Peace Education

CISV experiences are fun and exciting. This is by no means the entire claim we make of our activities. Our international programs are based on sound educational principles, understandable educational goals and our peace education curriculum. We want to inspire people to become individually active members of a peaceful society. Therefore, we promote the building of lasting friendships, and help with the lifelong development of skills such as purposeful and appreciative communication, active collaboration and motivational leadership. We are convinced that one learns (almost) only through experience, and work with ever new activities,  peace education to make it experiential - "learning" is fun and informal and therefore sustainable.  

What Happens on a CISV Program?

Doris Allen, the founder of CISV, has developed the CISV programs based on principles of developmental psychology. New findings lead to ongoing improvements in the concepts. The result is programs that provide children and adolescents with age-appropriate development opportunities. Each program tracks program goals that fit the age group. The participants approach the set goals in "CISV Activities" (also "Content Activities") and "Fun Activities". All activities are properly prepared and age-appropriate.
  • The youngest are to be led to an open togetherness, courage to cross-cultural contacts, deal with the "big wide world". Their activities are planned by the adults (Leader and Staff) in the program, the JCs relax the program with cheerful intermediate activities.
  • The older the adolescents are, the more CISV promotes self-reliance. The programs promote cooperation, foresight, engagement and critical engagement. In the case of 12-15 year-olds, the adults accompany the planning and support the young people, but are less and less often in charge of designing the details.
  • The elders (over 16) plan their programs themselves. They know their goals and work together to achieve those goals. The adults are only responsible for the organization, and of course are contact persons and supporters in difficult situations.
Development works best when learners are in a positive, happy mood. Doris Allen knew that. Therefore, inspirational, joyful, relaxing, energizing elements are integral parts of CISV programs. Time and again, there are "energizers" that are fun and encourage young people to interact informally. In "Free Time", everyone can recharge their batteries in their own way - while playing sports together or by retreating to a quiet spot. And because music connects, there are often "lullabies", evening sing-along sessions.  Electronic devices are perceived by CISV to be an obstacle to communication. Therefore, our programs are mobile and computer free.

Peace Education

Peace Education means: We acquire attitudes, knowledge and skills that allow us to bring about change locally and globally. Through peace education, CISV seeks to inspire our participants to become "active global citizens" and to promote a more just, peaceful world. Peace education looks at local and global issues that are relevant to those involved and that oppose peace. We see "peace" not only as an absence of war, for us it is more than that. We want to give participants a better understanding of certain topics :
  • our own identity in local and global society
  • Human rights, exploitation and justice
  • Conflicts, how they can arise and be solved, and above all, how they can be prevented
  • sustainable solutions for environmental and development problems

CISV Educational Principles

educational principles
CISV Peace Education takes place age-appropriate and through experience ( experiential learning ). Our activities follow four principles:
  • We value the similarities between people and appreciate the differences.
  • We support social justice and equal opportunity for all people.
  • We encourage peaceful conflict resolution strategies.
  • We help develop sustainable solutions to problems related to our mutual influence on each other and the impact of our actions on our natural environment.

These principles are clearly related to the four thematic areas that our programs deal with. CISV International provides even more information on the peace education content areas  in Passport , a summary of our access to peace education.

Building Global Friendship

Being able to make friends of different backgrounds and life experiences is an integral part of CISV peace education. The situations in our programs encourage us to consciously view and question our own attitudes and values. In doing so, we expand our perspective on the world, increase our self-confidence and become more aware of the needs of others. CISV is confident that promoting friendships between people of different nationalities, genders, ages, manifestations, cultures and classes is an essential building block for peace. 
CISVers make friendships around the world to learn from each other and take positive steps towards a more peaceful and balanced world.