Servas International

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Servas International
Motto Open Doors for Peace and Friendship
Founded July 1949 by Bob Luitweiler in Askov, Denmark
Type Non-profit, Interest group
  • Global, settled in Switzerland, Zurich
Services hospitality among members, some meetings
Fields Travel exchange network
13,950 worldwide (06/2015)
Key people
President: Jonny Sågänger (Sweden); Vice President: Ann Greenhough (Britain); General Secretary: Jaime Alberto Romero (Colombia); Peace Secretary: Danielle Serres (France); Treasurer: Mirek Wasiliewski (Poland); Hostlist Coordinator: Arnoud Philippo (Netherlands)

Servas International is an international, non-governmental, multicultural hospitality association present in 128 countries and run mostly by volunteers. It was founded in 1949 by Bob Luitweiler and his friends as a peace movement. Servas International promotes world-peace by encouraging individual person-to-person contacts.

Servas means "to serve", in the sense of "serve peace", in the language Esperanto. The organization was originally called Peacebuilders.

It operates through a network of hosts around the world who are interested in opening their doors to travelers, and through travelers who want to know the countries they visit from within. Travelers and hosts are usually interviewed when they apply to join the organization according to branch (member country) practice; travelers write a self-introduction on a special form valid one year, that is shown to hosts upon arrival.

Servas International has consultative status as a non-governmental organization with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, currently with representation at many of the UN's hubs of activity.[1]

There are 14,000 Servas "open doors" scattered throughout almost every country in the world. 30 years ago, Servas had 8,000 members worldwide; since then the membership has increased following the general increase of population in each country.


Servas activities may vary depending on the country, but they mostly consist in hosting and traveling (or both). Unlike many other hospitality exchange networks, Servas requires that potential members be interviewed and approved.

Decisions on activities (like meetings, election of representatives, fees required) are taken within local, national or international assemblies or from an elected group of members. The 2006 General Assembly established a set of Financial Policies since updated, which provide the basis of annual audits, and which include procedures for preparing and reporting on expenditures, officer reports, and revenues through fees.[2]


  • 1972 Statutes were drawn up and accepted by 13 Servas branch countries, Wetzlar
  • 1973 UN placed Servas International on its roster


External links[edit]