The time has arrived to get our Liaisons in place. We are looking for those who enjoy new faces and new adventures and have a love for AFS. Is this you?
The commitment is easy. An in-home visit with your student and their family shortly after arrival in August or September, with another in-home visit after January 1. The rest of the contacts are in person or by telephone, as well as at AFS functions you may attend. Reports on both the student and host family are filed online every month. (I hear that they are working on a cell phone app!) You will be asked to contact the student's school 3 times during the year. This is done in person, by phone or by email. Again, a report is filed online. Most meetings are in-home, or meeting the student on an outing (coffee or a burger, etc). You might like to attend a school function, too.
Worried you don't know enough? AFS has a variety of support in place. afswiki.org has a load of information to answer just about any question you may have. You will also find the Liaison handbook on the wiki. There are links to monthly questions you may want to ask. Your local chapter chairperson is there to assist. As Volunteer Support Coordinator, I am here to assist you as well as follow up with any issues. We have amazing staff in the Portland office to support us as well. Besides some online training, we will be having some in-person training available. This will probably be held in conjunction with Host Family training some evening or on a Saturday in July or August. We will have date options for you to choose from. A monthly email is sent to you with updates on upcoming items of importance, as well as what the students are up to.
Finally, this is a vitally important (as well as fun) position. Due to recent Department of State regulations, all exchange programs are required to make these monthly reports. AFS is known for going beyond the norm in supporting students. I am excited to say that our Columbia Pacific Team has had 100% compliance almost every month during the past year. That is about 1400 reports over the course of 10 months. I am very proud of the dedication of our local volunteers. Would you like to join us?
Jean GoecksVolunteer AT Support Coordinator AT Liaison Coordinator