Servas International is an international, non-profit, non-governmental federation of national Servas groups, encompassing an international network of hosts and travelers. The purpose of the network is to help build world peace, goodwill and understanding by providing opportunities for personal contacts among people of different cultures, backgrounds and nationalities through hospitality and cultural interaction. Servas promotes trust, tolerance, open-mindedness and respect, so that people can live in peaceful coexistence.
In Denmark in 1949 Bob Luitweller, an American conscientious objector, and his friends initiated a group called ‘Peacebuilders’. Their aim was to work actively for peace and they established a network of people who shared these goals who would offer free hospitality for like minded people. It was re-named Servas in 1952, established as an organisation with a registered seat in Switzerland in 1972, and placed on the United Nations’ roster of non-governmental organisations with consultative status to the Economic and Social Council in 1973. It has active members in 128 countries with 16,000 host households globally.