers talked about cooperation between AFS in Europe for the very first time. This meeting paved the way for the formal launching of AFS Europa in 1971.

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AFS Europa became EFIL. EFIL put Intercultural Learning on the table, gave the youth of Europe a voice, and established connections with the European institutions.

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A widening focus EFIL’s tasks expanded: new European exchange programmes were launched, several colloquiums took place, establishment of the Africa desk. The cooperation with AFS International led to the opening of the Joint Office in Brussels (J.O.B.).

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A decade of challenges: In the late 80’s and early 90’s EFIL faced a crisis, both internally and externally. A new development plan presented at the General Assembly in 1994 marked a turning point and a new beginning for the Federation.

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Increased visibility and credibility: EFIL has been able to meet the many challenges it faced in the 90’s, and has regained its credibility with the European institutions, enhanced visibility among volunteers, achieved support from Member Organisations.

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Decade of great achievements: VSS, PEACE, new AFS members and plenty of opportunities for volunteer growth and development.

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