About Our Club
Friendship Force of Metro Vancouver is a branch of Friendship Force International, a non-profit cultural organization focused on promoting understanding, cultural education and citizen diplomacy through homestay Journeys and personal friendships. It is based in more than 60 countries and in six continents, with 15,000 active members and approximately 300 Journeys taking place in a typical year.
Friendship Force was Founded in 1977 by visionary Wayne Smith and supported by President Jimmy and Roselyn Carter. Through these exciting personal encounters, strangers become friends – and we know that by experiencing different views, you can discover common ground.
Our local club was founded in 2005 by Orest Pyrch, a retired teacher and initially was called the Friendship Force of the Fraser Valley, The club grew from the original six retired Langley teachers, to twenty people from Langley, Surrey, White Rock, and West Vancouver. The club first hosted Ambassadors from Pau, France and Herefordshire, England in the summer of 2006. Over time, the club continued to grow and function with members throughout the valley and into the city resulting in the name changing to Friendship Force Metro Vancouver. FFMV has since hosted the Annual World Conference in 2015 with over 500 ambassadors from a variety of countries.
In recognition of Orest Pyrch’s contribution to Friendship Force Metro Vancouver, we have a plaque and an oak tree planted, in his memory, along an oak tree lined path in a Langley park. This beautiful walking garden and tribute are located in the Derek Doubletree Arbour, at 21177 Fraser Highway in Langley, BC.
“Why become a Member?”
- Go where you’ve never been, get off the beaten track.
- Take a journey into the heart of a country and its people, sharing sights and experiences that are not available to tourists.
- Cultural immersion through home hospitality of local families. You can get to know a new culture from the inside.
- Represent your country and become part of changing the way others see your culture and the world.
- Lifelong learning.
- Language learning programs with a host family, in full language immersion.
- Friendships are formed that last a lifetime.
- Make a difference, help your new friends practice your language, bring supplies to a needy school.
- A World of Friends is a World of Peace.
Where and When Do We Meet
We meet on a Saturdays about every second month between September and May, with optional group lunch prior. Guests of members are very welcome to attend. Social events and exchange planning meetings are held between regular meetings. Social events may include monthly club activities, as well as Christmas party, summer BBQ, card nights, theatre outings, etc. To learn more please view our Social Calendar
Our mission is to promote global understanding across the barriers that separate people. Each individual can make a contribution to global goodwill. The Friendship Force worldwide network of clubs and individuals seeks to overcome differences among people and nations.
We explore new countries and regions. We explore new cultures and new ways to connect across the barriers that separate us.
By sharing a home, meals, conversation and everyday experiences, people become friends, seeing beyond governments and borders into the heart of a country and its people. By combining home hospitality with cultural exploration, we reach a new level of understanding.
Exploration leads to understanding. Understanding leads to an acceptance of our common humanity and the desire to serve our global village—with words and actions.