Servas International
Type of site
Non-governmental organization
FoundedJuly 1949; 74 years ago (July 1949) in Denmark
Area servedGlobal
Founder(s)Bob Luitweiler
ServicesSocial networking service
Users15,000 in over 100 countries[1]
A Servas local meeting in Collegno, Italy in 2016

Servas International ("we serve (peace)" in Esperanto) is a non-profit organization proving a hospitality exchange service.

Servas is a nonprofit member organization that builds peace and cross-cultural understanding through day visits or overnight home stays among members who share information about themselves, to help ensure accountability. It was founded in 1949,[2] in the aftermath of World War II, by Bob Luitweiler and other Danish students as an international network for people to meet and where suitable, to be offered a short stay, as part of the peace movement.[3][4]

The organisation may now be described as a platform, part of a gift economy. Members can be both hosts and travellers, and hosts do not charge for lodging.

Members pay an annual fee to the organization, which is determined locally by country.[5][6] There is an international executive and each country has an elected board or committee to manage membership (including interviews for new applicants), determine membership fees, organise social events, support various peace-related activities. .

Servas is owned by an accredited Non-governmental organization and has been affiliated with the United Nations since 1973.[6]

Two Servas Seeds Planted

Outside of Stockholm, on the way back from Helsinki, I visited a work camp for peace where Gertraud Hertling, a German student volunteer sowed the first seed of Servas. A shapely girl with a ready smile, she said in excellent English, "You cannot imagine how isolated the German youth are. First, as a result of the Nazi regime then during the War, our youth have been cut off. Now the occupation forces allow us to take no more than five dollars out of the country. You can't go far with that. How can our German youth, locked into occupied Germany, learn the meaning of democratic ways?" One of the advantages of traveling alone is the frequent loneliness of being far from home in a strange land. Missing friendly human contact impelled me to talk with everyone I chanced to meet - someone sitting nearby waiting for the train or ferry, someone siting alone in a restaurant; someone sitting in the park or walking near me. Evety kind of person enlarged my knowledge and gave me new insights. The next Servas seed came from a young American whom I met that on the road. He told me at great length and in the strongest reactionary terms how terrible the Swedish Socialist government was. At that time there was almost no country in Europe that cared more for its working people without blocking entrepreneurial initiatives, as the Communist countries did. Sweden's medical services were excellent and mostly free. Their Consumer's Co-operative movement was the envy of thoughtful people around the world. Their educational system was also outstanding. Of equal significance, there were no unemployed or poor people. I was profoundly disturbed up by his attitude. This young man had gotten the most biased picture of Sweden possible from the reactionary rich host family he had been placed with for the summer, by a well known international student exchange program. Ouch! There was certainly a need for a different hospitality system.


When it started in 1949, host details were printed by country and posted by each country to other member countries. Each member country began their own country organization. Servas International formed as a federation of all member countries. It was originally called Peace Builder but later renamed Servas International.

Incorporation of Servas International At the General Assembly in 1972 the importance of establishing an international legal entity was discussed. It was agreed that it was necessary to have a legal framework for financial, administrative international requirements. Dr. Max Habicht, Jnternational Lawyer and International Servas Sponsor prepared the attached "Statutes of Servas International" (Corporation Charter). The Charter was adopted and signed by all National Secretaries at the Conference. Servas Branches unrepresented by Secretaries at the Conference were requested to join the new legal and corporate body, Servas International, and were notified how to do so by the International Coordinator.

In 2006 Servas International started a Servas On Line project replacing paper based system [7]

At the General Assembly in 2006 a distant vote procedure was created for Italy and the Statues were updated accordingly.

National Groups/Member Countries


Country Host Member since reinstated
 Albania 8 1995
 Algeria 12 1995
 Argentina 386 1989
 Armenia 2
 Australia 614 1972
 Austria 229 1949
 Bahrain 1
 Bangladesh 34 2015
 Belarus 49 1995
 Belgium 305 1972
 Benin 11
 Bhutan 1
 Bolivia 18 1995
 Botswana 22 1998
 Brazil 144 1989
 United Kingdom Britain 568 1949
 Brunei - 1995
 Bulgaria 34 2015
 Burundi 4
 Cambodia 5
 Cameroon 32 2009
 Canada 425
 Chile 34 1995
 China 28 2004
 Colombia 99
 Republic of the Congo Brazzaville (RC) 31 2009
Congo Kinshasa (DRC) 10
 Costa Rica 64 1989
 Croatia 17 2004
 Cuba 14
 Cyprus 1
 Czech Republic 152 1989
 Denmark 251 1949
 Dominican Republic 6
 Ecuador 27
 Egypt 6
 Estonia 3 1995
 Ethiopia 7
 Falkland Islands 1
 Finland 70
 France 1935
 Gambia 16 1998
 Georgia 24 2012
 Germany 1949 1949
 Greece 24 1983 2009
 Guatemala 27 1989
 Honduras 19 1989
 Hong Kong 36 1992
 Hungary 101 1989
 Iceland 3 1998
 India 260 1951
 Indonesia 25 1995
 Iran 109 2012
 Ireland 78 1983
 Israel 183
 Italy 1504 1972
 Japan 207
 Jordan 2
 Kazakhstan 24 2009
 Kenya 24 2012
 Korea 267
 Kosovo 1
 Kyrgyzstan 20 2004
 Laos 2
 Latvia 14 1992
 Lebanon 4
 Lithuania 14 1992
 Luxemburg 11
 Madagascar 5
 Malawi 50 2004
 Malaysia 34 2004
 Mali 10
 Malta 3 1983
 Mauritius 5
 Mexico 90
 Moldova 1
 Mongolia 6
 Morocco 20 1998
 Myanmar 1
   Nepal 53 2012
 Netherlands 286
 New Zealand 294 1972
 Nicaragua 1
 Nigeria 11 1995
 Norway 124
 Pakistan 80 1998
 Palestine 9
 Panama 12 1992
 Paraguay 24 1995
 Peru 39 1998
 Philippines 15 1989
 Poland 320 1989
 Portugal 63 1983
 Romania 45 1992
 Russia 102 1989
 Rwanda 48 2015
 São Tomé and Príncipe 1
 Saudi Arabia 14
 Senegal 2 1989
 Serbia 8
 Sierra Leone 25
 Singapore 14
 Slovakia 35
 Slovenia 17
 South Africa 70 1986
 Spain 739 1983
 Sri Lanka 7
 Suriname 13
 Sweden 328
  Switzerland 262 1949
 Taiwan 111 2009
 Tanzania 28
 Thailand 35 1992
 Togo 55 1998
 Trinidad and Tobago 2
 Tunisia 5
 Turkey 135 1992
 Uganda 38
 Ukraine 20 2012
 United Arab Emirates 10
 United States 1509 1949
 Uruguay 33 1983
 Uzbekistan 5
 Venezuela 43
 Vietnam 32 2015
 Zambia 15 1998
 Zimbabwe 6 1995

Membership statistics

2023- 126 member countries 14,309 host, Updated 1 August 2020[8]

Date Countries Host
August 2023 125 15,177
August 2022 125 14,309
March 2021 125 15,268
March 2020 125 16,057

Executive Committees


President: Radha B. Radhakrishna  USA

Vice-president: Carla Kristensen  Portugal

General Secretary: Jonny Sågänger  Sweden

Membership & Technology Secretary: Paul Nielsen  Australia

Peace Secretary: Francisco Luna  Mexico

Treasurer: Suresh Jain  india

SI Membership and Techhnology Secretary

SI Distant Vote Administrator (SI DVA)

SI Internal Audit Committee (SI IAC)

SI Development Committee (SI DC)

SI Youth and Families Committee (SI YFC)


President: Jonny Sågänger  Sweden

Vice-president: Carla Kristensen  Portugal

Treasurer: Radha B. Radhakrishna  India

SI Membership & Technology Secretary (SI MTS) : Jim Leask  Canada (replaced Andreas Becker in February/March 2020). Jim Leask shares the SI MTS responsibility with Paul Nielsen of Servas Australia.  Australia

General Secretary: Kiat Yun Tan  Malaysia

Peace Secretary: Paige LaCombe  USA


SI President: Jonny Sågänger (Sweden)  Sweden

SI Vice President: Ann Greenhough (Britain)  United Kingdom

SI General Secretary: Penny Pattison  Canada

SI Treasurer: LV Subramanian  India

SI Peace Secretary: Danielle Serres  France

SI Host List Coordinator: Pablo Colangelo  Argentina

Development Committee:

Audit committee

Servas International Archivist

Conflict Resolution Committee:

Nomination Committee:

SI Job Descriptions and Statutes Committee:

Distant Vote Administrator: Chris Patterson (New Zealand)

Youth Leadership Committee:


SI President: Jonny Sågänger (Sweden)  Sweden

SI Vice President: Ann Greenhough (Britain)  United Kingdom

SI General Secretary: Jaime Romero  Colombia

SI Treasurer: Miroslaw Wasilewski  Poland

SI Peace Secretary: Danielle Serres  France

SI Host List Coordinator: Arnoud Philippo  Netherlands


President: Gary Sealey,  Canada

Vice President: Pramod Kumar, USA

General Secretary: Penny Pattison  Canada

Treasurer: Miroslaw Wasilewski,  Poland

Host List Coordinator: Pablo Colangelo,  Argentina

Peace Secretary: Kim Jong Soo,  South Korea

Finance Committee

Conflict Resolution Committee

Nominations Committee

Newsletter Editor


Youth Development Officer

Youth Coordinator:

Job Description/Statutes Committee

Distant Vote Administrator


President: Gary Sealey,  Canada

Vice President: Mary Jane Mikuriya,  USA

General Secretary: Pramod Kumar, India

Treasurer: Ömer Özkan,  Turkey

Host List Coordinator: Anna Flammini,  Italy

Peace Secretary: Nanda,  Sri Lanka


President: Geoff Maltby,  Australia

Vice President: Bibendra Pradhananga,    Nepal

General Secretary: Honora Clemens, USA

Treasurer: Ömer Özkan,  Turkey

Host List Coordinator: Claudio Pacchiega,  Italy

Peace Secretary: Gary Sealey,  Canada


President: Roger Martin,  Norway

Vice President: Bibendra Pradhananga,    Nepal

General Secretary: Frits Stuurman,  Netherlands

Treasurer: Gyöngyver Kudor,  Hungary

Host List Coordinator: Laura Ragucci,  Argentina

Peace Secretary: Marco Kappenberger, West  Samoa

Treasurers (Audit) Committee:


Appeals Committee:

Development Fund Committee

Complaints Committee

Nominations Committee

Job Descriptions Committee


President: Chris Slader  UK

Treasurer: Gilbert Revault  France

Vice President: Bertrand Bailleul  France

General Secretary: Kevin Newham  Australia

Peace Secretary: Daniele Passalacqua  Italy

Assistant General Secretary and Host List Co-ordinator: Claudia Pinto  Brasil

Servas International Newsletter Editor: Sharon Beldon  Netherlands


President: Chris Slader  UK

Vice President: Jenny Durand  France

General Secretary: Vibeke Matorp  Denmark

Treasurer: Hazel Barham  UK   Assistant General Secretary: Mariangela Brunello  Italy

Peace Secretary: Daniele Passalacqua  Italy


President: Ray Scott  New Zealand

Vice President: Jorge Zoppolo  Uruguay

International Secretary: Vibeke Matorp  Denmark

Assistant Secretary: Maringela Brunello  Italy

Treasurer: Hazel Barham  UK

Peace secretary: Harivallabh Parikh  india


President: Bob Luitweiler  USA

Vice-president: Janos Kurucz  Hungary

Treasurer: Hazel Barham

International Co-ordinator: Antonie Fried  Germany

Host Co-ordinator: Judy Ross

Peace Secretary: Felix Zurita

Asian Member: Harivallabh Parikh  India

Latin American Member: Jorge Zoppolo  Uruguay

African Member: E.K. Narter-Olaga


General Secretary: Antonie FRIED  Germany

Asst. General Secretary: Yvonne BROWN  New Zealand

President: Don FAWCETT  USA

Vice-president: Duncan MEIKLE  Canada

Treasurer: Peter Brock  Germany

Editor SI Nwesletter: Frede ASGAARD  Danmark

Area Coordinators









Reva King  USA

Maria Soresina  Italy



President: Don Fawcett  USA

Vice President: Maria Soresina  Italy

General Secretary: Kay Lazaruz  USA

Treasurer: Peter Brock  Germany

Peace Secretary: Jo Graham  USA

Editor, Servas International News: Janine Hall  France

Assistant General Secretary: Lino Bugeja  Malta

Regional Coordinators

Regional Coordinator, Africa: Zeru Michael (Africa)

Regional Coordinator, SE Asia: Takashi Aoki  Japan

Regional Coordinator, N America & Caribbean: Rodrigue Aristide  Guadeloupe

Regional Coordinator, Europe & Near East: Antonie Fried  West Germany

Regional Coordinator, Southern Asia: Harivallabh Parikh  India

Regional Coordinator, South Pacific: Nan Smith  Australia

Coordinator for South America: Jorge Zoppolo  Uruguay


President: Graham Thomas

Vice President: Don Fawcett USA

General Secretary: Barbara Whitehead

Assistant General Secretary Denise Waech

Peace Secretary: Reva King USA

Editor Servas International: News Rosalind Schama

Treasurer: Denise Waech

Regional Co-ordinators

Africa: Lydia Jones

Southern Asia: Harivallabh Parikh  India

Southeast Asia: Kunio Tanaka  Japan

South Pasific: Nan Smith

South America: Jorgo Zoppolo  Uruguay

North America&Carabian : Kay Lazarus

Europe and Near East: Antonio Fried


President: Graham Thomas

Treasurer: Doris Bucher

S.I.N. Editor: Donald Fuwcett

Asst. Treasurer: Denise Waech

The following positions wore filled by ballot General Secretary: Barbara Whitehead

Vice-president: Martha Simon

Asst. Gen. Sec.: Reva King

Peace Secretary: Konrad Lübbert

Regional Co-ordinators wore appointed us follows: Africa: Lydia Jones

Europe: Antonic Fried

South America: Narcelo Lorenzo

South Pacific: John and Judy Ebner

Southoust Asia: Masuo Amano

Southern Asia: Harivallabh Parikh


President: Reva King

Vice President: Harivallabh Parikh

Treasurer: Denise Vollenweider

Asst. Treasurer: Doris Bilcher

Secretary: Birgitte Damnsgaard

Asst. Secretary: Ronald Golding

Peace Secretary: Hans Werner Emrich

News letter Editor: Barbara Acquach

Assft Editor: to be selected by Barbara Acquach


President & International Coordinator: Kurt Schmid  Austria

Vice President & Ass't International Coordinator: Reva King

Treasurer: Denise Vollenweider

Ass't Treasurer: Swiss Servas member to be appointed by Denise Vollenweider

Secretary: Birgitte Damsgaard

Vice Secretary Maria Soresina

Peace Secretary: Jim Ryding

Editor of International Newsletter: Maria Soresina

Regional Coordinators:

Europe: Denise Vollenweider

Africa: Titus Mugavana

North America: Reva King  USA

Latin America Laura Langagne

South Pacific Max Hartin


The. following persons were elected:

International Coordinator~ Kurt Schmid  Austria

Asst. Intl.Coordinator~ Reva King  USA

Asst. IntI. Coordinator in Training: Barbara Trischuk  United Kingdom

Regional coordinators. The following persons will handle the development of SERVAS in these countries:

Harivallabh Parikh  India—Afghanistan, Ceylon, Australia, Kenya, and Ethiopia


Sweden—Finland and Iceland

Barbara Trischuk  United Kingdom - Tanzania and Fiji

Joseph Girard  France -~Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia

International Coordinator—Eastern Europe


Founders of Servas were those dedicated people like Bob Luitweiler, Connie Thorpe, Esma Burrough and the others in the Birmingham, England Peace Builder's team, and, Esther Harlan in California.

Esma Burrough  UK the first European Servas secretary. Seeds Of Servas

General Assemblies

1952  Germany Hamburg First Peace Builders International Conference, Out of which came the name "Servas" [11]

Altyazı metni
# Year Country Place
#2 1952  Germany Hamburg [11]
#3 1953  Denmark Askov
#4 1954  Netherlands Epe
#5 1955  Germany Schuluchsee
#6 1958  Austria Landeck (Tyrol)
#7 1959  Netherlands Oosterwijk
#8 1960  Belgium Ghent
#9 1964  France Paris
#10 1965  Austria Vienna
#11 1966  Denmark Copenhagen
#12 1967  Czechoslovakia Bratislava
#13 1970  Austria Vienna
#14 1972  Germany Wetzlar
#15 1974   Switzerland Arcegno
#16 1976  USA San Francisco
#17 1978  Denmark Elsanor
#18 1980  India Gujarat
#19 1983  Israel Nahariya
#20 1986  Italy Roma
#21 1989  Canada Montreal, Quebec
#22 1992  France Paris
#23 1995  Australia Melbourne
#24 1998  Guatemala Antigua Guatemala
#25 2001  Thailand Nakhon Nayok
#26 2004  Spain Barcelona
#27 2006  Italy Latina
#28 2009  Argentina Mar Del Plata
#29 2012  Poland Piaski
#30 2015  New Zealand Matamata [12]
#31 2018  Korea Seoul [13]
#32 2022  India Panchgani [14]


  1. ^ "Servas International".
  2. ^ "How Sleeping On A Stranger's Couch Became A Moral Dilemma For Travelers". 2 July 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  3. ^ Glusac, Elaine (March 13, 2017). "The Other Airbnbs: Alternative Home-Sharing Rentals". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Glusac, Elaine (March 24, 2017). "Competition for Airbnb as other home-sharing sites target niche audiences". The Irish Times.
  5. ^ Hull, Dana (July 14, 1996). "SERVAS WITH A SMILE". The Washington Post.
  6. ^ a b Fardelmann, Charlotte (September 22, 1980). "Servas -- a letter of introduction to another culture". The Christian Science Monitor.
  7. ^ Stellin, Susan (July 9, 2006). "SGo to Strangers (and They'll Come to You)". New York Times.
  8. ^ a b "Servas group on | Servas Online".
  9. ^
  10. ^ "International conferences | Servas Online".
  11. ^ a b [bare URL PDF]
  12. ^ [bare URL]
  13. ^ [bare URL PDF]
  14. ^ "Welcome to the 32nd Servas International Conference and General Assembly - SICOGA 2022 | SICOGA 2022".