The CISV History
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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.
- To give children a face-to-face international
experience before adolesence.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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".
- To give the children time to build deep friendships. Villages
are four weeks long.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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