Our thanks to the 2019 Presenting Sponsor

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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. CISV was founded on the belief that peace is possible through friendship-and that the real difference can be made by starting with children. Our values are friendship, inclusivity, enthusiasm, engagement and cooperation. CISV is a charitable, independent, non-political, volunteer organization promoting peace education and cross-cultural friendship.

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. Specifically, CISV

  • Provides opportunities for individuals to learn by experience to live amicably with others irrespective of cultural background;

  • Contributes through research to a science of international relations and non-violent conflict resolution;

  • Cooperates with other organizations having similar purposes; and

  • Inspires people of all ages to strive for a more just and peaceful world.


Why We're Important: 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, Ohio, 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 60 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 per year.


How We Impact the Community: Today CISV operates in over 60 countries and since 1951, more than190,000 people have participated in more than 5000 international activities. CISV Columbus is one of 21 chapters in the U.S. Since 2004, 315 people have participated in international CISV programs from the Columbus area. CISV Columbus has also hosted five international programs, affording opportunities for local families and businesses to support global friendship.

How You Can Help: Peace is possible through friendship-and the real difference can be made by starting with children. This is the basis for all CISV activities. Although we are a non-profit, charitable organization, there are costs in hosting international and local programs, camps and events. This is where your financial support is valued and is put to good use. CISV Columbus hosted the Village program, an international camp for 48 eleven-year old children from 12 countries in 2010, 2013, 2016. The next Village in Columbus is scheduled for 2020. The Step Up program, an international camp for 36 fourteen-year-old teens from nine countries, was hosted locally in 2012 and 2015. The next Step Up in Columbus is scheduled for 2019. These participants live for 3–4 weeks in a suburban school with adult leaders and staff. Our chapter is responsible for housing, food, activities, supplies, and excursions. We welcome volunteers! Please contact cisvcolumbus@gmail.com.

Connect with CISV Columbus

2503 Sherwood Road

Bexley, OH 43209




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CISV Columbus Chapter President: Betsy Ross

Email: cisvcolumbus@gmail.com