The CISV History

Links to other Pages

News from CISV International

The Cisv Song Book

The CISV mailing list (CISV-L)

The CisvNETŠ

The CisvNET List

CISV History

After the devastating effects of World War II and the creation of the United Nations, CISV (Children's International Summer Villages) was created by University of Cincinnati psicologist Dr. Doris T. Allen. She was convinced that children from different nations could learn to live amicably and later use that experience to work for a peaceful world.

In 1951 the first CISV Village, a unique program for preadolescents, was held in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A. In 1956, during the International Board Meeting (I.B.M.) in Sweden, a constitution was adopted for the International Assosiation of CISV. Soon, members and past villagers were demanding new programs within CISV. The first Pioneer Camp was held in 1957, and in 1959 past villagers organized the first Reunion Camp, which evolved into the present day Seminar Camp. The Interchange program was establihed in 1962, and Local Work, a follow-up program, reached the CISV Program status in 1980. In 1991 Summer Camps and Youth Meetiings became official CISV activities.

Since its birth CISV sought to:
  • Provide individuals with an opportunity to develop a global perspective and filosophy, and a wish for peace
  • Provide individuals with an opportunity to learn to live amicably
  • Promote peace education, cooperation and understanding
  • Promote human rights education, as well as children's rights and fundamental freedom
  • Cooperate with likewise organizations
  • Contribute through investigation and experience to a science of international relationships and non violent conflict resolution

Since the first Village progam in Cincinatti, Ohio, U.S.A., that hosted 55 participants from nine countries, CISV has grown to over 100,000 participants world wide. Today, around 7,500 participants from over 90 countries learn to live and work together for world peace and friendship in more than 200 multinational programs every year.

12 Pinciples of CISV
by Dr. Doris Allen, Founder of CISV.

  1. To give children a face-to-face international experience before adolesence.
  2. To give children the opportunity to grow up with a World point of view. This is why we set up a minature world of 10 to 12 countries in a single Village. It is not sufficient to relate to only one other country. This is an age in which all countries are inextricably interrelated. The demand of the times is to view the wholeness of the World.
  3. To give children the opportunity to grow from around the world and to learn that it is possible to be friends irrespective of colour, nationality, religion, language or any other aspect of culture.
  4. To give children the opportunity to get personally acquainted by limiting the Village to 40 to 48 children. Indeed the children say, "it was like a family".
  5. To give the children time to build deep friendships. Villages are four weeks long.
  6. To keep the program simple, in order for the 11-year old to assimilate the experience: giving time to be quiet, for writing in a diary or writing letters home, time to exchange and compare stamps and coins of other countries, time to be alone, if desired, time to look at the photos of the families of other Villagers -- in short, ample free time to balance the scehduled hours.
  7. To give the children the opportunity to engage in the activities of other cultures: singing songs of other countries in other languages, learning dances of other countries, trying on costumes of other countries, and actually exchanging items of costume at the end of the Village.
  8. To give the children the opportunity to work jointly with other nationalities on committees -- for example: to set the dining room tables for meals, to sweep the dining room floor, to pickup paper etc. from the yard, to plan an evening's entertainment, to plan an open house bazaar, and so on.
  9. To give the children the opportunity to experience a oneness with nature wherever in the world: climbing a mountain, taking a birdwalk, discovering the flowers and trees of the region, exploring life in a small stream, and so on.
  10. To give the children an opportunity to learn some skills of governance: through the children's assamblies, the parliamentary sessions, learning how to elect a president and a secretary, how to formulate any problems that may exist in the group, how to listen to different points of view and discuss alternative ways of solving problems, learning what is fair for the individual and at the same time for the whole group, and so on.
  11. To give the children an opportunity to become acquainted wth the culture of the host country: spending a weekend in a home with a same-sex, same-age child, having open-house for the public to visit the Village and for the Villagers to meet people of the community, visiting the local zoo, farm, factory or historical site. (Not more than one excursion per week).
  12. To give the children the opportunity to work with many nationalities and languages, to say thank-you to the host community for the privilege of the Village: plant a tree on the site of the Village, building a foot bridge across a stream, painting parts of the main buildings of a Village, and so on.


CISV Junior Branch Colombia