Friendship Force Solothurn
Surprisingly up until 2009 there was no Friendship Force club in Switzerland. Friendship Force Solothurn is the first club founded in this country. We have 24 members living in the region of Solothurn, most of them families with school-aged children or teenagers.
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Solothurn is a very nice small town centrally located in the northwestern part of Switzerland. It is considered to be the finest baroque town in Switzerland combining Italian grandeur with French charm and Swiss stability. Saints, heroes and the noble have influenced the history and the character of the city between the Jura and the Aare, between the Germanic and French cultures. For the one a cathedral was built, for others bridges, fountains, a town hall. Their traces are found in medieval defenses, gables and alleys, baroque facades, elegant villas and the imposing stairway of St Urs Cathedral: stage and spectators’ grandstand in one, and symbol of the Solothurn 11, our sacred number.
Solothurn is alive – in colorful markets, festivals and street culture. In the city of Solothurn live 15’000 people, but in the region there are about 50’000 people. Many people work in the industrial sector (medical technology, watches or car suppliers) or in the service sector. Switzerland has an efficient system of public transportation. The capitol Berne is only half an hour from Solothurn, Zurich and Basel one hour, and Geneva and the Alps two hours.
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Airport: Zurich Airport is closest to Solothurn; it takes 1 hour 15 minutes by train and costs 40 $ (one way, full price).
Climate and seasons: The best seasons to visit Switzerland are spring (April-May, average temperature 10-22° Celsius), summer (June-July-August, average temperature 20-30° Celsius) and fall (September-October, average temperature 10-22° Celsius).
Transportation: Switzerland has an excellent public transportation system. So when we have guests (ambassadors) we mostly use public transportation (train, bus, cable car, sometimes ship) instead of private cars. This also includes walking to the bus station, using stairs to change the rail track etc. - so shorter and sometimes a bit longer walks are part of the stay.
Friendship Force International
Friendship Force International was launched 1977, at the White House by President Jimmy Carter. First Lady Rosalynn Carter served as Honorary Chairperson until 2002. In 1992,
Friendship Force International was nominated for the Nobel Peace Price.
Friendship Force International (FFI), is an international cultural exchange program, founded in 1977 by Wayne Smith, a Presbyterian minister and former U.S. missionary to Brazil. Friendship Force organizes 250-300 exchanges of 20 to 25 visitors each year. It has active clubs in more than 50 countries. In 2007, 5763 visitors, called "friendship ambassadors," traveled between 59 countries, with thousands of club members hosting visitors in their homes.
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