Our History

Our story began in the late 1940s, when a progressive child psychologist named Dr Doris Allen developed the concept of an organisation that would foster inter-cultural understanding and friendship as an essential step toward world peace. Doris Allenbelieved that by creating opportunities for children of different cultures to come together to learn and make friends, they would grow up to be ambassadors for a more just and peaceful wolrd.

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.

Since 1950 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.