Over its 60-year-history, CISV International has become a worldwide movement working toward peace and intercultural cooperation and understanding. We have educated and inspired many thousands of children and young people, empowering them to achieve their full potential and to play an active role in creating a better world.

Doris Allen – founder

In late 1940s, a progressive child psychologist named Dr Doris Allen developed the concept of an organization that would foster inter-cultural understanding and friendship as an essential step toward world peace. Doris Allen believed that by creating opportunities for children of different cultures to come together to learn and make friends, they would grow up to become ambassadors for a more just and peaceful world.

Read more about our founder Dr Doris Allen

Children’s International Summer Villages

In just a few years, but with much hard work on the part of volunteers and supporters, Dr. Allen’s idea had become a reality. Children’s International Summer Villages (CISV) was registered as a non-profit corporation in Ohio in 1950. The first Village programme was held in Cincinnati in 1951, bringing together young people from Austria, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Mexico, Norway, Sweden and USA.

Where we are today

Over the years, beginning with that first Village, CISV volunteers in our Chapters have organized over 6,000 international programmes for some 230,000 participants.

Since 1950 the world has changed, and CISV has evolved along with it. Today, CISV offers experiences to people of all ages, starting with children aged eleven, through to young adults. In the spirit of Doris Allen’s original vision, CISV aspires to be a unique and pioneering organization. CISV has grown from one programme model to seven different international programmes; from one Village to over 200 programme-events a year, involving over 8000 participants.

CISV continues to grow, guided by its founding belief that a more just and peaceful world is possible through inter cultural exchange, education and friendship.