Over the years, Friendship Force International has been asked many times to take a position on establishing travel restrictions. These requests were based on anything from civil unrest to natural disasters in a Journey destination. Almost always, our response is this: we rely on Journey and Host Coordinators to make those determinations, based on discussions they have together as well as the links to government websites and other resources readily provided by FFI to help Coordinators make the most informed decisions.
More often than not, it is what is not reported on the news that helps determine the best course of action. This has certainly been true with host club locations that have been completely spared by natural disasters or are, in reality, a great distance from any civil unrest or concern.
With this pandemic, there is a temptation to want to mandate vaccinations for Journey participants but this too is affected by other factors: What vaccine options are available in my country? Has my doctor recommended against getting a vaccine due to other health conditions? What kinds of treatments are available outside of a vaccine in the country I’m in or traveling to? What if I am not comfortable with vaccines in general and willing to sign a waiver to that effect? There is no doubt that border security will also establish travel criteria, not to mention your travel insurance carrier.
Friendship Force International continues to trust in the judgment of Journey Coordinators and Journey participants to make the best decisions about upcoming Journeys, and we at FFI remain available to you as a resource and to support the decision you are most comfortable with. As always, we encourage you to please study the data, and before you make any definitive decision, schedule a time to meet with your counterpart Coordinator(s) in the other country/ies to discuss the realities and the options.
As always, FFI staff are available to assist as needed.