It is finally time for the new volunteer to meet their local chapter! The guiding word for this step is inclusion, as the purpose is to help the new volunteer feel they belong.
This initial introduction to the local chapter should be in an informal social environment that allows for conversation, getting to know each other, and general relationship building. Attending an AFS host family gathering or a social event can be great moment for them to know their fellow volunteers. Avoid making a person’s first official contact be at a chapter meeting or other structured activity like an informational night.
The next part of thIs stage is to provide the new volunteer with a buddy or mentor who will help them navigate the AFS culture. They will help them integrate into the chapter by explaining the primary elements of AFS’s organizational culture. A buddy/mentor should be someone who has been with AFS for several years and can be an effective cultural informant. If possible, match the motivational profile of the new volunteer and their mentor.