Servas International

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Servas International is an international, non-governmental federation of national Servas groups that are building a system of hosts and travelers that aims to promote world peace, mutual support and recognition, and understanding by providing opportunities for deeper and more personal contact with people from other cultures and cultures creates with a different background of experience.


Servas was founded in 1949 under the impression of the Second World War and its consequences by students around Bob Luitweiler in Denmark as the "Open Door System of Work, Study and Travel", which was called "Peacebuilders". In 1952 the organization was renamed Servas (“ni servas” means “we serve” in Esperanto ) in order to express the idea of ​​serving international understanding.


As a non-governmental organization, Servas International has advisory status in the UN Economic and Social Council . She also reports on Servas' international activities on Facebook and in newsletters.

All activities are voluntary. Members are hosts or travelers or both. Anyone wishing to be included in the host directory or traveling with Servas must have a personal intake interview with one of the contact persons appointed by Servas about the goals and ethos of the organization. This also serves the safety of travelers and hosts and thus distinguishes Servas from travel portals based purely on online registration. The contributions of the members are structured differently in the respective countries and range between 0 and the equivalent of 85 US dollars per year.

The organization is represented in 116 countries. Most of the more than 13,000 Servas hosts live in European countries, in North and Latin America as well as in Israel, India, and Australia, mainly because of the great social difficulties and political barriers that keep people from the countries of the so-called Third World from traveling New Zealand. They are organized in regional groups. In the German-speaking area, Servas Germany has around 1,200 hosts , Servas Switzerland 220–240, and Servas Austria over 140 hosts. In all three countries the Servas members are organized as an association and, like most country groups, have their own websites .

Young members also work as Servas Youth in some countries and organize their own meetings. Servas International also runs projects to promote the exchange of young members between the country groups.

In addition to individual visits and accommodation, some groups organize nationwide and transnational meetings to get to know each other and also on peace-related topics. Both individual members and regional groups are also active in refugee aid.


As a rule, a new Executive Committee is elected every three years by the delegates of the country groups. Since October 2018 the international management team has consisted of the following people:

  • President - Jonny Sågänger, Sweden
  • Vice President - Carla Kristensen, Portugal
  • Secretary General - Kiat Yun Tan, Malaysia
  • Peace Secretary - Paige LaCombe, USA
  • Treasurer - Radha B. Radhakrishna, USA
  • Membership & Technology Secretary - Andreas Becker, Switzerland

Web links

Commons : Servas  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence