In the Loop

The Newsletter of Federation EIL - Worldwide Network of the Experiment in International Living - September 2010

The mission of the Federation EIL is to facilitate its member organizations in the lifelong involvement of individuals in intercultural learning experiences. This process helps develop understanding of and respect for people throughout the world.

In This Issue

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News from YES International Korea
FEIL Consultant appointed to University of Arizona Advisory Board
Experimento Brazil wins LTM Star Agency Award
Experiment Germany prepared Work Abroad participants
Volunteer Coordinator participates in Earthquake Relief Program
SIT Study Abroad Alum Gives interviews with The New York Times, Oprah, and "Watt's Up?"
Save the dates for the 2011 General Assembly
Links of Interest

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Gail SangsterThis issue of In The Loop is dedicated to our friend and colleague – Gail Sangster – who was the founder and director of Federation EIL’s member organization in Canada, FRIENDS Inc. Gail passed away on August 15 following a 10 year battle with cancer. She is admired for her courage and determination and will be missed by all who knew her and worked with her. As her daughter Jessica wrote, “She has touched so many people’s lives and has made us all believe the saying “Never Give Up”. Thank you Gail, for being part of The Experiment family, for your many contributions to our organization, and for your dedication to building peace through understanding.

I also take this opportunity to recognize Elaine Stiles who has been the intrepid editor of In The Loop for the past seven years. While Elaine will be leaving to pursue some new challenges and opportunities, she will always have a place with us here at Federation EIL. She has not only brought her talent and creativity to our newsletter but has contributed professionally to all aspects of Federation EIL. I want to officially thank Elaine on behalf of The Federation and all its members and to wish her all the very best in the future.

Ilene Todd, Director
Federation EIL

Sleepless at YES International

The summer flew by for YES International. The staff spent many sleepless nights during the summer, not just because of the heat wave but also because of the numerous outbound and inbound programs. To provide meaningful experiences to the participants visiting Korea and going abroad, everyone in the office kept themselves busy planning and executing different programs. Even after the summer programs ended, summer was not officially over at YES International because there were three more big “events” waiting.

The first was training for new staff at YES International. The training was also necessary to evaluate and look back at the past of the organization, compare Korean and European youth to have a better understanding of participants, and plan for the next 10 years for YES International. Bogdan Imre (trainer and former ASEF officer) and Francesco Volpini (Director of CCIVS) were invited as trainers. Although an intense two days, everyone who attended agreed that it was indeed a meaningful and worthwhile session.

The next event on the calendar was the Global Seminar. With the growing demand for intercultural youth programs, YES International felt the need to provide guidance to Korean youth and parents to look beyond getting grades and certificates before and after participating in intercultural youth programs. Under the theme of ‘Global Leaders: Who does the world seek in the 21st century’, basic introduction to non-formal education, competencies of youth sought by international organizations, and ways to realize the dreams were shared. After the end of the seminar, many youth and parents participated in a heated Q & A session. With almost 200 participants signing up for the seminar in less than a week, this was truly a success in terms of participation and also the satisfaction rating of the participants. New office location for YES

The last event left on the calendar was the relocation of YES International. With the rapid growth of the organization, the old office couldn’t accommodate the growing number of staff with adequate office and meeting room space. For two full days, everyone contributed to packing and preparing the new office. It took about a week to find the right spot for all the assets, but it is now all settled. YES International would once again like to express our gratitude and sincere thanks for all the support and cooperation from partner organizations through the years.

With the summer events marked off the calendar, and the gentle morning breeze greeting in the mornings, things have gotten back to the normal tempo- staffs are now working on a normal schedule, and returning home before the stars shine. In the new office, YES International is now planning the next phase to make the next leap forward. YES International will strive for providing the excellent service in appreciation of continuous support from partner organizations.

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FEIL Educational Consultant Appointed to University of Arizona Advisory Board

Alvino Fantini, Educational Consultant to the Federation EIL, and Professor Emeritus, SIT Graduate Institute, was recently appointed member of the National Advisory Board of the newly formed Center for Education Resources in Culture, Language, Literacy (CERCLL), established at the University of Arizona.

The University recently received a Title VI Language Resource Center grant from the U.S. Department of Education, designed to improve the nation's capacity for teaching and learning foreign languages. Fantini's role during his 4-year tenure will be to help conceptualize, design, and implement trainings for foreign language educators that integrate language and culture in the classroom.

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Experimento Brazil wins LTM Star Award

Experimento Brazil was named Star Agency Latin America at this year's Language Travel Magazine awards ceremony in London. Experimento Director Patricia Zocchio sent a message to FEIL partners and friends upon receiving the honor. She and her staff are pictured below with the award, and with many smiles! Congratulations to Experimento Brazil!

Dear Friends,

My staff and I are specially thrilled with the LTM Star Award we conquered in London. I would like to extend my true and deepest appreciation for your support.

Believe me, this award means a lot more than a prize to us. It demonstrates that Experimento is in the right path when chooses to be guided by such values as seriousness, credibility, hard work, team work, customer service, etc. This recognition has already given us even more energy to continue building the BEST Latin America Agency!

We are very proud with the recognition of you, our partner. Thank you very much!

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A weekend full of information, two scholarships and lots of sweets

It is a sunny and hot Saturday afternoon in early August. Yes…even in Germany there is sometimes nice weather like this. 34 participants of the working-experience-preparation weekend are waiting in the lobby of a youth hostel in Bonn, curiously looking at each other and waiting for Ana Klaen to give the starting signal for two days packed with information about seven target countries.

Ana, the program manager of working experience at Experiment in Germany is beinScholarship winners Pia Loser and Julia Keitzke with Ana Klaeng supported by seven honorary staff members who recently returned from the countries the young globetrotters will soon be travelling into. Before she kicks off the information marathon, Ana congratulates Pia Löser und Julia Kietzke, two young ladies who were chosen to receive an Experiment scholarship as Demi Pair and Volunteer.

The first exercise of the day is “What statement applies to your host country?” The Experiment team quickly covered some tables with a collection of quotes that are related to each of the target countries. The participants are requested to find out which quotes represent the country they signed up for.

After everyone found “his” or “her” table, the seminar officially begins. The group moves into a conference room that was affectionately prepared with flags, shirts, information material, vegetables and sweets. Lots of sweets. Cases of sweets!!!

Ana reveals that she expects the unexpected, eg. loss of power, strike of public transport staff and a sudden bankruptcy of all supermarkets nearby. The editorial staff of this newsletter is exclusively granted a look at a suit case full of cookies, chocolate, gummy bears – just in case…

Anyway – nothing unforeseen happened and on Sunday afternoon the group gathered for a wonderful foto which we would like to show you all. Have fun with our colleagues, dear students. Have fun with our students, dear colleagues!


Petra Keller, Experiment e.V. Germany
September 2010

Fairouz El Hamdaoui, General Coordinator of VIP program Morocco participated in the Earthquake Relief program in Chile!!

I always had the passion and hope to discover new country, make new friends and experience new culture through voluntary work and finally my dream came true and I was lucky enough that this happened far away from home in a beautiful land called CHILE!! I was quite nervous since it was my first time abroad in a far country that I do not speak the language of its people (Spanish). However, when I thought that Pochy, Agustin and Claudio are there immediately big smile was marked on my face.

My first week in Santiago, the capital of Chile was like the following: In the mornings we did first have “orientation” classes to get an idea about the host country as well as working with other volunteers coming from different countries (Ecuador, Spain and USA) on the potential activities that we would do for the people in Pichidegua (the host community). Yet, during the afternoons, we did sightseeing in different nice places around the capital. I was lucky, gifted and even spoiled once more to be hosted by my supper Chilean “dad” Agustin and his sweet family. I was able to taste different culture from my own and see it by their eyes. Therefore, I would say MUCHAS GRACIAS for being so generous and kind to me! Fairouz with new Chilean friends

After the “luxurious” week in Santiago with Agustin’s family, we have moved to the host community Pichidegua (2h.30 min by bus) far away from the Capital city Santiago where the living conditions were very basic. Pichidegua is a small town which was badly damaged by the earthquake; it was new and harsh feeling for me to pass by collapsed houses and shops.

My main task there was teaching English to young and cute students aged from 7 to 13 years old in one of the schools in the village. At the beginning I did have a friend from Chile who did assist me in case the students did not really get the course and translation to Spanish was really needed. Yet, at the end I did tutor by myself even with the language barrier and not being able to speak Spanish, sign language and other things did really work out in this case. In addition to teaching, our group also did organize for the host community various “fun” activities such a day for children, a movie show to adults, site visits to elderly people and children in kindergarten. We were very successful in collecting money out of a Bingo party where we did buy drums to the school of music in the community.

The highlight for me was working with women and men from Pichidegua in building homes collapsed by the recent earthquake in remote places. The language barrier was not a real obstacle. I did very much enjoy talking, dancing, eating and then working with them (I am sure their supervisor will not be happy if he did read this article). They were extremely nice and fantastic people; they made Pichidegua a warm place for me even it was one of the coldest places I have ever been in my life. I did learn from them how to enjoy and love my life even with very simple elements. I was pretty happy and proud to make them smile or even laugh at me (most of the time) either because of my Spanish or the way how I teach them how to do bellydance for their pololos ( chilean word which means boyfriends) or their husbands. I was very happy and proud as well to make them because we were their for them and to hear their laughs and confirm hat they are not alone in facing all the sad time they had after the earthquake.

Finally, I would like to say MUCHAS GRACIAS POR todos my organization for giving me the chance to enroll in such a program and of course to Experiment Chile for offering me the opportunity to discover that exotic land with wonderful people and friends that I have from Chile, Ecuador, Spain and USA. Also many thanks for the city hall of Pichidegua, the members of the school of music for their remarkable assistance to us in our stay and of course to all the sweet and amazing people in Pichidegua for giving us the opportunity to be part of their community. I will always remember for the rest of my life the amazing time I had there and for sure Chile will be always a remarkable part of my entire life.

Many thanks,
Fairouz

Wes Moore Interviewed for Experiment e.V. Newsletter

SIT study abroad alum Wes Moore seems to be giving interviews everywhere since the publication of his book "The Other Wes Moore". Featured by such media outlets as The New York Times, Oprah, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, People Magazine, and now, Experiment Germany's newsletter, "Watt's Up?"

Currently serving as an investment professional in New York, Moore graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University, and has been a Rhodes Scholar, Special Assistant to Condoleezza Rice as a White House Fellow, an Army captain in combat in Afghanistan, and a featured speaker for Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Moore was named one of Ebony magazine's Top 30 Leaders Under 30 for 2007 and one of Crain's 40 Under 40: New York's Rising Stars in 2009.

Importantly, he also participated in an SIT Study Abroad program in South Africa where he began reflecting on his life, and the life of another young man from his home town of Baltimore, who had the same name and a very different fate. The juxtaposition between their lives, and the questions it raised about accountability, chance, fate and family had a profound effect on him, and inspired him to write the book. Read about the book and more about Wes Moore at: http://theotherwesmoore.com/about-the-author/

To read the translated interview published in "Watt's Up?", click here.

Save the dates for the General Assembly Meeting 2011 in Chile

Save the dates for the GA 2011 in Chile - arrival Sunday, April 10 and departure on Friday, April 15.  More information will be coming soon.

Links of Interest:

EIL Ireland Travel Grants 2010 - Go to their website to learn about the awards and the 2010 recipients

"Working together to halt the loss of biodiversity" - On 28 April, the United Nations Conference of INGOs, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local Regional Authorities signed this joint declaration to respond to the urgent need to halt the loss of biodiversity.

EIL Intercultural Learning Spring Newsletter with a focus on human trafficking

Travelling Naturally and Green Earth Guides

UN Economic and Social Council 

UN Millennium project

UNESCO Culture of Peace  

Council of Europe

Every Human Has Rights Campaign

NAFSA Resources for Study Abroad offices

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