Current Projects

Haitian Batik Project


Lesotho Scholarships


Student Exchange


Haiti Goat Project


Miami Valley Episcopal
Russian Network


Health4Haiti

Laptops to Lesotho

Afghan Womens Education Project

Want to Get Involved?


"We have learned that we cannot live alone, at peace; that our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of other nations, far away." -Franklin D. Roosevelt




Who We Are...

Glasnost. Perestroika. Fifty years of Cold war stumbling to an end. Friends sitting around a kitchen table in a North Carolina farmhouse. A small group of Russian and American business and professional individuals saying they believe the time is ripe, urgent, for something to help ordinary folks of the two superpowers to come face-to-face, share their resources and cultural riches, and help reduce the regrettable consequences of hostility and suspicion which had festered between them for half a century. In this simple setting The Foundation for International Professional Exchange was born.

The motivation was humanitarian, practical, and spiritual. The people of the (then) Soviet Union were disenchanted with the failure of their political system, discouraged over the enormous problems of daily living, and suffering greatly from the crumbling of the fabric of their society. FIPE’S founders shared a strong desire, indeed an obligation, to relieve the hurt and help the healing. They wanted to help make the enormous cultural riches of the U.S.S.R. and America available to each other. From a practical perspective they believed a stable, healthy Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is essential to the stability of the world. Realizing that the resources they could bring to the global situation were meager, they began on the basis of “lighting candles rather than cursing the darkness.”

Joined by other concerned Russian, Ukrainian, and American business and professional people, the group was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable corporation in 1991. With lots of help from lots of people, FIPE got off to a fast and effective beginning.

During our first year, FIPE facilitated the exchange of more than 100 professionals between the Commonwealth of Independent States and the U.S, and established an international network of associates who have accomplished things we would not have dreamed such a small group with no money could do.

FIPE is tiny compared to similar organizations. We still have no money, or very little. We have no salaried employees – volunteers do all the work at their own expense. We have no large or primary source of funding, no professional fundraisers, no mailing list to whom we send periodic appeals for donations. Our income is solely from personal gifts from our own pockets and the gifts of others who learn about us and want to help. We squeeze pennies and work on very frayed financial shoestrings, expanding our activities as people learn about us and ask for our help. Sometimes we get overwhelmed with requests for help and frustrated by logistical problems and financial limitations, but we plug along. To be on the cutting edge of what is happening in the world is, we believe, very much worth doing. And exciting!

We prefer to focus on the opportunities
rather than the limitations!


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