Bina Antarbudaya & AFS
Bina Antarbudaya is a partner of AFS Intercultural Program, Inc.
Bina Antarbudaya, The Indonesian Foundation for Intercultural Learning, is a partner of AFS Intercultural Program, Inc. in Indonesia. AFS Intercultural Program is an international, voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.
AFS Intercultural Program with its headquarter in New York, is one of the oldest and most respected organization which run international exchange program since 1919. AFS takes its initial from the American Field Service, a corps of civilians who volunteered to drive ambulances to transport the wounded of the two World Wars. After their wartime service the ambulance drivers returned home and resolved to work for peace. They believed that if young people could understand their global neighbors, recognizing and appreciating each other’s differences, they could create a more just and peaceful world. The exchange programs begun by the AFS drivers now connect families, schools and communities in more than 60 countries.
Today, AFS network extends to partner organizations in over 50 countries. Annually it has more than 13.000 participants, consist of students, youth, and teachers. Since 1947 up till now, it has more than 370.000 alumni had participated in various AFS programs and an equal number of host families have had the AFS experience. AFS supporters number in the hundreds of thousands. AFS is committed to continue to be the leader in promoting peace and tolerance through intercultural learning. www.afs.org
AFS activities in Indonesia was initiated by Wartomo Dwijoyuwono, who in 1956 together with Mohammad Diponegoro and Ibrahim Kadir were invited by the American Government to participate in the Youth Specialists Program, Nebraska, for four and a half months. In Nebraska, Wartomo met with several students from various European countries, who were participating in the AFS program, and he then initiated Indonesia participation in that program. Whereas in the beginning Indonesia sent only seven students (including Z. A. Maulani from Banjarmasin and Taufiq Ismail from Pekalongan) on AFS Year Program, the number has now expanded to more than a hundred participants every year, in the Year Program as well as Short Programs.
In its almost fifty five years journey, there have been changes in the managing organization, starting from Wartomo as the initiator to Yayasan Beasiswa Internasional (the International Scholarship Foundation) headed by Wartomo dan Mrs. Djuwari (presently known as Mrs. Wijaya). Then the program was managed by the Indonesian AFS Returnees Association (IRA), and in 1985 Bina Antarbudaya, The Indonesian Foundation for Intercultural Learning, as founded, has been managing the programs until today.