Quarterly newsletter from FF International

2019 African Regional Conference – Hosted by FF Cairo, Egypt

“It was very interesting to meet members of the Friendship Force clubs in Africa and [see] how enthusiastic they are to establish strong clubs in their countries.” 
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FF Sacramento Blazes Trail for FFI Photography Club Clusters!
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Building friendships and understanding without a common language.
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World Conference Delta Discount

Delta Air Lines is pleased to offer special discounts for Friendship Force World Conference delegates around the globe!


FFI Welcomes Several New Staff and Board Members
Meet Them!
New FFI Video Premieres on World Friendship Day
Watch Now
Board of Directors on Upcoming 2020 Journey Fee Increase

World Conference workshops

Journeys           Member Resources           Contact Us

World Conference Workshop News

As part of our World Conference in Boulder in July, FFI is offering a variety of training workshops led by experienced FFI staff and volunteers from around the world. Attending these workshops is a great way to explore a particular topic in more depth and meet colleagues with similar interests.

This year we’ve changed the World Conference format to include even more time for workshops: right after lunch on July 24th and then all day on July 25th.

Workshop topics offered include:
*Workshop list subject to change
  • Planning and Leading an Inspirational Journey
  • Communicating Without a Common Language
  • Characteristics of an Awe-Inspiring Host Program
  • How to Become a “City of Peace”
  • Hosting the Open World Leadership Center Program
  • It’s a Match! How Journeys are Requested and Assigned
  • Characteristics of an Effective FFI Ambassador
  • What Can FFI Regional Support Managers and Field Reps Do for My Club?
  • Attributes of a Strong Club
  • Useful (and FREE) Technology
  • A Perennial Approach to Club Development
  • Hey, You Made the News!: Media Relations for Your Club
  • Friendship Force Website Walkthrough
  • Recruitment for Membership and Journeys
  • Planning an Inbound Global Journey
  • FFI Strategic Plan: How Clubs Can Help FFI Grow
  • What is The Friendship Force?
  • Leadership Happens: Training and Succession Planning
  • Our Inner Force of Peace
  • Social Media to Build Community
  • How to Pack Like a Champ
  • Must-Have Apps On The Go
  • Ready, Set, READ! Preparing for Your Travels
  • Best Practices: Club Websites and Data Security
  • Your Membership Toolkit
  • Sharing a Journey Experience: Photography, Stories, Social Media & More!
  • Marketing for Clubs – Websites & Social Media
*Please note that pre-registration is not required; during the event these workshops will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis and we advise delegates to take their seats at least 5 minutes prior to the workshop session to avoid disappointment.
For more information or to register:
Visit Conference Website

Invitation to participate with Habitat for Humanity in Romania

Journeys           Member Resources           Contact Us
Journey Coordinator Invitation
Habitat for Humanity Global Village – Moinesti, Romania
August 30 to September 11, 2019
(Includes optional three-day add-on)
We are Chuck and Betty Oldanie, Journey Coordinators from Florida. Friendship Force Florida Suncoast is offering a unique opportunity for Friendship Force members to engage in global collaboration and goodwill efforts, while traveling to Romania and combining forces with Habitat for Humanity Global Village partners in the local area. Our club is the first Friendship Force club to be involved in this type of global work with Habitat for Humanity International.
Your experience on this Journey will be memorable and rewarding. The Journey will begin and end in Bucharest. You will work alongside Habitat partners, while building lasting relationships and affordable housing for needy families in Romania, one of Europe’s poorest countries.
Your entire Habitat Global Village experience will be coordinated by Habitat representatives who will provide orientation and information during the three-and-a-half days you will spend working on a Habitat Global Village build site. The remainder of your days will be spent sightseeing, participating in various cultural events, and learning more about the people and customs of Romania. Please view the complete itinerary here.
Previous construction experience is not required. Habitat is accustomed to working with volunteers having varied experience levels. It is recommended that volunteers be able to lift 15 pounds and tolerate being on their feet for about two hours. The most important attribute for volunteers is flexibility – of the mind and spirit! If interested in this Journey, don’t delay! The maximum number of slots available is 16 and only seven slots are remaining.
We hope you can join us on this truly unique Journey!

In friendship,
Chuck & Betty Oldanie

Comments from previous Global Village volunteers portray the depth of their experiences:

“What an amazing week! Words cannot describe fully how special the experience has been. Romania will forever be in my heart. Every person involved in making this week a success will be fondly remembered.”

“This trip really exceeded my expectations. You all made me feel very comfortable and at home in your country. Everything was organized and well done. The people of Romania are so friendly and inviting. I will definitely come back. Thank you for everything and for an invaluable experience.”

View this Journey on the Catalog and Apply Today!
Journey Dates: August 30 to September 11, 2019. The cost of this Journey is $1650 USD and includes: local transportation to and from the airport in Bucharest, Friendship Force fees, a donation to Habitat for Humanity, lodging, all meals, water and snacks while on the build site, cultural and sightseeing activities appropriate to the area; medical insurance (policy available online), a Romania Global Village Volunteer Handbook. Airfare to and from Bucharest is not included.

Please Note: An optional 3-day stay in Bucharest is available at the end of this Journey. Members of the Friendship Force club in Bucharest have offered to meet our team for dinner in Bucharest the evening of Sept. 7th, then day-host us for 3 days, Sept. 8, 2019 – Sept. 10, 2019. Food, lodging, and other expenses incurred during these 3 days will be at each traveler’s own expense.

March journey catalog

Journeys           Member Resources           Contact Us
Habitat for Humanity Global Village –
Moinesti, Romania with FF Bucharest Day-Hosting Option

August 30 to September 11, 2019
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Discover Sicily: A Cultural Journey
September 3 to 12, 2019
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Discover Iceland
October 1 to 7, 2019
Discover More
Cottbus, Germany (with optional tours to Iceland and Berlin)
September 15 to 21, 2019
Click for Details >
Jewels of Kenya
October 24 to November 3, 2019
Click for Details >

Click below to view our full catalog of available experiences.

Searching for Journey details?

Change in 2020 journey fees

Journeys           Member Resources           Contact Us
2020 Journey Fee Announcement

Dear Fellow Friendship Force Members,

After nearly a year-long discussion about the rising cost of doing business, the International Board of Directors unanimously approved a small increase to FFI Journey fees starting in January 2020.

It has been five years since Journey fees have increased, and in that time, global inflation has increased nearly 8%. Friendship Force International continues to use both Journey fees and donations in efficient, cost-effective ways. These funds support existing clubs, create and sustain exceptional friendship-building programs, and help establish new opportunities to encourage peace through friendship around the globe. This small increase in Journey fees will help us to remain in step with rising business costs worldwide and better support our mission now and for years to come.

The Board is optimistic about the upcoming launch of FFI’s new strategic plan as well as several new clubs that are currently in development. Although we cannot avoid fee increases from time to time, our greatest strength remains the sustainability of our clubs and growth of new ones to carry us into the future. Thank you for your continued involvement and support of Friendship Force!

Your Board of representatives remains at your service.

In friendship,

James Permana, 2019 Board Treasurer
Writing on behalf of the Board of Directors 
Contact ceo@friendshipforce.org with questions.

Explore the south of Brazil

Journey Coordinator Invitation
Exploring South of Brazil
October 20 to November 3, 2019
Hello! My name is Hélcio Lanzoni and I would like to invite you to join us on a Journey that goes through many aspects of this unique region of Brazil. Although I live in the state of São Paulo (Southeast Region), the South Region is my favorite destination.

A great touristic, economic, and cultural pole, the South Region received a great flow of European immigrants in the 19th century, mainly Germans and Italians, which enriched its customs, food, and culture.

Curitiba: October 20 to 27, 2019
Our Journey begins with a seven-night homestay in Curitiba, the capital of the state of Paraná. We are going to enjoy the hospitality of the local Friendship Force club, whose members planned an excellent week for us, which includes two out-of-town trips: Vila Velha and Morretes.

Vila Velha State Park is located about 90 km (57 mi) from Curitiba. For over one million years, ice-age glaciers and wind erosion worked together to sculpt Vila Velha’s unique rock formations.

To get to the city of Morretes we will go by train. The track begins at 934m above sea level and goes down towards the coast, crossing the greatest conservation area for the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil. This magnificent green area is considered one of the 5 richest biomes in the world.

Sidenote: I visited Curitiba for the first time in the late ’80s, and I loved the city for its culture and organization. In that trip I met a beautiful local girl and that was it. This year we will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

Foz do Iguaçu: October 27 to 29, 2019
Located in the state of Paraná, this city has a triple international border: Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. Multicultural and international, Foz do Iguaçu is the city where you can visit the magnificent Iguazu Falls.

We will also visit Bird Park, where we can walk among birds of several specimens from Brazil and other places of the world. I love it.

And once in Foz do Iguaçu, visitors cannot miss Rafain, a place where we will taste world famous Brazilian “churrasco” (barbecued meat) and enjoy live presentations of Brazilian, Argentinian, and Paraguayan dances and songs. I have been there twice and I can assure you that it is great.

Sidenote: The Iguazu Falls are in the border between Brazil and Argentina. Most of the waterfalls are in the Argentinian side, but the best views are in the Brazilian side, and that’s where all tourists go. Good for us!

Gramado: October 29 to November 1, 2019
Gramado is located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the Serra Gaúcha region. The city was originally settled by the Portuguese and later received a contingent of German and Italian immigrants.

From Gramado we will have a one-day tour to the region where the best wine of Brazil is produced (yes, you will be surprised). In the same tour we will board a steam train to visit typical Italian colonial places. Beautiful places, friendly people, great food.

Sidenote: There is a plaza in downtown Gramado in which every afternoon, at about 4PM, Italian families prepare and bake (in huge wood ovens) several types of bread and other marvels. They sell them over the counter as soon as they come out of the oven. It’s worth trying.
Cambará do Sul and Itaimbezinho Canyon:
November 1 to 3, 2019
Not yet discovered by hordes of tourists, this breathtaking region is at an altitude of about 1000 meters (3200 ft.) and its canyons are considered the greatest in Brazil. Yes, this is our “Grand Canyon”.

We will be able to visit Itaimbezinho Canyon, Fortaleza Canyon, and more. Mobility is adaptable, and in some places you can park your vehicle nearby the sightseeing places. You can sit and enjoy the view or hike towards more distant sites.

Sidenote: This region became known by a wider audience in Brazil because of a TV series in the late ‘90s. The series was about the secession war that took place in the 19th century, when the South wanted to get independent from Brazil (does it sound familiar?). The rebels rode their horses on top of these canyons to escape from Brazilian troops. 

I hope you will join me on this Journey!

If you have questions or comments, do not hesitate in contacting me.

In friendship,
Hélcio Lanzoni, Journey Coordinator
WhatsApp: +55 16 99156-5123

View this Journey on the Catalog and Apply Today!
Journey dates: October 20 to November 3, 2019. The cost of this Journey is $2100 USD and includes: FFI and host fees, flight from Curitiba to Foz do Iguaçu and from Foz do Iguaçu to Porto Alegre, tours, hotels, transportation, some meals, and tips.

United States e-flyer for March

eFlyer: United States
The U.S. eFlyer is a place to find information about domestic Journeys within the United States, undersubscribed U.S. outbound Journeys, and occasional regional conferences and special events. The Journeys listed in the U.S. eFlyer are open to all ambassadors, representing some of the many places where you can experience new cultures and expand your global circle of friends.
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Click below to view our full catalog of available experiences.

March luncheon — Jeanne and Tom Elmhorst

Helping families globally achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build a better life!
Meet Jeanne and Tom Elmhorst, two of our members who are members of  Global Village Build sponsored by Habitat for Humanity and have participated in Global Village builds in Cambodia, Jordan, Bolivia, Portugal, Paraguay, Macedonia, Costa Rica and twice in Guatemala, three times in Nicaragua, a Thrivent Big Build in Vietnam, and Women’s Builds in Taos, NM.  Come listen to how each one has opened their eyes to something new. They look forward to another build in Vietnam this fall with Jeanne serving as co-leader.
Jeanne was born and grew up in a small Wisconsin town about 60 miles west of Green Bay and Tom grew up in a similar hometown in western Wisconsin.
They met in 1969 after Tom returned from serving in Vietnam and married in 1971.  Tom was a Teamster and drove semi-trucks;  Jeanne taught high school for three years, then completed her Masters in Communication Studies.
They moved to Okinawa, Japan for three years and took advantage of every opportunity to travel, meet people and experience other cultures. Jeanne taught in a Department of Defense school and for University of Maryland. Tom taught Drivers-Ed and safety courses to various groups.
They adopted their first daughter from Korea and moved back to the US, choosing New Mexico for its weather, two interstates and cultures.  Tom drove for Yellow Freight Company and Jeanne taught at CNM (TVI). They had four more children, also from Korea.

Their parenting adventures included spring break trips with their children’s church youth group to build 10’x20’ homes in Juarez. For several years Jeanne directed the Service Learning program at CNM, helping students learn their course contents while serving with community non-profits and this provided insights into community groups that would go on our “when I retire I want to volunteer with  ..” list.

In 2004, Jeanne and one of her adult daughters participated in a Carter Build in Veracruz, Mexico. Soon they learned about the myriad of places that Habitat for Humanity sponsored Global Village (GV) teams and they jumped in together to build in Nicaragua with a team from the US and Canada. They were hooked!

Tom & Jeanne now enjoy volunteering at Roadrunner Food Bank and work with refugees and asylees through NM Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice and Lutheran Family Service.

Join us for an incredible presentation!  Bring a guest!

Please make your reservations no later than Tuesday, March 5, 2019 by calling or texting Berta Wagstaff at 710-4448 or emailing her at vets4vets@aol.com.

PLACE:       Ramada Midtown (formerly Hotel  Eleganté )

ADDRESS:     2020 Menaul Blvd. NE

DATE:             Saturday, March 9, 2019

TIME:              11:30 am

COST:            $15.00 per person (Checks, made out to FFNM, are preferred)

 NOTE:  The Club must pay the hotel for all reservations.  If you make a reservation and do not attend, you will be billed $15.00 for each reservation.

Berta Wagstaff

Membership Development Chair

World Friendship Day

In celebration of the wonderful gift of friendship on this special day, we’re excited to unveil an animated video that highlights the foundation of friendship that fuels our mission.

Click below to watch the English version of the video and to share this message with your friends and loved ones (links for other languages can be found below).   We have included a download link on the video page, in case you need it.

Watch the Video