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February 24, 2010 > Making the world a better place to live

Making the world a better place to live

Submitted By Arnie Becker

Friendship Force, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, is hosting its Annual World Friendship Day on Saturday, February 27, from 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. The motivation behind World Friendship Day is to describe and showcase the activities and travels of Friendship Force International. This event is free to the general public and snacks will be provided.

The featured speaker will be Ms. Jayshree Merchant, Director, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Children's Hospital and Research Center in Oakland. Born in 1949 in Mumbai, India, Ms. Merchant earned a bachelor's degree in microbiology and biochemistry while in India and a master's of science and a master's of business administration from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Ms. Merchant's topic for this presentation will be a narrative describing the special challenges and accomplishments of three generations of her family now living in the United Sates. By default this will also be describing the challenges that many new immigrants face when leaving their birthplace and moving to a very different society with new and unfamiliar rules and ways of dealing with almost everything that comes up on a daily basis.

The purpose of the Friendship Force International is to promote friendship and cultural understanding throughout the world. Friendship Force International began in 1977 when President Jimmy Carter announced it from the White House and it has grown to more than 375 chapters in 60 countries. Members travel from their home countries to visit local residents in countries around the world for cultural exchanges. The trips include typical tourist activities, but more importantly they include staying with local families in their homes rather than in hotels.

Today it is very important that ordinary people get to know ordinary people and not judge a society based on what a government does or does not do. Members represent all ages, from all walks of life and from many different occupations.

World Friendship Day 2010 in Fremont will give local residents an opportunity to find out where the local chapter has had cultural exchanges and what the plans are for the coming year. Opportunities exist to host international visitors coming here as well as to travel to lands near and far. For further information call (510) 794-6844.

Annual World Friendship Day
Saturday, February 27
1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
First United Methodist Church
2950 Washington Blvd., Fremont
(510) 794-6844

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