Friendship Force International (FFI) is a worldwide network of local clubs that promotes global understanding by connecting people from different countries at the personal level. When local hosts open their homes to visitors from other countries and cultures, true understanding can develop through the sharing of the routines of daily life. It is NOT a tourist program, but provides the opportunity for persons throughout the world, independent of national politics or religious groups, to become ambassadors for their country. Since its founding in 1977 FFI has brought together millions of people. In 2007 alone, 5767 friendship ambassadors traveled between 58 countries, with thousands more serving as hosts. The mission, structure and activities are described in the website: http://thefriendshipforce.org.
Our local club, The Friendship Force of Central Arizona, one of 105 clubs spread over 38 states, has active members who live throughout the Greater Phoenix area. We have been in existance since 1983 and have 80 members. At our monthly meetings we learn about various cultures around the world in arranging our program of yearly exchanges. Also, we have monthly social lunches called LEOs, Let's Eat Out, that take place in both East & West locations of Phoenix.
Exchanges, both "outbound" (visiting another country for a homestay as "Ambassadors") and "inbound" (hosting visitors from anothercountry in our homes) are the center of our club's activities. As an ambassador on an outbound exchange you travel to another country, reside in a family home for one or two weeks, and share that family's lifestyle and culture. Your accomodations may be sparse or luxurious, just as those traveling as ambassadors to the Phoenix area may find our host homes to be humble or luxurious.
We host inbound exchanges
with groups of guests or "Ambassadors" from other countries in our homes for a
week. We try to share the "real" America with our visitors by involving them
with our dailyl activities and by group day trips arranged by our club. Phoenix
and Arizona have many unique places to visit, including desert landscapes,
Indian cultural sites, and the Grand Canyon.
Anyone in the Phoenix Area is welcome to join our club. Our members can participate in exchanges of our club or with any other U.S. club if space is available. Our club has two international inbound and two international outbound exchanges each year. We also have domestic exchanges with other clubs within the United States.
A world of friends is a world of peace
The Friendship Force of Central Arizona is a member
President - Mary Rubert
516 457 4145
1st Vice President - Ruth Shaw Noble
602 920 8680
2nd Vice President- Mary Ann Shonk
928 358 2444
and Larissa Marinelli 480 272 2179 Secretary - Sandy Van Meulebrouck
623 455 9134
Treasurer -Jean Ohlde
Membership - Yoshiko Frazier 406 788 7097
JC Treasurer - Pete Frazier 623 258 2693
Other Board Members:
Newsletter - Nancy Unferth
Directory - Bill Kram
Fund Raisers, Club Pins, Magnets- Martina Koch
Historian -MaryAnn Shonk
Hospitality -Barbara Schoenwetter
Programs and Special Events- Pat Forsythe
Publicity Bill Kram
We Care - Rosetta Bidne