Anies Rasyid Baswedan, Ph.D., Minister of Education and Culture of Indonesia. Sending partner: AFS Indonesia (1987) Anies Rasyid Baswedan founded the “Gerakan Indonesia Mengajar” (Teaching Indonesia Movement), which enables young educators to volunteer at elementary schools and donate books to schools and children in rural areas. Recognized for his groundbreaking accomplishments, Anies was the moderator of the historic and first presidential debate in the country, the youngest president of a university and the spokesperson for a national anti-corruption group.

Anies Rasyid Baswedan, Ph.D., Minister of Education and Culture of Indonesia. Sending partner: AFS Indonesia (1987)

Anies Rasyid Baswedan founded the “Gerakan Indonesia Mengajar” (Teaching Indonesia Movement), which enables young educators to volunteer at elementary schools and donate books to schools and children in rural areas. Recognized for his groundbreaking accomplishments, Anies was the moderator of the historic and first presidential debate in the country, the youngest president of a university and the spokesperson for a national anti-corruption group.

Morten Kjærum, Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Sending partner: AFS Denmark (1974) Morten Kjærum is a longtime human rights activist with an impressive track record. Morten created and lead the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) from 1991 to 2008 and then became the first director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. Today, he is the Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Sweden, which promotes universal respect for human rights and humanitarian law, in affiliation with Lund University. For six years Morten was a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and today he is the chair of ECRE—the biggest non-governmental network of humanitarian organizations assisting refugees in Europe.

Morten Kjærum, Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Sending partner: AFS Denmark (1974)

Morten Kjærum is a longtime human rights activist with an impressive track record. Morten created and lead the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) from 1991 to 2008 and then became the first director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. Today, he is the Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Sweden, which promotes universal respect for human rights and humanitarian law, in affiliation with Lund University. For six years Morten was a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and today he is the chair of ECRE—the biggest non-governmental network of humanitarian organizations assisting refugees in Europe.

Ulrike Lunacek, Vice-President of the European Parliament. Sending partner: AFS Austria (1973) Ulrike Lunacek’s work in foreign affairs positions her as an ideal advocate for civil liberties and human rights—including the rights of women, and ethnic and sexual minorities. Ulrike also promotes fair trade and corporate social responsibility to protect the environment. This global citizen was the first openly lesbian politician in her home country, Austria, and the first openly lesbian woman to hold a senior position in a European Union institution. In 2014, Ulrike handed Pope Francis a rainbow scarf (as a symbol for peace, indigenous peoples and the LGBTI community) on his visit to the European Parliament.

Ulrike Lunacek, Vice-President of the European Parliament. Sending partner: AFS Austria (1973)

Ulrike Lunacek’s work in foreign affairs positions her as an ideal advocate for civil liberties and human rights—including the rights of women, and ethnic and sexual minorities. Ulrike also promotes fair trade and corporate social responsibility to protect the environment. This global citizen was the first openly lesbian politician in her home country, Austria, and the first openly lesbian woman to hold a senior position in a European Union institution. In 2014, Ulrike handed Pope Francis a rainbow scarf (as a symbol for peace, indigenous peoples and the LGBTI community) on his visit to the European Parliament.

Marlene Johnson, Executive Director & CEO of NAFSA. Host family: AFS USA (1963) As the executive director and CEO for 18 years, Marlene Johnson has helped NAFSA (Association of International Educators) become a leading organization for international education and university-level study abroad. With 10,000 members worldwide, NAFSA advocates for immigration reform and making study abroad available to all students. The organization also works closely with academic and corporate partners on higher education mobility and intercultural learning issues. 

Marlene Johnson, Executive Director & CEO of NAFSA. Host family: AFS USA (1963)

As the executive director and CEO for 18 years, Marlene Johnson has helped NAFSA (Association of International Educators) become a leading organization for international education and university-level study abroad. With 10,000 members worldwide, NAFSA advocates for immigration reform and making study abroad available to all students. The organization also works closely with academic and corporate partners on higher education mobility and intercultural learning issues. 

Jakub Walenda, Chair of Gemeinsam TECHO e.V.  Sending partner: AFS Germany (2011) and Maddalena Andolfato, Volunteer for TECHO. Sending partner: AFS Italy (2014) These two outstanding AFS alumni from different countries volunteer for TECHO, a youth led non-profit organization. TECHO collaborates with local families in 19 Latin American countries and the Caribbean to eradicate extreme poverty.  Jakub Walenda was the first chair of the TECHO volunteer organization in Germany after returning from his AFS program in Chile. Under his leadership, TECHO Germany has raised money, recruited hundreds of young volunteers and enabled dozens of AFSers to become changemakers. As a Europe Coordinator, Jakub helped establish volunteer teams in Belgium, France, UK, Switzerland and Germany, raising approximately USD150,000 for social projects in Latin America. During her AFS program in Costa Rica, Maddalena Andolfato was deeply impacted by her volunteering experiences for TECHO. In a powerful gesture of support, Maddalena celebrated her 18th birthday with a crowdfunding campaign that raised over 7,000 EUR—enough for two houses in Costa Rica, and the campaign is still open.

Jakub Walenda, Chair of Gemeinsam TECHO e.V.  Sending partner: AFS Germany (2011) and Maddalena Andolfato, Volunteer for TECHO. Sending partner: AFS Italy (2014)

These two outstanding AFS alumni from different countries volunteer for TECHO, a youth led non-profit organization. TECHO collaborates with local families in 19 Latin American countries and the Caribbean to eradicate extreme poverty. 

Jakub Walenda was the first chair of the TECHO volunteer organization in Germany after returning from his AFS program in Chile. Under his leadership, TECHO Germany has raised money, recruited hundreds of young volunteers and enabled dozens of AFSers to become changemakers. As a Europe Coordinator, Jakub helped establish volunteer teams in Belgium, France, UK, Switzerland and Germany, raising approximately USD150,000 for social projects in Latin America.

During her AFS program in Costa Rica, Maddalena Andolfato was deeply impacted by her volunteering experiences for TECHO. In a powerful gesture of support, Maddalena celebrated her 18th birthday with a crowdfunding campaign that raised over 7,000 EUR—enough for two houses in Costa Rica, and the campaign is still open.


New certificate program targets critical 21st-century global skills

The Global Competence Certificate (GCC) state-of-the-art educational program was launched in 2015. This program combines intercultural learning and “cultural adjustment” modules to prepare students, interns, volunteers or employees for experiences in new cultural environments. The GCC, which consists of online components and in-person sessions, is offered to participants in internship, academic courses, language immersion or volunteer abroad opportunities offered by Sentio member organizations. It is also available to universities, businesses and NGOs interested in using the GCC to prepare their staff and students for international programs. So far, more than 200 participants already have enrolled in this new educational program. Sentio, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AFS Intercultural Programs.

The Global Competence Certificate (GCC) state-of-the-art educational program was launched in 2015. This program combines intercultural learning and “cultural adjustment” modules to prepare students, interns, volunteers or employees for experiences in new cultural environments. The GCC, which consists of online components and in-person sessions, is offered to participants in internship, academic courses, language immersion or volunteer abroad opportunities offered by Sentio member organizations. It is also available to universities, businesses and NGOs interested in using the GCC to prepare their staff and students for international programs. So far, more than 200 participants already have enrolled in this new educational program. Sentio, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AFS Intercultural Programs.