What is Friendship Force International?
Friendship Force International aims to make a more peaceful world one friendship at a time. To achieve this goal we have 360 clubs in nearly 60 countries worldwide. Member clubs home host each other, organizing a program to show guests aspects of who they are and how they live. These ‘exchanges’ are facilitated through a small international organization headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The staff in Atlanta also works with clubs to develop new ideas, expand membership and member participation, to help plant new clubs all over the world, and to empower communications through a web site and the use of social media.
Exchanges incorporate activities to help ambassadors experience ‘local life’ and facilitate informal conversations, sometimes requiring foreign language dictionaries, phrase books, and sign language. Our trips are commonly organized for a week, most often with one club visiting another. However, exchanges increasingly draw ambassadors from several clubs in a region, or even from around the world. Hosting by multiple clubs over two or even more weeks is also common, particularly when ambassadors must travel long distances (for example, from the Midwest to Australia, Japan, South Africa, or central Russia). A formal theme to focus the activities of an exchange is also becoming more typical, but the emphasis remains on human inter-cultural connections, not site-seeing.
Friendship Force is not a travel club, but an organization dedicated to increased understanding among the peoples of the world. Travel is the method by which we discover other peoples and cultures and learn about our similarities and differences.
In Friendship Force one discovers the many ways peoples with different living conditions, habits of mind, religions, and politics can learn to appreciate each other and have fun together. Won’t you join us on this great adventure?