“We must start with the children.” ~ Dr. Doris Allen, founder
Following the devastation of World War II, many people were focusing on initiatives to build and maintain peace. One particular idea caught the attention of child psychologist, Dr. Doris Allen. It was a proposal for a UNESCO peace education institute for postgraduates from many disciplines. The idea for Children’s International Summer Villages (today known as CISV International) was conceived by Dr. Allen in 1946. As a specialist in growth and development, Dr. Allen, could not agree that the focus for peace education should be in the field of adult learning. She firmly believed that the ultimate source for peace, long range, lay with the children.
From this conviction came her vision of bringing together children from all over the globe to learn to respect different and common values. In 1951, she realized her dream when delegates from eight countries gathered in Cincinnati, USA for the first Children’s International Summer Village (CISV). Over the decades, the organization grew in numbers, countries and activities. In 1979, Doris Allen was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize – the recipient that year was Mother Teresa.
Over 65 years after the first Village, this program remains the cornerstone of our international educational activities. CISV’s range of programs has increased from one to six different types of international activities and from one village to around 180 international programs a year.
Today CISV operates in over 69 countries and over 200 cities around the world. Our dedicated volunteers organize and deliver life-changing experiences through our range of camp, family, and community-based programs to thousands of children and people every year.
Our Chapter History
CISV as an international organizations has existed in the US for over seventy years. Found by Doris Allen, a psychologist from New England, the dream was to inspire peace and global friendship that extend beyond political borders. Yet, while there are numerous CISV families living in Boston, there was not a chapter here yet in Eastern Massachusetts.
We are one of the first “baby chapters” of CISV USA. In September 25, 2016, four CISV families along with past CISVers in Boston came together and decided to establish a chapter here in our community. Our goal was to ensure our children and our community members have an opportunity to experience and learn from CISV organization. From this simple dream, we have rapidly grown to be an active chapter with passionate and dedicated volunteers. We are still expanding with this strong momentum.