WHO WE ARE
INSPIRED BY THOUGHTS OF PEACE
Peace, understanding, tolerance, social justice: these are values to which Servas would like to contribute by promoting direct contact and exchange between people from different countries and cultures.
Servas was founded in 1949 under the impression of the Second World War and its aftermath by students around Bob Luitweiler in Denmark as the "Open Door System of Work, Study and Travel" who called themselves "Peacebuilders" and soon spread across all continents you give her the name SERVAS, which means "you serve" in Esperanto and is supposed to express the idea of serving a worldwide international understanding.
SERVAS INTERNATIONAL & SERVAS SWITZERLAND
Servas International is the international, non-governmental federation of all national Servas groups. It has been the internationally recognized umbrella organization since 1972 and, as a non-governmental organization, has advisory status in the Economic and Social Council of the UN.
Servas already existed in Switzerland in the 1950s. However, Servas was not properly anchored until the 1970s: Thanks to the active work of the then National Secretary Denise Waech, the number of hosts rose from 12 to 60 within a short period of time. Since then, Servas Switzerland has slowly but steadily grown to over 200 host families. For a few years now, the number has been between 220 and 240.
Servas Switzerland is a member of Servas International and has been an independent association with corresponding statutes since March 24, 2007. The organization of Servas Switzerland lies with the board: all volunteers who are also registered hosts.
SERVAS AND THE UN
TOGETHER FOR PEACE
Servas has had observer status at the UN since 1973. In New York, Vienna and Geneva there is a team of Servas members who follow the negotiations in different commissions.
The Human Rights Council meets in Geneva. In this body, non-governmental organizations recognized by the ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) can also express themselves actively with written and oral statements on items on the agenda.
The Geneva Servas team currently consists of 6 people. René Steimer represents our organization from Switzerland.
Below are two reports to illustrate this work.