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News from the World Servas Community

Articles of Interest from Servas International and Other Servas Organizations Arond the World


International News

Many International Servas Groups provide US Servas with news they would like us to distribute. These can range from events like the disastrous earthquake in Türkiye to efforts to build a permanent Peace Academy. This page also includes items from Servas International that might be of interest to US Servas members.


Featured Articles

Unique peace and justice articles submitted by Servas members that are particularly well-written and/or might be of special interest to members. Tell us about it. Submit your stories here.

Click here to send in your story.

Click here to contact the US Servas Peace Secretary.


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  • February 25, 2024 9:27 AM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    Map showing location of Georgoa with peace camp logo pointing to Lamovani June 22-29, 2024

    Servas Georgia will hold our first peace school camp this Summer in Lamovani, Sakartvelo,Georgia, from June 22-29. We invite you to bring the world to our children, develop feelings of peace, and provide opportunities for participants – children and volunteers to experience different ways of living. We invite you to volunteer and share your unique experiences and skills with our children. At the same time, we will share our village with you. Our hosts will provide food and housing, and you will learn about our unique corner of the world.

    The main goal or our Servas Peace School is to bring the variety of the world to our village, develop feelings of peace in the participants, provide conditions for volunteers to learn local culture(s), and experience different ways of living on Earth. We also want to train local children and adults and help them become world citizens and Servas members. That is the core value that makes the Servas Peace School so valuable.

    If you would like to attend the camp, please fill out this volunteer application form. For details about Lamovani Public School visit our Facebook page. If you have any other questions, please email us at peaceschoolsakartvelo@gmail.com.

    How does our Servas Peace School work?

    • Servas Peace Schools have no fixed curriculum or program. The background of the volunteers defines what activities will occur.
    • We have no budget nor a manager ... volunteers make decisions altogether.
    • Local and international Servas (also non-Servas) members come to the village and teach their topics to local children workshop mostly outdoors (in forests, gardens, back yards, streets, etc.).
    • We believe that every person (farmer, worker, artist, teacher, etc.) has something to offer that children need to learn.
    • The use of technological tools in the workshops is not encouraged.
    • Volunteers sponsor themselves to travel (however, they can apply for support if they need).
    • Volunteers can join the event for one day or the whole Peace School period. Local assistants help them with workshops and translation with local people (if needed)
    • Local families host volunteers for 3-4 days and provide food for them. They attend cultural and social activities in the area. The idea derives from the fact that when you live with a family you share a lot, face your prejudice if you have, exchange background, and usually become friends.
    • Volunteers do workshops during the day. They have free time in the mornings and evenings. They usually spend time with locals and enjoy cultural activities.
    • Volunteers can come to the village with their own children.
    • Servas Peace Choir is formed with children, and they learn to sing songs in local languages and in the languages of the volunteers.
    • City, village, nature tours are organized for the volunteers.
    • At the end of the school period, a Servas Peace Party is organized with the local people and children who will present their products and skills.
  • February 24, 2024 12:17 PM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    photo of the Seomjingang River valley.South Korea - April 29th - May 2nd 

    Servas Korea invites you to join up to 40 cyclists for a four-day, 220 km peace ride along the beautiful Seomjingang River. The SIPR Bike Tour is open to all Servas cycling enthusiasts. We will ride approximately 65km a day. We will start in Seoul and travel by bus to Jeonju where we will begin the ride to Gwangyang. The itinerary is below.

    Day 1: Monday, April 29th: Total 20km (city tour)

    07:30 Start. Seoul Central Bus Terminal (Bus) to City Jeonju Express Bus Terminal. 10:00 City bike tour.

    12:30 Lunch: UNESCO recognizes Jeonju as a City of Gastronomy.

    14:00 Check in Jeonju Guest house.

    18:00 Dinner (Lee Gawon Restaurant).

    Day 2: Tuesday, April 30th:  Total 75km

    8:00 -11:00 Seomjingang riding towards Lake Okjeongho and the first Certification Place.

    12:00 Lunch.

    14:00 Kim Yongtaek Poet’s museum of literature. 17:00 Sunchang Motel

    18:00 Dinner (Deodeok bulgogi)

    Day 3: Wednesday, May 1st: Total 70km Riding

    8:00 Start.

    10:00 Hyangga Amusement Park.

    11:00 Saseong Am (Temple of the Four Holy Monks).

    12:00 Lunch.

    14:00 Temple Ssanggyesa.

    18:00 Check in Kensington & dinner

    Day 4: Thursday, May 2nd: Total 55km

    9:00 Start. Choi Champan house (traditional Hanok) Pyeongsa-ri, & Park Kyungri Museum of Literature.

    12:00 Island Baeal- final certification place 14:00 Gwnagyang Express Terminal and return to Seoul.

    Contacts:

    Mr. B W Choi / SIPR 2024 Organizer bwchoi1211@hanmail.net  +82 10-5255-0591

    Mr. S K Song / Servas Korea National Secretary sksong@suncheon.ac.kr    +82 10-8484-2170

  • February 23, 2024 8:18 AM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)
    Photo of Youth Hostel BrackenApril 26-28. 2024 

    We are holding a national gathering in the Southwest of England next year and would love you to join us! It will be held near Dartmoor National Park with plenty of activities including Saturday day trips and a big Sunday meeting. There are good rail connections close to the Youth Hostel Bracken Tor and there is the chance of holding a Ceilidh ( [kay-lee] a traditional dance – lots of fun for everyone! We need to have at least 60 attendees to make this viable. Do get in touch if you are interested in attending - accommodation will be allocated on a ‘first-come, first served’ basis.

    If you have any questions, please contact Rachael Clayburn (Travel Secretary): travel@servas.org.uk  

    Map of Southern England showing location of Dartmor National Park

    Details

    Date: Friday 26th April - Sunday 28th April 2024 (2 Nights)

    Place: YHA Bracken Tor, Okehampton (House), EX20 1QW:

    Travel: Approx. 4 hours from London by train

    Space: Bunk beds for 35, dining room, kitchen, nice lounge and gardens, 15-minute walk from train station

    Activities:

    Friday - arrive from 5 pm, Bring & Share supper, Evening Entertainment (music / travel stories tbc*)

    Saturday - Breakfast, Outings (Exeter, Castle Drogo, Lydford Gorge, Okehampton, Dartmoor Walk tbc, everyone to arrange own transport/lunch/snacks), light evening meal, Evening Entertainment (film / board games tbc)

    Sunday - Breakfast, 10am Check Out, Servas-related discussion or activity, Buffet Lunch, Depart.

    Cost: (International payment methods to be confirmed)

    Option 1 :  £90 max 35 people: two-nights' accommodation, Tea/Coffee, 2 x Breakfast, Saturday light evening meal, Sunday buffet lunch

    Option 2 :   Sunday only £15: inc l.  Tea/Coffee, buffet lunch

    Option 3 : £140: Sunday evening meal, Ceilidh, 3rd night accommodation, breakfast (only available if there is significant interest)

    Extra:  Sunday Night Ceilidh £15 (only available if there is significant interest)

    Register:  Please choose your option and contact Rachael Clayburn to register.

    *tbc = ‘to be confirmed’

    Photo of Dartmor's ancient stone circleNote: Dartmor is famous for its moors and heather, Sherlock Holmes, the world’s largest land slug (up to 8”) ...and a recently discovered stone circle that may predate Stone Henge. 

  • October 25, 2023 10:34 AM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    Call for Host Country  

    The next Servas International Conference and General Assembly (SICOGA) will be held in 2025. During SICOGA 2022, Servas Costa Rica indicated that they would like to be considered as a venue. There have also been informal discussions with other Servas member groups. Our thanks to all that have approached us.   

    As is our custom, Servas International Executive Committee (SI Exco) will now give all Servas Groups an opportunity to submit a formal proposal before we begin the selection process. If you have questions that need to be resolved before your Servas Group can offer to host the next SICOGA, please get in touch.  We are happy to provide more details. November 15, 2023,is the deadline for expressions of interest. 

    Following the initial expression of interest, each group will have until December 31, 2023, to submit a feasibility study. We will provide guidance on what information is needed, and what issues will be considered when selecting the most suitable venue. 

    If we get enough proposals that meet the criteria, SI Exco hopes to finalize the venue during our January meeting. If that is not possible, we will continue the process. When thinking about your country as a possible venue for the SICOGA the key issues to consider include: 

    • Do you have an active Servas Group who would be committed to working together to prepare for an international meeting which lasts for 6 days? 

    • Is there a suitable venue available at an appropriate cost? 

    • What sort of travel costs would be involved for delegates from different regions? 

    • What issues might arise for delegates applying for visas to visit your country? 

    • Please indicate the ecological footprint involved for delegates to travel tot he venue from different regions?(For example, is the venue accessible by train or bus for a great number of people?) 

    Let us know if you have any questions.  

    Please send your inquiries to exco@servas.org with “Hosting SICOGA2025” in the email’s subject line.  


  • September 16, 2023 9:09 AM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    Map of Africa with inset showing location of MalawiMalawi now offers a well thought-out and certainly one-of-a-kind, four-to-six-week language and cultural exchange program. It is not a traditional SYLE, but one that is open to any current Servas member, not just youth.  

    Malawi is a long, narrow, landlocked country in east Africa (see map below), surrounded by Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania. It is commonly called the 'warm heart of Africa' and has a population of 14 million consisting of Muslims, Christians and Animists. The economy is largely based upon tea, coffee and sugar production. The daily staple is Nsima(maize) with relish (little fish-kapenta, beans, tomatoes, andonions). 

    These are the requirements for participation.  

    • Be a model Servas traveler 

    • Be prepared to give a PowerPoint presentation about your life, your country, your Servas group 

    • Buy and pay for your air travel and insurance. 

    • Be between the ages of 18 to 80. 

    • Pay $25 for four Chichewa language lessons. 

    • Pay $100 SYLE fee (50% goes to the NGO that you volunteer with) 

    • Be fit and have health Insurance. 

    • Be able to communicate comfortably in English. 

    • Pay for your own lunches, local buses, and incidental expenses. 

    • Pay for the ingredients and cook one meal for each ‘long-stay’ host. 

    • Have an up-to-date Servas LOI. 

    • Have funds to travel the last week around Malawi. 

     

    Arrival: 

    You will be greeted at the airport and taken to the home of our National Secretary where you will stay for two nights to settle in before beginning your SYLE. We will present you with a Servas Malawi membership, T-shirt, ID, and an item worth up to $50 for YOU to donate to the NGO you choose to work with (see below). 

     

    Week 1: Stay two nights with three or four Blantyre hosts who will: 

    1. Take you to work with them for a day. 

    1. Show you how to use the local minibuses, etc. to get around. 

    1. Help you study and speak Chichewa. 

    1. Visit St Michaels, Carlsberg, Thyolo & Mulanje 

     

    Week 2 - 3: Stay with two long-stay hosts, one per week while doing daily volunteer work with an accredited NGO’s from the list that follows: 

    1. Footprints Africa- agroecology in Mulanje. 

    1. Tiyamike – photography work - make a booklet. 

    1. Work with 2-6yr old children in a Nursery/Primary sch. 

    1. Blood Donor Board – work in Mzuzu/Lilongwe 

    1. Garage Workshop. 

    1. Housing support. 

    Week 4: 1 week of self-funded travel @ lake oraround Malawi & back for debrief with National Secretary. 

    For more information CONTACT:  

    National Secretary: demelzabenbow@gmail.com  •  WhatsApp +(265) 999-482-983 

    SYLE Support: Jacqueline13@hotmail or call +(265) 997-376-475 or 993-920-386 


  • August 06, 2023 2:13 PM | Deirdre Marlowe (Administrator)

    Graphic of Servas International logo superimposed over stylized world mapServas International would like all members to share their thoughts on how to grow – perhaps with special interest groups. To that end, the Servas International Development Committee (SIDC) created a survey that they would like as many members as possible to complete.  Complete the survey here. 

    SIDC has received a lot of requests to consider setting up special interest groups as a way for members to collaborate.We are asking that you complete this survey to find what special interest groups members are interested in. These groups will work together (in-person or virtually) to initiate, learn, and collaborate on topics they are interested in. Some interest groups that have been suggested are listed here. Please check as many as appeal to you. If there is a different interest group in which you might be interested, please include your suggestions at the bottom of the survey.

    The survey is available in other languages on request.  

      

     


     

     



  • June 09, 2023 7:06 AM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)
    photo of beach in Moraira, SpainMoraira, Alicante, Spain • September 16-23, 2023

    Servas Spain invites members to participate in an international meeting with a focus on peace from different points of view; Personal Peace, Peace in Servas, and Peace in the world. And of course, this will be combined with leisure and tourism activities in the area, giving priority to enjoying and having a good time with peace of mind. 

    For more details, follow this link. 

  • June 09, 2023 6:59 AM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    graphic - poster for Pyrenees TrekAugust 25 to 31 , 2023

    There is a tradition of inter-Pyrenees meetings, and this year Servas members will meet in the Núria Valley near Andora. It is an ideal place to visit, relax, see nature, go hiking... The plan is to spend a few days together, live together, get to know each other, exchange and share experiences in the surroundings of the Pyrenees. 

    Click HERE for details, housing options, and registration. 

  • June 09, 2023 6:54 AM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    photo of Vaasa in FinnlandServas members of Finland will gather on an island in the beautiful Maxmo Archipelago, off the west coast of Finland near the city of Vaasa. The group will be staying in the quaint Wästinn Hotel, located by the sea, complete with traditional sauna and fishing facilities. There are only left 4 places available for international friends, and altogether there will be about 30 people. Events included are sharing friendship in Servas spirit, hiking on the seashore trails, international dancing, and enjoying sauna, swimming, and tasty local cuisine. 

    From abroad, you can fly directly to Vaasa or fly first to Helsinki and then take the 4-hour train from Helsinki to Vaasa. Before or after the meeting you can stay with some of Servas families in Vaasa. From there, there's transportation with private cars to the meeting place some 50 km north. Contact: Arja Sigfrids arja.sigfrids@akat.fi for more information. 

  • June 09, 2023 6:44 AM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    photo of Santo Domingo MonastaryOctober 12 - 15, 2023 Caleruega (Burgos) 

    Servas Spain will hold their 2023 national assembly at the Santo Domingo Monastery in Caleruega in the foothills of the Pyrenees in north central Spain. The monastery is a sanctuary of Dominican friars and offers a calm place for reflection and prayer to those who wish to withdraw for a while from daily occupations and find themselves more deeply with themselves. It has ample space for the activities and an assembly hall to celebrate the gathering.  

    Caleruega is a municipality with fewer than 500 inhabitants, located in the region of La Ribera del Duero, about 160 km. from Madrid. A few places of interest in the area are: Clúnia, an archaeological site, La Yecla Gorge, Santo Domingo de Silos, Covarruvias, Lerma, the small old village of Peñaranda de Duero, Wineries in Gumiel de Izan, Museum of Human Evolution, and the Unesco archaeological site of Atapuerca. Follow this link for further information. 

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