That is what I feel, when I think about AFS.
Home and Family, a big, worldwide family that keeps adding members and expanding around the world.

My name is William Donini, I come from Italy, I used to be a teacher and educator and my goal in life is to leave the world a bit better than I found it.

For those who don’t know me yet, I’ve been an ESC Volunteer by AFS á Íslandi since August 2023.
My service happens mostly in the office, where in the past six months I have been working in Hosting programs and support to students and host families, but also in school presentations, camps and MAMEN.

These months have been so special to me.

I have so many good memories of this time and for this I wanna thank all the families, students and contact people I have met, as much as all my colleagues, with special mention to my mentor Edoardo, who supported me step by step.

Now that our friend and fellow ESC Kata is concluding her program, I decided to take over from her and redirect my service into the volunteering development area.

Since I first applied and then left Italy for my exchange to Denmark in 2014, the AFS network has never been out of my life.
As I often say, AFS volunteering has been my second exchange.
Indeed, as much as my exchange has been life changing and enriching, my ten years of volunteering have been an amazing journey. I drove hundreds of miles, organized events, interviewed people, selected hundreds of applicants, supported host families (even one in Sweden), met public authorities, given and received training, lost many hours of sleep. I’ve become a school official, a clown, a tour guide, an event planner, a translator, an airport security specialist and sometimes a bit of psychologist.

I visited places I would never have imagined and met people that became so important. I can connect many important episodes of my life to AFS events.
Most importantly, through all these things, I proactively changed my life and those of people around me, making teenagers, families and teachers discover something new about the world.

Day by day. It makes me feel as if I really am following my purpose.

This amazing organisation has now brought me to the beautiful, remote and complex country that Iceland is.
I got the chance to explore it a bit, to learn some Icelandic, to live it and understand it day by day for some time, and to call it home.

I want to contribute to it by allowing any Icelandic AFSer, and to the people in general, to get access to the same opportunities I had through the network. AFS lives thanks to its volunteers and I am ready to work, project, grow and have fun with them.

There is no AFS without volunteers.

The AFS original motto, made into song during the AFS international assembly of 1976, says: “Walk together, talk together, all ye peoples of the earth; then and only then, shall ye have peace.”
I am ready to walk together, what about you?