Doris Allen founder of CISV
"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 realized 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 approximately 220 international programmes each year with over 8,000 participants annually.
Today CISV operates in over 60 countries and since 1951 more than 230,000 people have participated in more than 6,000 international activities!
Doris Allen and Michel Boutron