Click here for how CISV International Office is responding to coronavirus COVID-19
We, CISV Boston, will do our best to keep you updated as the situation evolves. Below are how we in Boston with the support from our national and international office is responding.
CISV USA Board of Director Statement on March 23, 2020
Dear Chapters and all members of CISV USA,
The Board of Directors has unanimously voted to cancel the hosting of all programmes for the 2020 Jun Aug programme season. This includes 15 international programmes.
The Board of Directors has also unanimously voted to cancel the sending of all delegations and individual delegates to programmes being hosted by other National Associations for the 2020 Jun–Aug programme season. This decision is based on our determination that under the current circumstances, it is not possible for our NA and Chapters to adequately prepare and train our participants and volunteers for a safe experience. The safety of our membership has always been our top priority.
The decision to take these measures is not made fearfully, but practically. We have incredible respect for all our volunteers that make participation in our organization a wonderful experience and who have allowed our NA to grow and prosper for decades. We are honored by our volunteers that have stepped up to provide alternatives that might help us move forward under these unique and challenging circumstances.
However, the Board of Directors do not feel that our organization has the current capacity to adequately and safely prepare to host programmes or send delegations at this time. Nor do we believe it is appropriate to ask our volunteers to prioritize CISV programme planning and preparation, at a time when many other personal and professional concerns regarding the pandemic are dominating your lives.
Although we do not know when the current pandemic restrictions will end in each State, the Board felt that even the most optimistic forecast did not provide Chapters with an appropriate amount of time to move forward with hosting or sending safely, and in accordance with the high standards we expect of our NA and for our membership.
We are making this decision sooner than we had previously hoped. Waiting for CISV International to lead these decisions might have made other important decisions less complicated. However, further delay would only result in increased non–refundable expenditures for some of our Chapters. Equally important is our desire to allow our membership to put these uncertainties behind them and focus all their time and energy primarily on their own safety and well–being.
We are fully aware that there are still many unanswered questions which we intend to address collaboratively with CISV International regarding next year‘s hosting plan, invitations, programme ages,
priority points system, etc. We fully intend to continue to engage with International regarding all of these important transitional issues. We will not have any information on the full impact of our decision to cancel hosting and sending until the International Governing Board makes its final decisions regarding these issues. We must allow them to follow their own process and timelines in assessing the impact to the global organization and over 60 NAs worldwide. We will continue to dialogue with International at every opportunity in an effort to be part of the solution. We hope that by making these difficult decisions now, we can start working on joint resolutions to the many other issues we still face.
Last Friday, every Chapter received a letter from the Board of Directors outlining some of the financial impacts of our current situation. Our NA will be challenged financially in the upcoming years with the complete loss of this year‘s income from the hosting and sending of programmes. We will make every effort to keep Chapter‘s informed as major decisions are made moving forward.
With the utmost care and respect for each of you, we hope that you and your families stay safe and stay healthy.
Stephenie Teichman, Chair On behalf of CISV USA‘s Board of Directors
CISV USA Board of Director Statement on March 20, 2020
Dear CISV USA Chapters and Members,
The Board of Directors of CISV USA met last night to discuss the growing number of questions and concerns created by COVID-19. We are fully aware of the current travel warnings and have heard the variety of concerns raised by each Chapter. We certainly are experiencing unique and challenging times for our organization and our membership at large.
As many of you know, our Board of Directors has been patiently waiting for CISV International to take the lead in responding to the impact of COVID-19. This is not because our [National Association] is not capable of acting independently in this matter, but rather the decision to proceed independently may create additional financial concerns for our global organization than if we act in unison with International. We have been in constant contact with them over the past few weeks to share our concerns about moving forward with hosting and sending this Jun-Aug programme season.
A huge financial concern has recently been lifted by International’s actions. If our NA was going to be assessed penalties for cancelling all sending and hosting for Jun-Aug programmes, it could have resulted in a financial penalty of $231,267 for CISV USA. Fortunately, in an email dated March 18, 2020, we received confirmation from CISV International that it will waive all penalties for cancellation of hosting and sending made by NAs/Chapters prior to April 15, 2020. A copy of this email is included with this correspondence for your convenience.
This is a significant development that will help reduce the financial impact to all of us. Nevertheless, International will still be assessing a £25 GBP (~$30 USD) per participant fee for cancellation for a total of $16,000. The Board of Directors has decided to absorb this cost, and we will not be passing this assessment to our Chapters. However, considering our size and level of participation worldwide, each chapter should be aware that cancelling all hosting and sending programs will mean a deficit budget of $125,661 to our organization. In order to offset the budget deficit, CISV USA will also have to cancel National Minicamp, Fortnight, and CISV in Motion for this year. Further, we will need to assess and collect Chapter Support Fees in the same amount that we would have collected for this year had programming not been cancelled, as well as collecting International Fees and Junior Branch dues.
CISV International has asked that each [National Association] wait until April 15th before making any final decisions regarding cancellation for hosting or sending. We are fully aware that there are local deadlines for many Chapters that may result in additional non-refundable costs if we wait to cancel hostings until April 15th, so we will not wait until the suggested deadline.
The International Governing Board is meeting again on March 28th. Our Board of Directors is prepared and willing to wait until the results of this March 28th International Governing Board meeting, but no later. We will make a final and perhaps independent decision on whether to cancel all programmes no later than April 1st.
As you can see from the included CISV International letter, they will be asking for [National Associations] to respond to a survey regarding chapter ability to host and send later in the year. We have tremendous resect for each of our chapters and the amazing volunteers that run them. This is an opportunity for your voices to be heard directly by International and our Board of Directors feels strongly that your Chapter voices should be heard, rather than a single response from NA. The link to the survey is … They have asked that you respond by Monday, March 23rd.
After assessing the results of these surveys, CISV International may decided that there are some NAs/Chapters globally that are capable and willing to host and send this Jun-Aug programme season, and some Chapters that are willing to postpone hosting until the Dec-Jan programme season, rather than cancelling. Regardless of CISV International’s decision, we will make our independent assessment of whether our NA and Chapters are capable of hosting programmes or sending delegations safely during these turbulent times.
Our Board of Directors’ final decision regarding hosting and sending will be made not only with financial stability of CISV in mind, but also with consideration of the desires of our Chapters and the emotional human toll the coronavirus has caused to our membership. We are aware of the pressing concerns caused by the pandemic ranging from self-isolation to work disruption to childcare and school along with health fears for yourselves and others. With all these concerns at the forefront, we fully understand that CISV is on the backburner of your priorities.
As stated, CISV USA’s Board of Directors will make a final decision regarding all hosting and sending no later than April 1st.
Thank you for your continued patience. Stay safe and stay healthy.
On behalf of the Governing Board of CISV USA
Stephanie Teichman, Chair
Updates from CISV International Office posted on March 19, 2020
We are continuing to work with all of our National Associations and Chapters to understand if the ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 situation may lead to the cancellation or postponement of any June-August programmes. With over 200 Chapters and nearly 70 National Associations worldwide, we are working as quickly as we can to co-ordinate this information.
We know these are tough and uncertain times for all, but we are confident that together we will pull through.
In the meantime, we thank you for your support and are here to help where we can.
Updates from CISV International Office posted on March 16, 2020
Since our last update, we know that many of you have questions about what the decision about our March – April programmes and events means practically, and are already looking ahead to the June – August ones. We are busy working on the finer details of all of this and will be providing further updates later this week.
We know this means there is a degree of uncertainty for all of us, and would ask everyone to be as patient as you can. Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time.
CISV International Office
March 16, 2020
Message from our national office and risk manager:
We have made the difficult decision to cancel all events and trainings until May 15th. This comes after a recent update from the CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html
This means that the following in-person trainings and workshops will be cancelled:
* Chapter Development Workshop in Detroit March 20-22
* Chapter Development Workshop in Jacksonville – April 24-26
* NLT Staff Training in DFW -March 27-29
* NLT Training in Chattanooga April 17-19
* NLT Training in Columbus April 24-26
* NLT Training in Detroit May 1-3
* All Regional Mini-Camps have been cancelled
To be clear, we are still planning to offer Staff and Leader training but in an alternative format. Our National Leadership Training Team is working on putting together quality online training over the next few weeks.
We are recommending that all local chapter in-person meetings and events be cancelled until May 15 as well. However, we encourage you to utilize virtual platforms for your Chapter Board meetings, JB meetings, Local Leader training, etc.
If your chapter has purchased airfare for the Chapter Development workshops and National Leader and Staff Training, please contact the airlines about refunds or credit vouchers. Most airlines have been good about giving refunds and credit vouchers but, as you can imagine, the airlines have been super busy so there may be some delays in processing of your requests.
International’s Governing Board, the International Risk Manager, our National RM, our Regional RM, our National Board and I will all continue to monitor this situation but remain hopeful that summer programming will continue.
Thank you for your patience during this rapidly changing situation
Posted on Youtube on March 14, 2020
A statement from Einav, the CISV International Office Governing Board Chair (Youtube)
March 14, 2020
We’d like to update you on what has been happening with CISV during this unprecedented time. CISV International, as well as CISV USA and our local chapter are monitoring the situation, and have some updates for upcoming programs and events.
CISV International has canceled all April international programs. This has impacted our Individual Youth Meeting in Germany, which one of our members was to attend.
This decision does not impact the June-August program season, as it is too early to tell what the global situation would be by that time. The International Governing Board, senior management team and CISV risk management community are closely monitoring the situation and will keep us posted.
For leaders, CISV USA has canceled all national training weekends in March. They have not canceled training in April. They are working on solutions to training for those who were signed up for the March sessions. The national board is meeting this week and will have more updates.
All board meetings will be done via video conferencing and we will closely monitor the situation. We encourage you to reach out to your leaders and other delegates’ families to arrange video chats to get to know each other instead of in-person meetings.
We will let you know of any developments from CISV International and CISV USA. Please let us know if you have any questions.
February 26, 2020
In light of the ongoing concerns around the coronavirus, we want to update you on the situation, our communication with CISV International’s Risk Management team, and our plans as we proceed with the upcoming program season. We understand your families’ concerns and want to assure you that the health and safety of all CISVers is our top priority.
The New Coronavirus:
Several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19 which was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019.
Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. (WHO)
For perspective, there are currently 30 million cases of influenza in the United States, and fewer than 100,000 cases of this coronavirus worldwide. WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.
Update from CISV International Risk Management (Feb. 25):
We understand that given the ongoing coverage of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) people have concerns about this year’s programme season. Especially as National Associations are starting to send in their pre-camp information for the June – August programmes.
In CISV, safety is the number one priority for all programmes and events. We are taking the COVID-19 situation seriously. We are also mindful that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has labelled the overabundance of information an “infodemic”, arguing it “makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.” Therefore, we make sure that we get our information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other official and trustworthy sources, such as government health and foreign office departments.
The International Office is monitoring the ongoing situation and assessing any impact on international programmes, and supporting affected National Associations (NAs).
We advise anyone invited to the Village in China (V-2020-010) and Step Up in Hong Kong (C-2020-021) not to book their travel until after 31st March.
The International Office, working with the host NAs, will assess the situation and decide whether these NAs will have to cancel, by 31st March. We will update invited NAs as soon as possible after this. At this time, we are still very hopeful that the programmes will go ahead as planned.
If people do book their travel before 31st March, and these specific programmes are later cancelled for force majeure reasons, then the reimbursement policy (detailed in C-11 Programme Cancellation and Penalty Fees), will not apply. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to provide replacement places if programmes are cancelled.
We know that this can feel scary and is a challenging time for everyone. We are here alongside your regional and local teams to answer any questions you may have.
Everyone can play their part in helping to contain the spread of coronavirus and reducing stigma by following the latest WHO advice.
CISV International Risk Manager
How We Proceed:
We as the executive board of CISV Boston have full trust in CISV International to make the right decisions around programs that are scheduled in areas of concern. With 70 years of experience, CISV has navigated situations like these in the past (ex. H1N1 flu in 2009). We feel there is a lot of time for decisions to be made (and for the virus to die out as the weather warms). Until we hear otherwise, we will move forward with preparations for our traveling delegations and for hosting our Step Up program this summer.
Please rest assured that your children’s safety is our top priority, and we will continue to update you as the situation unfolds. We appreciate your family’s continued support of CISV Austin/San Antonio, and we look forward to a happy, healthy program season! Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.
CISV Boston Board