AFS World Café

Relevant information

Welcome to the AFS World Café—a community for global citizens!

The WoCa is the new communications hub in AFS—where Volunteers,
Returnees and Staff can find relevant and exciting news and resources.

  Scroll down to see a selection of our blogs! 


    • 1 Feb 2018

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: Walk Together, Talk Together

    AFS Returnee Joan Salajan created this painting for AFS Director General Stephen Galatti for Christmas in 1955. Joan had recently traveled to Greece from the United States as an AFS student, and wanted to thank Galatti for her experience. With her painting she included the well-known “Walk Together, Talk Together” AFS motto…
    • 5 Dec 2017

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: Wartime Service in the Middle East

    In honor of International Volunteer Day (December 5), we're sharing the story of a World War II AFS ambulance driver who exemplifies the AFS volunteer spirit. Inspired by his wartime service in the Middle East and Europe with AFS, American Richard Bayly Winder IV devoted his life to disseminating knowledge about Arabic and the Middle East...
    • 15 Nov 2017

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: AFS in Space

    Since the beginning, AFS has been a risk-taking organization that transcends borders, but did you know AFS has even transcended the boundaries of Earth on more than one occasion? This month, following the solar eclipse that was visible to the United States, northern Canada, northern South America, northwestern Europe and Africa, and the Chukchi Peninsula in Asia in late August, the staff of the AFS Archives would like...
    • 1 Jul 2017

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: Henry E.M. Suckley, 1915

    Henry E.M. Suckley volunteered for AFS with unit SSU 3 in February 1915, serving alongside future AFS Director General Stephen Galatti and Lost Generation painter Waldo Peirce. Suckley served overseas for more than two years, moving from Alsace, Lorraine, and Verdun into the Balkans as chef of unit SSU 10 in late 1916. Tragically, Suckley was mortally wounded by a bomb dropped from a German plane above Zemlak, Albania...
    • 1 May 2017

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: Three Little Spectators, 1945

    Irving Penn, one of the most celebrated photographers of the last half of the twentieth century, was 27 years old and a photographer for Vogue when he volunteered with AFS in August 1944. He was sent to Italy and India, and served as an AFS ambulance driver and staff photographer between November 1944 and November 1945...
    • 1 Apr 2017

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: The Kid Chauffeur, 1915

    April 6, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I. While this day commemorates a military decision, it’s also serves as an important reminder that the war created a significant need for humanitarian organizations to provide some urgently-needed relief in response to the devastation...
    • 2 Mar 2017

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: Discover the World with AFS, circa 1976-1986

    The unique poster depicted above was designed by Mr. Teye Obahi Akunor, an AFS Participant from Ghana to Switzerland in 1975-1976. ..
    • 2 Feb 2017

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: Travels with Artie

    Arthur “Art” Howe, Jr. was an individual who dedicated much of his life to AFS: first as a volunteer ambulance driver in World War II, then as an AFS President (1965-1971) and finally as a Life Trustee. He shared his commitment to AFS with his wife, Peggy, who volunteered for the organization and traveled alongside her husband during his many AFS adventures. Traveling played a great part in their long marriage...
    • 1 Jan 2017

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: A Lifelong Friendship: Waldo Peirce and Ernest Hemingway

    In 1915, Harvard graduate Waldo Peirce volunteered as an ambulance driver with the American Field Service in France. After the war, Peirce went on to become an acclaimed artist with artwork in distinguished museums and private collections. Peirce painted a portrait of his lifelong friend Ernest Hemingway, which would appear on the cover of Time magazine in 1937...
    • 1 Dec 2016

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: Our Friend France, 1917

    The American Field Service (AFS) relied on donations from Americans in the United States to purchase ambulances during World War I. The organization created a number of promotional items and events in order to raise funds, including the promotional film Our Friend France...
    • 7 Oct 2016

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: Presidential Election on the S.S. Waterman, July 1968

    AFS Participants simulated the 1968 U.S. presidential elections aboard the S.S. Waterman on their way back to Europe after spending a year in the U.S. in July 1968. After selecting Republican and Democratic candidates during mock party conventions (where votes were counted on a blackboard)...
    • 27 Sep 2016

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: Edward J. Kelley, 1916

    On the evening of September 23, 1916, AFS volunteer ambulance driver Roswell Sanders took Edward E. Kelley, a newly-arrived volunteer, out on the road near Verdun, France. Verdun was the site of one of the longest and bloodiest battle of the First World War...
    • 1 Aug 2016

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: Marsh's Marauders, 1945

    This photograph shows AFS volunteer William Boardman Kinter waiting on the Kalaw Staircase for casualties in Burma in 1945. Kinter and his AFS friends referred to themselves as “Marsh’s Marauders,” which they painted in bright yellow on signs placed on the front stretcher rack of their jeep ambulances.
    • 1 Jul 2016

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: The Enduring Legacy of Richard Nelville Hall

    Richard Nelville Hall volunteered for AFS immediately after graduating from Dartmouth College in 1915. In a letter to his parents, he stated that "the greatest inducement to going over [to France] is the opportunity for humanitarian work"...
    • 3 Jun 2016

    Voices Blog: Hakkari - Izmir Local Exchange Goes Into Second Year

    It has been a tough year in Turkey, no need to sugar-coat it. When the AFS Volunteers organized the first Hakkari - Izmir Local Exchange in 2015, we were talking of peace throughout the country. Things were getting better; things were going to be much much better. We were going to laugh together, sing together, dance together. Then it didn't happen... Then bombs started exploding. Then people started dying in hundreds...
    • 1 Jun 2016

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: AFSers at the Washington Monument, 1978

    In 1978, the AFS students hosted in the United States converged on the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. the day before their Departure Day. More than 1,000 students, chaperones, and families crammed into the area around the monument, with balloons flying and cries filling the air...
    • 17 May 2016

    Voices Blog: My AFS Coming-out Story

    Homophobia and transphobia – fears that turn into hate. Unfortunately, we still live in a world where these two are present. But what does that have to do with AFS? Today is IDAHOT - the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. An important date to remember that in many places in the world, LGBT youth still face exclusion and discrimination in our society. We believe that AFS can play an important...
    • 11 May 2016

    Voices Blog: The first students from Hakkari travel abroad!

    This story starts somewhere in Izmir, Turkey with a group of dedicated AFS volunteers and takes us to Faro in Portugal. It reminds us of what the AFS mission is all about. Cultural differences within a country can sometimes be even bigger than those across continents. At AFS, we are very good at creating bridges between different nations. However, we rarely focus on the diversity within nations. This has recently changed...
    • 5 May 2016

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: From AFS to the Lafayette Escadrille

    After a recent renovation, the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial was rededicated on April 20, 2016 in the presence of dignitaries from France and the United States. The famed Escadrille Américaine (Lafayette Escadrille) was formed exactly one hundred years earlier...
    • 4 Apr 2016

    Voices Blog: Pride and privilege: how AFS experiences relate to social justice

    As an AFS volunteer and returnee I often find it challenging to explain to outsiders what we do. From the simplest explanation about our school programs to a long discussion about our volunteer development strategies, I have always found it difficult to explain impact of our work to those outside the AFS network. The dynamic of ...
    • 1 Apr 2016

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: My Grandfather, the Pacifist

    AFS Returnee Frances Wilson retraced some of her grandfather’s steps through Italy, after learning about the connection between her own AFS story and his. She then used her grandfather’s unpublished memoir to recount his fascinating story...
    • 8 Mar 2016

    Voices Blog: Grassroots volunteers for greener AFS events - How can we make our events more sustainable?

    Food. Flights. Reduce. Paper. Plastic. Waste. Recycle. Reuse. Materials. Alternatives. Information. Awareness. Promotion. Actions. Sustainability. These are some of the keywords from the discussion that we, the volunteers of AFS, are currently having about how we can make AFS a more sustainable organization. When I heard there w...
    • 26 Feb 2016

    Voices Blog: Turkish AFS Volunteers Launch New Grassroots Initiative

    Humankind has always imagined the future. We imagined a more secure cave as a shelter. We imagined more food, a warmer home. We imagined vehicles that go on their own and to fly. As we approached the 21st century, we imagined trips to Mars, colonies in space, time machines. We imagined Back to the Future’s and Jetsons...
    • 2 Feb 2016

    AFS Archives: Item of the Month: Bunny Hop, 1954

    The photograph above shows Americans Abroad Summer Program participants doing the Bunny Hop at a ball in West Berlin in 1954...
    • 15 Jan 2016

    Voices Blog: What's Happening in Hakkâri?

    At the beginning of November, we have shared with you a powerful story from Turkey about the project in Hakkâri who won the 2015 ChangeMaker Award for Organizational Innovation. This is how the story continues. It is almost the end of the year. Unlike the rest of the country and much of Europe that still enjoys spri...