AFS Galatti Award
Established in 1983, the AFS Galatti Award honors AFS volunteers whose longtime commitment, dedication and exceptional journey with the organization have advanced the AFS mission and created an impact. It is awarded in honor of Stephen Galatti, who was Director General of AFS for more than 28 years (1936-1964) and who built and transformed AFS into a world-wide organization that promotes peace and global awareness through intercultural learning experiences.
Long Tin Piau
Long Tin Piau has been an AFS Malaysia volunteer since 1988, serving as president of a local chapter, supporting participants, host families and volunteers through orientations and training, and organizing various community outreach programs.
He is now a retired teacher whose AFS achievements include growing and leading the chapter of Terengganu since 2006. Having served also as a host family for AFS students several times helped him to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to better understand intercultural education. He organized a grand AFS Parade for Peace during AFS 50th Anniversary in Malaysia. For all of his effort, he has been awarded with the AFS Malaysia Long Service Award in 2016 and AFS AAI award in 2019.
“He has served faithfully for 33 years, devoting almost half of his life for the noble AFS cause. His selfless sacrifice is an exemplary trait for volunteers to follow suit, and his love for the organization is beyond words.” —AFS Malaysia Board
Peggy and Art Howe Award
Established in 2016, Peggy and Art Howe Award honors the outstanding service of AFS volunteer families. This award is inspired by the Howe family, who volunteered for AFS for more than six decades. Art Howe was a volunteer AFS Ambulance Driver in World War II, President of AFS (1965-1971), and Life Trustee until his passing in 2014.
AFS Costa Rica
Mario Bonilla and Marco Abarca
Mario and Marco started volunteering with AFS Costa Rica in 2020, and became the first LGBTQ+ host family since the country achieved marriage equality. They opened their home and their hearts to their host son Etienne, and even were a temporary host family for another student. As a host family, they participated actively in orientations and all the activities, and communicated and supported each other and their student really well.
They are volunteers of the Turrialba Chapter, where they serve as Support Persons, guiding new AFS participants through their learning experiences. You can learn more about them in this video.
Nathalie Vaillancourt and Luc Gagnon
Nathalie and Luc’s adventure with AFS Canada began in 1999 when they became a host family for a young Hungarian student for a year. Nathalie and Luc would go on to welcome seven other students with AFS from Japan, Austria, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Brazil and Thailand, and host with other organizations as well.
In 2014, Nathalie and Luc started to volunteer with their local chapter where they remain active to this day. Nathalie in the vice-president of the chapter, having previously served as counseling coordinator and hosting assistant. She is a great team member who relates well with people and this is one of the reasons why this chapter has doubled its volunteer force and number of students hosted. Luc is the hosting coordinator in the same chapter
Nathalie and Luc believe hosting AFS students is a priority which reflects their family values with each student bringing in the gifts of diversity and inclusion.
Kammanit, Supakorn Puntavee and Chayakhon Puntavee
Kammanit and Supakorn Puntavee have been volunteering for AFS Thailand since 2001. The Puntavees volunteer for numerous social causes, including coordinating fundraising for education, providing meals, clean water, and consumer goods to help the disadvantaged, and more. They strive to contribute something positive to others and build a better global community, improving the lives of others who are underprivileged in education to reduce social inequality.
The Puntavee family wholeheartedly dedicated their effort with AFS to make sure the organization grows, and that every potential host family knows the value of opening their home and their hearts. They have consistently hosted AFS students since 2014. Their core values have impacted their family, participants, AFS volunteers, and their community at large.
Young AFS Volunteer Award
Volunteerism has an important role to play in harnessing the potential of young people, and in AFS, young volunteers make fundamental contributions to promote intercultural understanding. Established in 2015, the Young AFS Volunteer Award for Outstanding Service recognizes AFS volunteers under the age of 30 whose exceptional contributions to the organization have made a difference in advancing the mission and goals of AFS.
AFS Argentina & Uruguay
Berenice Bonneau has been a volunteer for AFS Argentina & Uruguay since 2019, focusing on building and strengthening AFS relations with local schools in the Santa Fe chapter, and supporting AFS participants in their student learning journey.
Her contribution in intercultural education has been fundamental in her local chapter and for AFS Argentina and Uruguay. She promoted and generated a strong and stable relationship with schools, getting them to value AFS for the contribution to the development of intercultural learning through the organization and facilitation of workshops for students and teachers to prepare schools for the AFS experience. Her role in school relations became essential during the pandemic, when she organized and facilitated workshops for teachers and supported other AFS chapters in the development of School Coordinators.
She has facilitated and designed learning sessions for schools and in international events such as “Ibero-American Education Week” organized by the Latin American association of AFS organizations and the AFS Global Ideathon, an online event run by AFS volunteers.
“Berenice is responsible, committed and innovative and is always ready to take on new challenges and has been a great contribution to our organization during the pandemic. She loves intercultural education, and she has worked very hard to make a difference.”—Valentina Koiffman, Volunteer Manager, AFS Argentina & Uruguay
Globally connected through volunteerism
AFS thanks all our volunteers who, with their efforts, commitment and dedication, make a positive contribution to society. Thank you for continuing to champion the AFS mission of intercultural understanding even in challenging times like these. Thank you for investing so much of your time and enthusiasm in continuously supporting AFS students, host families, sending families, schools, and local communities. You are an inspiration to us all!