Our volunteers around the globe show commitment and care day after day. They help bring our mission to life. Nowadays, the world is going through challenging times. Yet, our volunteers have shown tremendous support during the repatriation of our students. They have shown true dedication and unity. We always say that in AFS one becomes a global citizen, and there is no better proof to that than seeing our volunteers step up in times of crisis.

The question arises – how can we thank them for all their hard work and how can we stay in touch?

Volunteer appreciation has always been a compelling topic in AFS and other volunteer-based NGOs. There can be many ways to show our gratitude to the people that are the backbone of our organization.

When we talk about appreciation, we often assume that it is the same as recognition. Working with people, you quickly learn that continuous appreciation goes a long way. On the contrary, the motivational surge you get from being recognized fades a lot faster. We need to find ways to show our gratitude day by day to the people around us. Appreciation can take many forms. It can manifest in transparent communication, a genuine interest in one’s opinion, or a simple act of humanity.

Like many other partners, AFS Paraguay is working towards fostering their volunteer relations. They have gone out on a limb to recognize the effort their volunteers made to help evacuate participants safely. They prepared a ‘thank you’ video to express their gratitude. 

AFS Paraguay also understood that as we face personal and professional challenges every day, volunteers might need something extra to keep up their spirits. They engaged Francisco “Tachi” Cazal, former president of AFS International to record a video for AFSers. Tachi is well-known and respected in AFS Paraguay and his reassuring words can be a balsam to the soul for anyone needing motivation these days.

These are only two from the many examples we see happening every single day. Stepping into a new era, we are together creating a novel and different way of volunteering. It is exciting to see the first steps being taken on the long road of transformation.