The #AFSChangeMaker Award aims at recognizing outstanding initiatives led by AFS volunteers, that look at creating change both within and beyond the organization. These are the two categories under which you can submit your project:

  • Social Impact, to identify projects that reach beyond the AFS audience and have a positive effect on the social fabric of communities, on the environment and the well-being of individuals and families. We are looking for initiatives that tackle
    environmental degradation and climate change and/or societal issues such as youth unemployment, inter-generational dialogue, intercultural conflict, empowerment of marginalized groups, educational projects, or involve a wider definition of peace. All projects must be serving our mission as an organization, and it is paramount to be able to articulate how the initiative connects with the AFS Mission.

  • Organizational Innovation, which will recognize intrapreneurship, or efforts that generated positive changes inside AFS organizations (at the local, regional, national or international level). We are looking for projects that changed and improved our internal process and operations. This category promotes internal innovation.

This year, we have only received submissions under the category of Social Impact: the finalists you see listed above are thus all projects aimed at Social Impact.


How it works

Selection Committee

For the first phase of selection, we have invited a jury to evaluate all the projects. The jury was composed by:

Francisco ‘Tachi’ Cazal, former President and CEO of AFS Intercultural Programs
Ragnar Thorvardarson, member of the Board of Trustees
Sharon Held, volunteer at AFS USA, 2014 Galatti Award Winner
Sheryl Tucker, Director of Marketing and Communications at AFS International

The jurors scored each project on a scale 1 to 5 according to the the following criteria: a) Connection to the AFS Mission, b) Reaching beyond the AFS Community, and c) Overall application. Adding up their scores, we were able to identify the 3 finalists we are presenting to you

Online voting: Nov 16th to Nov 30th at 4 pm EST

The projects selected by the jury are posted online for a public voting process (see above). We want all the AFS global community to participate and help select the winner of the 2016 #AFSChangeMaker Award for Social Impact.


All that good surely deserves a beautiful prize!

You are right! The winner of the 2016 #AFSChangeMaker Award will receive an engraved plate and a certificate, presented in person by the President of AFS Intercultural Programs or a member of the International AFS Board of Trustees. The winner will also be interviewed and featured in AFS World Café and AFS websites. Also, the winning group/chapter will receive an in-person 2-day training or workshop on a topic related to innovation and social impact to be delivered next year by an international trainer in their respective community.


#AFSChangeMaker Award Recipients


  • Organizational Innovation: Hakkari-Izmir Local Exchange, Turkey
  • Social Impact: Wintercamp AC, Argentina