For more than 65 years, the success of AFS exchange programs has depended on a network of volunteers who generously donate their time and talents. The Galatti Award was established in 1983 to recognize these contributions, and it is presented each year to community volunteers who have provided long-term support at the grass-roots level. The award is the most prestigious commendation granted by AFS, celebrating the accomplishments of outstanding volunteers as well as the positive impact that volunteerism has on the community.

History of the Galatti Award

“For you now have the power to play a part in the realization that peace can come through understanding and through friendship the world over.”  – Stephen Galatti
Stephen Galatti served as the Director General of AFS for more than 28 years, from its beginnings in 1936 until his death in 1964. During this time, he built and transformed AFS from a volunteer ambulance service into a world-wide organization that promotes peace and global awareness through intercultural learning experiences.

Galatti worked tirelessly to expand the AFS global community, reaching out to ever-larger numbers of participants, families and countries. He created a program model that relied heavily on the continued support of dedicated volunteers, who he saw as the driving force behind the organization.

In keeping with Galatti’s vision, AFS places the highest value on its volunteers and recognizes them as the lifeblood of all AFS programs. It is in tribute to Galatti and to devoted AFS volunteers that the Galatti Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service was established.