open doors for

Servas Open Doors

Servas Open Doors is an international, non-governmental, interracial peace association running in over 125 countries by volunteers. Founded in 1949 by Bob Luitweiler and his friends as a peace movement, Servas International is a non-profit worldwide cooperative cultural exchange network bringing people together to build understanding, tolerance, mutual-respect, and world peace. It works toward world peace by encouraging individual person-to-person contacts.

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

It operates through a network of Servas hosts around the world who are interested in opening their doors to travelers, and, 'on the other side of the coin', many open-minded travelers who want to get to know the heart of the countries they visit. Travelers and hosts may be interviewed annually according to branch (Member Country) practice; travelers write a letter of introduction annually, as well.

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.

There are over 20,000 Servas 'open doors' scattered throughout almost every country in the world.


Unlike other hospitality exchange networks, Servas makes a clear distinction between travelers and hosts. Cost for hosts is minimal, but travellers have to pay more, partly to receive address lists for the countries to be visited (depends on the country branch policy in the 10US$ up to 85 US$ per year for 'international travelers' and free to 50 US$ per year for 'domestic travelers' ).

Servas International Organization

General Assembly

  • Servas Branches
  • Executive Committee (President, General Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President, Peace Secretary, Host List Coordinator)

Officers reporting to EXCO:

 News Letter Editor

Commitees reporting to EXCO:

 Development Fund committee
 Statues and Job Description committee
 Area coordinators
 Youth Committee
 Conflict Resolution Committee

Commitees reporting to General Assembly:

 Audit Committee
 Information Communication Team
 Nomination Committee


Servas International Exco Elected in General Assembly in Latina, Italy 2006

President- Gary Sealey from Canada

Peace Secretary- Nandasena Amarasinghe from Sri Lanka

General Secretary- Pramod Kumar from India

Vice President- Mary-Jane Mikuriya from USA

Treasurer- LV Subramanian from India (Ömer Özkan from Turkey elected and hand over in July 2007)

Host List Coordinator- Anna Flamini from Italy

Executive Commitees

  • 1952 Askov Denmark
  • 1953 Askov Denmark
  • 1954 Epe Netherlands
  • 1955 Schluchsee (Black Forest) Germany
  • 1958 Landeck (Tyrol) Austria
  • 1959 Osterwyk Netherlands
  • 1960 Ghent Belgium


  • 1964 Paris France
  • 1965 Vienna Austria
  • 1966 Copenhagen Denmark
  • 1967 Zochova Hata (Nr. Bratislava) Czechoslovakia
  • 1968 Tokyo Japan
  • 1970 Vienna Austria
  • 1972 Wetzlar Germany
  • 1974 Arcegno Switzerland
  • 1976 Los Angeles U.S.A.
  • 1978 Elsonore Denmark
  • 1980 Anand Niketan Ashram India
  • 1983 Nahariya Israel
  • 1986 Rome Italy
  • 1989 Montreal Canada
  • 1992 Chedigny France
  • 1995 Marysville Australia
  • 1998 Antigua Guatemala
  • 2001 Nakon Nayok Thailand
  • 2004 Barcelona Spain
  • 2006 Latina Italy
  • 2009 to be decided by SI EXCO soon

Criteria for deciding where the Servas International conference would be held

The 2001 GA in Thailand adopted a set of criteria for deciding where the Servas International conference would be held. The criteria are mentioned as:

1. Rotation (conferences should be held in different areas of the world in the course of time) 2 Health standards 3. Safety standards 4. Immigration (passports and visas) 5. Accessibility (travel to and from) 6. Adequate infrastructure (communications, roads, hospitals etc) 7. Feasibility study on costs 8. Sufficient local Servas people to help organize 9. Consider potential developing in the area 10. Adequate conference facilities


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


Servas Countries

Servas International is a federation. Each country has its own rules and structure. Diversity is quite complex.

Some Web pages of Servas member countries:

External links

(Each National Servas Country can have its own website, usually reachable from the main international site.)

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