Friendship Force is an international, non-political, non-sectarian, non-profit organization founded in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, and introduced on March 1, 1977, by President Jimmy Carter at a White House gathering of state governors. First Lady Rosalynn Carter served as Honorary Chairperson until 2002. In 1992, Friendship Force International was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The sole aim of the Friendship Force is to foster peace and understanding throughout the world by means of personal contacts and shared experiences achieved through a programme of home hosting. The Friendship Force was founded in the USA in 1977 by Wayne Smith under the auspices of President Jimmy Carter and is coordinated from the international headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. There are over 300 clubs in over 60 countries throughout the world. The Friendship Force is not a travel club although the core activity is travelling in groups, to stay with like-minded people in other countries (a cultural exchange). The first priority is to develop friendships and through this to generate understanding across cultural boundaries.
Most clubs in Indonesia participate in at least one outward and two inbound exchanges per year. Each year clubs all over the world nominate clubs they would like to visit and the clubs they would like to host. These requests are sent to and collated by, Friendship Force International in Atlanta. Visiting groups, usually about 20 – 30 people from the ‘ambassador’ club, travel to, and stay as, guests in the homes of host club usually for about 1 week. By so doing, ideas and experiences are shared, cultural horizons are widened, trust and mutual respect is developed, and truly memorable times are enjoyed. An exchange is a sharing experience for hosts and ambassadors.