By: Nizam Mokhtar (AFS Malaysia Chair) & Atty Sulaiman (AFS Malaysia National Director)
In March, AFS Malaysia hosted the AFS Asia-Pacific Initiative (AAI) Meeting in Kuala Lumpur. This Annual meeting gathered 30 delegates from Partner Countries in the Asia-Pacific region to discuss greater intra-regional collaboration. The AAI Meeting also coincided with the 14th Asia-Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) Conference & Exhibition, hence some delegates stayed on after the official meeting to attend the APAIE Conference, where AFS had a booth. AFS Malaysia staff were on hand to help with enquiries and promoting the AFS Global Competency Certificate (GCC), an online, blended learning program that would complement any mobility program. The response from Malaysian Universities on the GCC was very encouraging.
To cater to the growing need of Intercultural Education, we organised an AFS Level 1 Intercultural Learning (ICL) Workshop in April; the GCC Qualified Facilitators Workshop in May and November and The AFS Qualified Trainers Workshop in October. We are happy to note that by 2020, we would have enough “in-house experts” in Intercultural Learning to be able to conduct workshops for the public.
In May, AFS International introduced the AFS Scorecard, which serves as practical measurement tools to better understand how AFS Organizations perform against the Network Strategy Key Performance Indicators. With this introduction, we adapted our AFS Malaysia Goals & KPI to focus on the four main areas assessed by the Scorecard; Social Impact, Management Capability, Stakeholder Satisfaction, Financial Sustainability.
This sees a shift from just working on growth in hosting and sending numbers to focusing on providing intercultural learning and developing active global citizens via other avenues such as forums and workshops. School Relations took centre stage as we developed programs for schools as a token of appreciation for their unstinting support throughout the years. By the last quarter of 2019, we received overwhelming offers to conduct Intercultural Learning workshops for schools and university students.
In addition, we kicked off our Effect+ Program to develop active global citizens among school children, in December. The two-day program proved remarkably successful and as a result we received more invitations to conduct similar sessions in schools around Malaysia.
AFS continues to be blessed with dedicated and committed volunteers throughout Malaysia. We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt appreciation to all our volunteers for their time, effort, and contribution towards the mission of AFS.