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International Groups

Friendship Force of Greater Des Moines
Contact:  Adrienne Moen
P.O. Box 13136
Des Moines, IA 50310

Central Mission of the Organization:

The Friendship Force was founded by Wayne Smith and introduced on March 1, 1977, by President Jimmy Carter at a White House gathering of state governors. At that time, President Carter asked the governors to return to their states and identify a volunteer leader who would serve as State Director for the Friendship Force in their state. Rosalyn Carter served as Honorary Chairperson until 2002. Since its founding in 1977, The Friendship Force has brought together millions of people. Today we are active in more than 60 countries, promoting friendship and goodwill through an extensive program of home hosting, or exchanges.

History of the Organization:

Des Moines was the second city in the nation to participate in an exchange. In 1978, FFGDM sent 254 ambasadors in a charted airplane to Dublin, Ireland. As the number of participating cities grew, the exchanges evolved to todays exchanges of typically 20 ambassadors. We hope you take the time to learn more about our organization and all the exciting experiences you can have with people from around the world.

International Issues and Focus:

Organizes cultural exchange trips to countries around the world. The Global Youth Institute (GYI) was created as a partnership between The Friendship Force of Greater Des Moines and the Des Moines Public Schools in 1990. This year The Friendship Force and Des Moines Public Schools of Des Moines, Iowa, USA, have joined to offer a unique learning opportunity for selected high school students. The Global Youth Institute will bring together approximately 40 students from different countries to study and contemplate significant global issues challenging the world today.

Events and Programs Sponsored:

Seasonal festivals.