SERVAS was founded in 1949 by a group of Danish students and spread all over the world at an amazing speed. The original name of the organisation was Open Door System of Work, Study and Travel.
Only later was it changed to SERVAS. In Esperanto this means "you serve" and it expresses the concept of the service to populations all over the world.
The organisation SERVAS INTERNATIONAL has been operating since 1972 and has its headquarters in Switzerland. The aims are described in the statutes as follows: SERVAS INTERNATIONAL is an international, non-governmental federation of NATIONAL SERVAS GROUPS, establishing a system of hosts and travellers to help build worldpeace, good will and understanding by providing opportunities for deeper, more personal contacts with people of other cultures and backgrounds.
All members are volunteers. Our aim is to prevent prejudices among people by encouraging contacts with one another, in order to better understand the problems of other cultures and therefore to help build world peace.
SERVAS - A light in the Dark - Part 1 (interviews with Bob Luitweiler)
SERVAS - A light in the Dark - Part 2 (interviews with Bob Luitweiler)
SERVAS in the world
There are SERVAS hosts in over 120 countries in the world, with a particular concentration in America, Europe, India, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
You should check with the SERVAS secretary whether there are SERVAS members in the countries you wish to visit. You might like to talk about our idea to people in countries that don’t know about SERVAS yet. They might become really enthusiastic!
SERVAS and the UN
The status of SERVAS INTERNATIONAL in the UN group ECOSOC is NGO (non-governmental organisation). In addition to this, SERVAS INTERNATIONAL participates as an observer in the meetings of the Human Rights Council and can express itself orally or in writing regarding issues of the order of the day.