The Bulgarian host looked down at her cup of tea and the pistachio-bedecked pastry at its side. Then she looked up at her guests, Servas travelers from the USA, as she made her confession. “I grew up hating Turks. My parents, my teachers, my friends— everyone told me to hate them. After all, they had oppressed our country for years.” She paused to take a sip of the sweet tea and her lips puckered at the bitterness of the memory. “But I had never actually met a Turk until I joined Servas. And then I discovered something:
Turks are people, just like you and me.
Servas brought us together.”
Bringing people together across borders is why Servas was founded 70 years ago and why it is still going strong today. As a member, you are part of a person-to-person network in over 100 countries, promoting peace one conversation at a time.
We are asking for your support to reach our year-end goal of raising $20,000. Please help us grow our network of travelers and hosts, our activities and partnerships, and our mission of peace and justice.
So far this year, 1,600 United States Servas travelers and hosts have either renewed or joined for the first time, including 55 new youth members. There are now many ways to arrange lodging through the internet and mobile apps, but Servas is unique for its commitment to peace and justice through travel.
At a time when peace, justice and inclusivity around the world are under extreme stress, we are working together to make the world a better place:
- Servas encourages young people to live in a foreign country and learn the language. This year, three young adults participated in month-long overseas homestays through Servas Youth Language Experience (SYLE), aided by the Mogerman Youth Scholarship.
- Servas Experiences, a pilot program launched in California, raises both funds and fun by engaging members and non-members alike in group activities.
- Last August, over a dozen members attended the UN Civil Societies Conference in Salt Lake City, staffing a Servas information booth and attending sessions emphasizing peacebuilding, environment, climate change – and the critical connection between them.
Your support makes our programs possible. In 2020, we hope to:
- Find 1,000 new peacebuilders to expand the Servas network — and have a meaningful experiences while doing it!
- Put access to hosts around the world at your digital fingertips through Servas Online.
- Make the US Servas website more useful and mobile-friendly (check out the recent changes).
- Forge partnerships with other peace and justice organizations.
- Strengthen local communities by increasing the number of Area Representatives and Interviewers, and by expanding the Servas Experiences program across the US.
- Improve our marketing and develop an online store — so you can bring merchandise like this beautiful Servas-branded apron to your hosts overseas!
Your gift of $35, $50, $100, $500 or whatever you can afford will make this possible. Thank you for your continued support and friendship, and your contribution to a more peaceful world.
In peace, one conversation at a time,
US Servas Board Chair