by Deirdre Marlowe
US Servas, just like Servas International, has a Peace & Justice Secretary. Both organizations have mission statements: Peace and understanding through travel and hosting. In this context, what do Peace and Peace & Justice mean since Servas is not an advocacy organization?
Here Peace & Justice refer to efforts that “encourage individual and collective action by citizes as actors in society for the promotion of peace and justice in the world. It seeks to strengthen citizen responsibility both locally and globally.”
When we invite people from elsewhere into our homes, and vice versa, we learn about others – we represent our country, and they theirs. Few traveler or host experiences are negative, and even when they are, we reason that not everybody from, for example, France, can be like that so it’s a win for peace and understanding.
There are many ways to work for peace and not all of them involve directly protesting or fighting war. It becomes more complicated when you are put in the position of deciding whether or not something is a “good” war, e.g., World War II, or perhaps the current conflict in Ukraine. You are working for peace if you actively support any of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals. And so, by definition, Servas hosts and travelers are all working for peace and justice.
We would love to hear about member efforts. Share your story here.