Dr. Doris Twitchell Allen - CISV founderOver its 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.

Our story began in the late 1940s, when 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.

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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 (now known as 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.

Over the years, beginning with that first Village, CISV volunteers in our Chapters have organized over 7,000 international educational programmes for some 300,000 participants.

Since1950 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 educational programmes; from one Village to over 300 programmes a year, involving over 9000 participants.

CISV continues to grow, guided by its founding belief that a more just and peaceful world is possible through intercultural exchange, education and friendship – starting with children.