In these times of great turmoil and conflict, AFS and our allies worldwide have ramped up our mission-driven commitment to foster intercultural understanding to create a more just and peaceful world. We accomplish this critical work through thousands of active global citizens empowered by AFS study abroad programs, intercultural education events and community outreach initiatives. The #AFSeffect is building momentum.
We invite you to meet some of our global citizens (AFS volunteers, alumni, students, host families, and staff) throughout this annual report. We believe you will be inspired by the ways their intercultural skills are changing the world—whether they’re mentoring refugee students in Europe, teaching underserved young children in Egypt, fundraising for charities in the Dominican Republic, or raising awareness around environmental issues in China. Our workshops such as Efeito+ also prepared Brazillian teens to tackle UN Sustainable Development Goals-related projects in their communities.
In 2016, more than 12,000 Generation Z students and Millennial young adults from 60+ countries participated in programs such as our flagship AFS High School Program (now entering its 70th year), as well as innovative short school-based and young adult opportunities. AFS exchanges include unique structured intercultural learning journeys or Global Competence Certificate programs—and are supported by more than 50,000 AFS volunteers worldwide.
AFS is immensely grateful for the generosity and advocacy of our donors, who make our work possible. In 2015, we received more than $16.5 million in funding and scholarships from individuals, governments, foundations and corporations such as BP (US), the Speedwell Foundation (US), Intesa Sanpaolo bank (Italy), Kreuzberger Kinderstiftung (Germany), and HSBC (Hong Kong).
Building on an exciting 2016, the AFS Board of Trustees, 60 AFS Network Organizations and the entire AFS global community—one million strong—look forward to launching a new AFS strategy in 2017. Our goal: Reposition AFS for the 21st century. Join us as we broaden our reach and deepen our impact around the world.