The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) grouping of nations, represent over 3.6 billion people. At the Fourth BRICS Summit (March 29, 2012), the nations’ leaders made the Delhi Declaration, in which they stated “BRICS is a platform for dialogue and cooperation amongst countries that represent 43% of the world’s population, for the promotion of peace, security and development in a multi-polar, inter-dependent and increasingly complex, globalising world. Coming, as we do, from Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America, the transcontinental dimension of our interaction adds to its value and significance. We envision a future marked by global peace, economic and social progress and enlightened scientific temper.”

An AFS student from South Africa being hosted in China


AFS, an organisation founded during the First World War, is a volunteer, non-profit organisation which promotes and facilitates intercultural learning and awareness through exchange programmes and other intercultural learning activities; to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. As such, we feel that we have a key role to play in supporting the BRICS objectives.

For the past two years, the five AFS organisations of the BRICS countries have been informally working towards closer collaboration. At the 2017 AFS Network Strategy Meeting in Accra, Ghana, the organisations all committed in a more formal way.

A class of Indian students on exchange in Russia


On 12th October 2017, the five partners signed up to a new initiative, Building BRICS for a Global Outlook. In it, all have committed to developing programmes that will encourage more learning between citizens of BRICS countries. This may be, for example, through exchanges for school pupils – both physical exchanges and ‘virtual’ class exchanges, aimed at developing young global citizens; or, for over-18 individuals, providing opportunities to volunteer in other BRICS countries – both learning from and providing support to local initiatives aimed at peace and development in member countries; or through teacher exchanges – with educators sharing practices and ideas in the support of developing better educational provision and understanding between partner countries.

AFS BRICS would welcome the chance to discuss the Building BRICS for a Global Outlook initiative with any and all stakeholders from individuals, community organisations, corporations, and Governments.

An AFS student from Brazil being hosted in India