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CISV International, Ltd.
founding 1951
Founder Doris T. Allen
Seat Newcastle upon Tyne , UK
motto Building Global Friendship
main emphasis Peace education
Action space Global
CISV logo (until 2006)

CISV International (formerly English Children's International Summer Villages ) is a non-political, non-religious non-profit organization for international children's and youth meetings.


The organization was founded in 1951 by the American psychologist Doris Allen , in 1952 the first village took place in Cincinnati , in which a German delegation from Hamburg also took part. Only 4 years later the first German Village took place in Lütjensee near Hamburg. Since then, over 150,000 children and young people have participated in more than 4,000 international programs. During the Cold War era , CISV was one of the few youth organizations that had participants from both blocs in their camps. In 1979 Doris Allen was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In addition to Villages, other programs for young people and adults have been developed over the years: The exchange program has been taking place since 1962, StepUps (formerly summer camps) for 14 to 15 year olds since 1985. The seminar camp developed from the organized re-encounters of camp children. Youthmeeting, International People's Project (IPP) and Mosaic are the latest programs of the organization.


The association advocates tolerance , intercultural communication, peace education and the reduction of prejudices. A special feature of the CISV is to start peace education with children at the age of eleven. At this age, they are still open to an impartial encounter with their peers from other cultures, but at the same time they are already able to break away from their parents' home for a limited period of time. In addition to respect for other cultures, worldviews and opinions, the organization builds on personal responsibility and commitment, cooperation and teamwork as well as an awareness of the social problems of our time.


CISV runs programs for children, adolescents and adults at local, national and international levels. Some of these programs are:

  • The Village for 11 year olds
is a four-week program with participants from ten to twelve nations who arrive in delegations of two boys and two girls each. The companions are responsible for the organization of the activities. The JC's (Junior Counselor, 16/17) help them and serve as a link between adults and children.
  • The Step Up (until 2012 Summer Camp ) for 14- or 15-year-olds (staggered)
is a three week program. The participants partly design their daily routine and activities themselves.
  • The Youth Meeting for 12/13-14 / 15-16-18 and over 19-year-olds (staggered)
takes 8 or 15 days and usually takes place at Easter or New Year's Eve. Depending on the age group, the focus is more on games or discussions on a specific topic.
  • The seminar camp for 17 to 18 year olds
In the seminar camp, the participants discuss a specific topic. Particular attention is paid to the cultural and national differences.
  • Interchange (exchange program) for 12 to 15 year olds (staggered)
The Interchange is an exchange program between two nations. The focus is on getting to know another culture intensively in the family circle of the exchange child. The return visit takes place either in the same or the following summer.
  • International People's Project for Adults (19+)
In the International People's Project (IPP), CISV cooperates with a partner organization. Depending on the partner, different topics are in the foreground (environment, history, refugees, etc.), whereby the participants both work with the partner organization and discuss the topic in the group.

In addition to international activities, the following also take place at local and national level:

  • Mosaic (no age limit)
Mosaic is a CISV program in which the chapter works together with other organizations on a local level to promote and facilitate peace education (CISV Educational Circle) and initiative. Mosaic takes place in the context of projects of varying duration (each project includes the three phases of discovery, understanding and action). The target group varies from project to project.
  • Junior Branch Activities (activities for 15-25 year olds)

CISV is currently represented in 65 countries, and several thousand children and accompanying persons take part in the programs every year. CISV cooperates with various umbrella organizations, such as UNICEF . CISV International has advisory status with the Council of Europe and operates operational relations with UNESCO .


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