What we believe in
Global competence is the “power skill” young people require to make their impact on an increasingly diverse world and global economy. Active global citizens must be prepared to communicate, collaborate and lead across differences to tackle the world’s greatest challenges and help more people benefit from a global economy.
AFS Intercultural Programs is an international, voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.
AFS enables people to act as responsible global citizens working for peace and understanding in a diverse world. It acknowledges that peace is a dynamic concept threatened by injustice, inequity, and intolerance.
AFS seeks to affirm faith in the dignity and worth of every human being and of all nations and cultures. It encourages respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to race, sex, language, religion or social status.
AFS activities are based on our core values of dignity, respect for differences, harmony, sensitivity and tolerance.
Keeping our AFS Participants Safe
AFS around the world is committed to protecting the safety of AFS participants. AFS believes that it is always unacceptable for any person to experience abuse of any kind and makes all reasonable efforts to safeguard the welfare and minimize the risk of abuse of all people participating in AFS programs. Staff and volunteers of AFS around the world who become aware of an actual or potential situation of abuse or harm have a duty to promptly address the situation according to AFS policy. They also have a duty report the situation to the local authorities in accordance with local law requirements and any applicable national or local policies and procedures.
AFS Intercultural Programs began as the American Ambulance Field Service, a volunteer ambulance corps created in April 1915 by A. Piatt Andrew. Learn about how AFS was transformed from a wartime humanitarian aid organization into a groundbreaking international secondary school exchange, volunteer, and intercultural learning organization in our timeline!