Launching of AFS programmes in Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina

At the General Assembly in Lisbon 2007 the member organisations endorsed EFIL’s Strategic Directions 2007-2012, which include implementing initiatives to enlarge the Federation which will result in larger and healthier programmes, and thus help build up overall network health.

With AFS International resources focused on the development of specific network partners, new partner development in Europe is a task currently executed by EFIL. EFIL is in a good position to look for funding opportunities with European institutions, and through study visits and regular discussions with the partners in Europe, exchange programmes involving four new partners have been set up over the past four years. AFS International too has played a much appreciated supporting role in the developments in South Eastern Europe over the past years. Today, partner organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia each represent an official Branch Office of AFS International and have embarked on sending and hosting programmes with AFS partners in Europe and beyond.

An EFIL volunteer training with focus on organisational development was held in Zagreb (Croatia) in 2009. EFIL’s annual Programme Directors meetings in 2008 and 2010 took place in Belgrade (Serbia) and Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovin) respectively. EFIL will further support the new AFS organisations by involving them in trainings, seminars and meeting, and by encouraging established member organisations to further support the new partners through the sharing of information, first hand advice and help with programme-linked matters (selections, orientations, etc.).

Following the successes in South Eastern Europe, a further goal of the Federation is to establish permanent volunteer organisations for pupil exchanges in Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Poland in the years to come.