This issue of the AFS Janus introduces a new “AFS in Action” column, which highlights a few of the many exciting evetns and projects from around the AFS Network. We invite you check out our new website to stay up to date about more AFS activities dedicated to creating a more just and peaceful world.
These activities are even more relevant as AFS celebrates the 70th anniversary of the student exchange programs this year. The programs were created in 1946 to promote intercultural understanding after two devastating World Wars, and the first group of AFS secondary school students arrived in the United States the following year. We share the story of the visionary individual and wartime volunteer who spearheaded this incredible initiative, Stephen Galatti, in our cover feature.
The AFS programs have grown exponentially in size and type since 1947, all while providing life-changing experiences to students and families around the world. Jen Rodewald, one of the 400,000 former AFS students, discusses her own experience and how she’s still involved with AFS today in “Through Their Own Words: An AFS Returnee and the World War I Diary Project.”
Later in the issue, Milena Miladinović, AFS International’s senior writing and social marketing specialist, discusses how the AFS programs have evolved over time in “Making an Impact through the #AFSeffect.” In his inaugural “Letter from the AFS President,” Daniel Obst further explores the need for AFS in today’s world and how we can work together to broaden the reach and deepen the impact of AFS through our newly launched One Welcoming World campaign.
Finally, AFS is saddened to report that one of our founders and life trustees, Ward B. Chamberlin, Jr., passed away this year. We remember him and his indelible impact on AFS in this issue.