About CISV

About Us


About CISV

About Us

Who We Are

We are a global community of dedicated volunteers, creating opportunities for all ages to experience the excitement and enrichment of cultural diversity through our educational programs. We are founded on our belief that peace is possible through friendship - and that the real difference can be made by starting with children.

What We Do

CISV provides a range of unique, educational group activities, which develop cross-cultural understanding in children, youth and adults from around the world. By encouraging respect for cultural differences and the development of self-awareness, CISV empowers each participant to incorporate these values into their lives as they become global citizens and strive for a more peaceful world.

Our work focuses on the following key areas:

  1. We provide opportunities for individuals to learn by experience to live amicably with others irrespective of cultural background.
  2. We contribute through research to a science of international relations and non-violent conflict resolution.
  3. We cooperate with other organizations having similar purposes.
  4. We inspire people of all ages to strive for a more just and peaceful world.

Our History

"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 realised 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 50 years after the first Village, this programme remains the cornerstone of our international educational activities. CISV's range of programmes has increased from one to six different types of international activities and from one village to around 180 international programmes a year.

Today CISV operates in over 60 countries and since 1951, more than 190,000 people have participated in more than 5000 international activities.

Miami County Chapter History

Doris Allen, the founder of Children's International  Summer Villages, after doing much research on international traveling for children decided that she wanted to try a village experience with rural children rather than children from the city (Cincinnati). In 1954 she met M. L. Routson, the principal of Concord School, at a teachers conference in Columbus and discussed her ideas with him.  Doris then came to Concord school herself and choose the first delegation to attend a village in 1954.  That is how our chapter began.

We had our first village here in Miami County in 1956 and have been an active chapter ever since.  The father of one of the first delegates, Mr. William Mathews, served as Secretary General of CISV International.  The National Office was located in Miami County for about 20 years where Hildreth Miller served as National Secretary, followed by Sally Stein. 

The National Office was moved to Cincinnati about 5 years ago where it will remain.  Miami County has sent over 100+ delegations to villages and we host a village every three years. 

New to CISV Miami County?

Our CISV Miami County Junior Branch chapter meetings are held on the fourth Monday of most months, September through May, from 6:30-8pm.  Meetings are held at First Presbyterian Church, 20 S. Walnut Street, Troy, Ohio.   Adult Branch meetings will be held twice throughout the year to engage adults, parents, and guardians in chapter planning and fundraising efforts.  New members are always welcome!

Our 2018-2019 year will kick off on Monday, September 24, starting at 6:30pm.  Both Junior Branch and Adult Branch members are encouraged to attend.  Kate Anderson, our Local Leader Trainer, will be presenting information pertaining to this year's educational content area--conflict resolution.