What is the Friendship Force of the National Capital Area (FFNCA)?
- FFNCA was founded in 1979
- Mari Clarke is the president of FFNCA
- We are a chapter of Friendship Force International (FFI), an organization dedicated to increasing understanding among the people of various countries
- Friendship Force mission: To promote global understanding across the barriers that separate people
Who are our members?
FFNCA has around 60 members. Some have been Friendship Force members for many years and have traveled extensively with Friendship Force. Others are new to the organization and may have traveled independently, but are interested in a new way to approach understanding the world, to find friendship in other countries.
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What does FFNCA do?
- Many club activities are based around incoming and outbound trips or “journeys”
- We also organize events for members and people interested in learning about Friendship Force, such as a picnic, informational meetings, meals at ethnic restaurants, visits to museums, and more.
Hosting Inbound Journeys
- For incoming journeys, a group of 20-25 will come to the Washington area, in some cases having already visited another city in the U.S. or Canada.
- Our members host one or more of the members of the group
- Hosting involves providing “room and board” for the guest(s)
- Guests are treated like visiting friends.
- Hosts also provide or assist in arranging transportation to meeting places for group activities (e.g., a tour of Old Town Alexandria).
- If hosts cannot accompany their guest(s) during the day, other members can serve as “day hosts”
- Hosts may have a day during which they are expected to arrange activities for their guest(s), e.g., a trip to some outlying area, or a shopping trip
- We also get together with Friendship Force groups that are traveling through our area, including accompanying them on visits to local attractions or hosting a dinner to get to know them.
Traveling on Outbound Journeys
- For outbound journeys, we apply to FFI for the countries we would like to visit.
- Once a city is offered, we work with that city to arrange dates.
- We organize a group (20-25 members) from our club or other clubs interested in joining our journey.
- We stay in homes in the host city.
- We participate in sightseeing and other activities arranged by the host club, similar to what we would do for an inbound journey.
- Some journeys include two weeks of home hosting, plus optional extensions for additional travel in the host country (at additional cost)
- Other travel opportunities include Friendship Force Festivals and Conferences, and journeys arranged by other chapters.
- FFNCA also has social and informational activities for members throughout the year (see the calendar page).