CISV International and COVID-19: 2020 information

April 2023: Updated Covid Safe Programmes and Events Procedures Published

June 2022 : Updated Covid Safe Programmes Procedures Published

01 September 2020

Update on our December – January Programme Season

The CISV International Governing Board met this weekend to consider options for our December-January programme season.  Thank you to all our NAs and Chapters which have given a lot of thought to what is doable and realistic for this year.

As of today, there are still 18 programmes where the hosts and at least some invited NAs are hoping to go ahead.  All of these are in EMEA.

We looked at a wide range of information (internal and external) gathered by the International Risk Management Team, including options and recommendations. Our Risk Management Team has also created new guidelines for what a Covid-safe programme would require and look like.

After considering all the options, the Board agreed that we would like to explore the possibility of proceeding with a small number of programmes (likely under 5), following the new Covid-19 safety guidelines. We believe that if we have the willingness and the guidance for hosting safe programmes, then we can support and enable a small number to take place.  In addition, hosting these programmes under such guidelines will help us prepare and build our ability to host programmes in 2021 as a whole, within a new reality.

In order to determine which programmes can realistically go ahead, we have asked our Risk Management Team to conduct an assessment. Over the next month, coordinated by our International Risk Manager, they will work directly with the remaining hosts and sending NAs to assess whether this is feasible, while maintaining the educational quality of the programmes.  This will include reviewing safety guidelines, campsite logistics and many more aspects that will need to be considered.  As always, the safety of our participants will be our priority.

Our Risk Management Team will submit a final proposal on this to the Board by the end of September, which the Board will review in early October.

We are all aware that we will need to keep a close eye on things and that cancellations may still happen up to the very last moment. The Board has therefore also approved to waive the cancellation fee and force majeure fee for future cancellations due to Covid-19, for the December programmes.

We will update everyone on this in early October after the Board has reviewed the completed assessment.

While this is not the year any of us would have wanted, the Board is grateful for your ongoing support and willingness to work together to create alternative solutions; dealing with the ongoing new reality in true CISV spirit.

30 July 2020

Earlier this year CISV International cancelled our March – April and June – August international programmes for 2020. Despite this disappointment for CISVers and families around the world, there can still be opportunities for educational experiences and engagement opportunities in our NAs and Chapters and to Make 2020 Count.

CISV International wants to hear from NAs and Chapters about how they’re making 2020 count.

You can find out more on our dedicated Make 2020 Count page.

12 June 2020

Due to remaining uncertainty around travel, CISV International has taken the decision to cancel the two RTFs in EMEA which were scheduled for October.  

We understand that this will be disappointing to many CISVers, and we hope people understand that we did not take the decision lightly.

In the meantime, we thank you for your support and are here to help where we can.

11 May 2020

Our Chapters and Future Programmes

Our Chapter Development teams have been contacting every National and Promotional Association to hear about how COVID-19 has affected you and your Chapter(s).  Thank you for sharing and helping give a global perspective on the different realities people are facing.  We have heard a lot of optimism and commitment in planning for the coming year!

December 2020 Programmes 

CISV International has set 31 August 2020 as a check-in date with regard to the December 2020 programme season. During this time, we will assess the global situation and make a decision on how to proceed. For now, we encourage Chapters to continue with regular planning, but take necessary action to minimize negative impact in case cancellation is required. Please do not book travel before 1 September 2020 and please check on any guidance from us at that time.

2021 Programmes

The Board is looking at the best possible ways to plan for 2021. We are balancing the educational, logistical and organizational needs to create as many positive programme opportunities as possible.

To discuss how this can work, please join us for our next town hall meeting on Sunday, 17 May – 13:00 (UK time). Please contact your NA Secretary for the link.

Meetings and Voting

Regional Meetings 

Virtual Regional Meetings have been held successfully in all regions and some will have ongoing meetings.  It was great to see so many faces and strong virtual engagement, from the regions and from people around the world.

Virtual Junior Branch Regional Meetings

All regions have also successfully held their JB meetings virtually. This will surely get JBers from around the world excited for IJBC (International Junior Branch Conference) which will also take place virtually this August.

Congratulations to the regions and the organizing teams!

2020 Motions and Voting Window

As the COVID-19 situation required much of CISV’s attention in March, the international motion process had to go on hold.  We now have a revised timeline for motions, virtual discussion, and voting.

Draft motions due May 24
Motions uploaded May 25-30
Discussion period June 1-July 14
Author review July 15-29
Final motions due July 29
Final preparations July 29 – August 3
Voting window August 4-31

The new schedule is in line with the principles and guidelines set out in CISV’s International Rules of Procedure for Member Meeting and Voting (Info File C-19).

Opportunities for Creativity and Learning

Creative Ideas Campaign on Social Media

CISVers world-wide are invited to share creative ideas for CISV during these COVID-19 times. These can be ideas for ways to engage virtually, ideas for chapters, fun social media initiatives, etc. Ideas should be sent here.

Life-Long Learning Series

As part of our efforts to create engagement opportunities amongst the CISV community, we are launching a new webinar series that will be open to all CISVers and will offer content that will help CISVers in life, or in their roles in CISV.

We are excited to host our first session CISV and Beyond: Using your CISV Experience to Grow your Chapter and Career, with Tamara Thorpe on Friday, 22 May – 13:00 UK time. To register for the webinar please sign up here.

International Office Temporary Closure 

Please be aware that the International Office is closed for the month of May as staff are on furlough. We are also planning to keep operations lean during June, keeping in mind National Associations’ needs.

If you have an emergency that needs an immediate response, please email this address. Any non-urgent inquiries sent to that address will be dealt with when the office reopens in mid-June.

30 March 2020

After careful consideration and in consultation with all of our National Associations, CISV International has taken the decision to cancel all June-August programmes and events.  

We know how disappointed many of you will be, whether this was to be your first CISV experience, or one of many.   

This is an unprecedented situation – globally and for CISV - and we took this decision with extremely heavy hearts, but felt that this is the right way forward for CISV.  

We are incredibly proud of everyone in the CISV family, who has shown, once again, how seriously they take their responsibilities as active global citizens. They remind us that we are all interconnected and are stronger when we act together to respond to common problems. 

We know that many of you will have questions either about your specific circumstances or about future programmes. We would encourage you to reach out to CISV in your country

We are grateful for the trust, patience and support you have shown us over the last few weeks. 

Over the coming weeks, we will need to plan for the future. We know that we can rely on everyone in the CISV family to help us overcome one of the greatest challenges our organization has ever faced. Together we are CISV, together we can and must make sure the legacy that Doris Allen left us will last at least another 70 years. 

19 March 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.

16 March 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.

14 March 2020 – further update

In consultation with CISV New Zealand and in light of even more recent developments, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel APRW and RTF, in line with what has been decided in other regions.

The team in CISV New Zealand did everything possible to make sure that every participant would have a safe and positive experience. We have nothing but praise for how they have been planning and preparing for APRW, especially in these times of uncertainty.

Despite all their efforts and hard work, however, world-wide events have over taken us, making it harder for people to plan travel in the coming month. Many governments, organizations and employers are imposing restrictions to limit travel and reduce the spread of the virus, and in the last few hours, the New Zealand government has added new restrictions on incoming travellers, making us more confident this is the only way forward, at this time.

We know that you will share our disappointment and will want to join us in thanking CISV New Zealand for their dedication and professionalism throughout. We look forward to joining you at an APRW there in the future.


14 March 2020 

The safety of our participants and the CISV family is always our primary concern. After careful consideration, CISV International has taken the difficult decision to cancel all March-April programmes, as well as the regional events and RTFs in EMEA and in the Americas.

Regarding the regional meeting and RTF (APRW) in New Zealand, we are in contact with the host and will let people know shortly.

In recent days, the global situation has been changing rapidly as more countries have been adding restrictions and more organizations are cancelling events. Considering this rapid pace of escalation, together with World Health Organization (WHO) officially announcing a pandemic, we felt this would be the safer way forward for our March-April programmes and events.

We know that this will be disappointing for many people who have been looking forward to attending one of our programmes or events, and we hope people understand that we did not take the decision lightly.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the amazing volunteers in our national and regional teams, who have been working tirelessly on their programmes and events. We are busy working with them on what happens next and how we can help people take part in future opportunities.

In terms of our June – August programmes, we are still cautiously optimistic that they will be able to go ahead. We understand that in these uncertain times, participants may want to consider booking refundable travel tickets. We are constantly monitoring the situation and assessing any impact to those programmes.


Where to go for more information:

Chapters, parents or participants: Over the coming days, your country’s National Association should be getting in touch with you about what this means for you.

National Associations: Please get in touch with your national risk managers who are liaising with both their regional risk managers and our international risk manager. Our programmes administration team are also on hand to answer specific hosting and sending queries you may have.

Health advice: We encourage people to get their information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other official and trustworthy sources, such as official government advisories.

We know that this is a challenging time for everyone. We would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding at this time.

06 March, 2020

As COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continues to unfold across the world, we understand that people have concerns about this year’s programmes and events, especially about those due to run between April and August.  

CISV International takes the health and safety of everyone who takes part in CISV programmes and events seriously. 

Given the rapidly changing circumstances, we are monitoring the ongoing situation and working with our National Associations on what this means for our international programmes and events. 

Based on World Health Organization and official government advice for both hosting and sending countries, CISV International or our National Associations may make the difficult decision to suspend or cancel programmes and events. 

CISV China has already confirmed that they will not be hosting their July Village programme. 

At this time, we are still hopeful that programmes and events in all of our other National Associations will go ahead as planned.  


Where to go for up to date information 

Chapters, parents or participants: Please get in touch with your country’s National Association if you have immediate concerns. 

National Associations: Please get in touch with your national risk managers who are liaising with both their regional risk managers and our international risk manager. Please continue to work with our programme administration team on your programmes preparation. 

Health advice: We encourage people to get their information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other official and trustworthy sources, such as official government advisories.  

We know that this is a challenging time for everyone. We would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding at this time.