AFS Exchange Transforms African and American Lives

Martin, an AFS Exchange Student from Ghana, with host mother Dawn to his left, and the rest of the Fuchs family in 2006.

Hosting Martin was a life changing event for our family. Even though we had hosted several times before with AFS, we had never hosted a (Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program) student.

Martin grew up in the north of Ghana near the equator. His family, as well as his community, barely had enough money to buy necessities. He applied for the YES scholarship because he wanted to make a difference in his community in Africa. He has a special appreciation for the opportunity he was given to live with a family in the US. We were able to strategize with him about HOW he might apply what he learned to his life in Ghana.

Now that he has returned, he is already affecting his community. He is teaching fellow students how to use the computer and how to apply the accounting principles he learned in his American school.

When he left the US we knew his life would be changed forever. But Martin’s incentive to also “share” what he has learned with his own country and community has also had a transforming effect on us, his American family. We have also been given “new eyes to see” the world! The gratitude (and love!) goes both ways.

- Dawn Fuchs, host mom
of Mequon, WI