The past few weeks were hard for AFS all around the world. We had to make the difficult but necessary decision to shorten our 2019/2020 programs. After most of our participants have been repatriated, many partners are focusing once again on volunteer engagement.

AFS Colombia has made a huge effort in this direction. They started by surveying what topics volunteers were interested in. Based on the survey results, they came up with the idea of holding weekly webinars and publishing various blog posts.

Webinars taking place:

The meeting recordings, together with some reading materials are shared in AFS COL’s volunteer group on Workplace. This way no one misses out on a learning opportunity!

Following these webinars, staff members will hold 1-2-1 meetings with each local chapter. Whilst national volunteer engagement activities are important, we also cannot forget the different realities in our local chapters. Holding calls with individual chapters is always a great way to assess local needs which then help tailor the support we provide to each.

Blog posts are also published weekly, discussing ICL-related topics, or providing tips on keeping local chapters engaged and active, as well as coping with isolation. The first 2 posts even included a maze, and bingo volunteers can share on social media.

All of these fantastic new initiatives were shared with volunteers in a special edition newsletter late-March.

AFS Colombia has not only managed to assess the needs of its volunteers in record time but also ended up designing various tools that help volunteers develop and stay engaged even during self-isolation.