When we adventure around the world, we remember the people we met more than the sites we visited, or the mountains we climbed. People from every country and culture make our experiences lasting. Without the local interaction we’d never learn the special places and the uniqueness of a culture that only locals share. We get enriched by the people we meet when we accept the cultural differences; learn their customs and cultural norms; and if possible learn their language before we go. Our perspectives of another country irrevocably change. Best of all, we become friends. And it’s true that ecotourism seeks to build cultural and environmental awareness by providing positive experiences for both the visitors and the hosts.
Looking for a meaningful friendship travel experience?
You may find The Friendship Force International is the right program to give you an opportunity to enrich your life and make friends around the world.
Friendship Force International is a non-profit organization founded in Atlanta, Georgia, and introduced on March 1, 1977, by President Jimmy Carter at a White House gathering of state governors. In 1992, Friendship Force International was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Friendship Force International (FFI), is an international cultural exchange program, founded in 1977 by Wayne Smith, a Presbyterian minister and former U.S. missionary to Brazil. Reverend Smith’s vision for FFI is clear when he told Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 on the eve of the Soviet Leaders first visit to the United States, “The problem isn’t armaments; the problem is fear.” He founded the program to make the world a little smaller, friendlier, and safer.
What does FFI offer you:
Friendship Force International provides opportunities to explore new countries and cultures from the inside by bringing people together at the personal level. Through the signature program of home hospitality, local hosts welcome international visitors into their culture, sharing with them meals, conversation, and the best sights and experiences of their region.
In a typical Friendship Force program, a local club (chapter) prepares an itinerary of cultural activities, inviting members from clubs in other countries to come for four to seven days and stay with them in their homes.
There are many ways to explore the world through the Friendship Force. For example, you may:
– Join a group making a cultural exploration of another country or of another region of your own country.
– Bring the world to your doorstep by hosting international visitors in your home.
– Join a cultural travel program formed around common interests such as gardening, hiking, wine and many others.
– Get involved with a Friendship Force club in your city, or organize one yourself.
What is FFI’s Goal:
Mission: To promote global understanding across the barriers that separate people
Values: Mutual Respect • Cultural Diversity • Cultural Exploration • Service
Vision: Each individual will make a contribution to global goodwill.
The Friendship Force worldwide network of clubs and individuals will overcome differences among people and nations.
By connecting the world, one friend at a time, we will create a world of friends that becomes a world of peace.
Slogan: Changing the Way You See the World
Tagline: Explore • Understand • Serve
See FFI’s story:
What does a participant say about FFI?
Carly Mikrut , a member of the Friendship Northern Illinois says:
“Over the years the Friendship Force has provided me with a wonderful Window to the World.
Sleeping in a tent at a refugee camp, under the brilliant starry Algerian desert sky, sipping tea and having camel for dinner – Where can you get that on a tour?
Wandering around an Iranian Garden, meeting some students and then inviting them for tea. And seven years later, still in contact with the student and meeting them again in Iran — what an experience!
Mystery Trip and being greeted at a Japan airport by hosts all masked, because it was a Mystery!!!!
Having a conversation with your host about how it was living in Germany after the war, and with former East German hosts telling about life under the Soviets.
Friendship Force has enriched my life. I have met wonderful, marvelous people that I would never have had the chance to meet otherwise. What a great organization.”
Want more information on FFI:
Please visit: TheFriendShipForce
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