The COVID-19 pandemic keeps on affecting our lives every day and is shaping the way we view the world. It is an undeniably tough time for each society. We at AFS recognize that connecting with and listening to the needs of our volunteers has become ever so important.

AFS Argentina & Uruguay is one of the many AFS partners that are doing a great job at reconnecting with their people on the ground. In the past weeks, their volunteer engagement staff have been busy getting in touch with their local chapters to hold 45-60 minute webinars – with wonderful success! In just a short amount of time, they have already spoken to 75% of their local units.

It is important to remember that the current situation can bring out a variety of different emotions in people and one needs to find a supportive environment to share those. Before we jump right into making plans for the future, we must listen to the needs of our people.

AFS Argentina & Uruguay Local Chapter Contact Calls

When discussing hard topics, such as coping with COVID-19, we need structure in our calls. AFS ARG & URU prepared a meeting script to be able to make the most out of these webinars. The script was designed to allow volunteers to voice their thoughts and concerns, as well as emotions. After defining the purpose of the call, they gave their volunteers space for coordinated sharing.

The webinars provided a safe space for volunteers to share how they are doing and brainstorm about creative ways to support each other during these tough times. It was also a platform to work towards finding the hidden gemstones of opportunities under these crazy circumstances. Each meeting was closed off with a set of tips on how to stay connected.

It is heartwarming to see how the AFS spirit strives under all circumstances. Partners have taken steps towards keeping the connections amongst volunteers alive even when being confined to using online tools.