CISV was founded in 1950 on the belief that lasting global peace can only be achieved through children. The founder of CISV, Dr. Doris Twitchell Allen, believed that if children were able to form friendships across cultures, they would be able to overcome prejudice from direct experience. This belief was the foundation of the first “Children’s International Summer Village” (CISV), where youth from different countries live and play together for a month-long life-changing experience. In the ensuing years, CISV International has expanded into a global organization dedicated to educating and inspiring people of all ages for peace through building inter-cultural friendship, cooperation, and understanding. CISV offers local community programs, plus seven international camp-based or family exchange travel programs, including the original Village program.
Maine holds a special place in the world of CISV because Dr. Allen was born in Old Town, Maine and educated at the University of Maine. The CISV Maine chapter was founded in 1986 and currently has one of the most active local programs of any chapter in CISV USA. For over 30 years, our chapter has provided Maine youth the experience of their lives and the opportunity to build lasting friendships through local and international educational programs.
We aim to help our participants develop the skills they need to become informed, responsible and active global citizens and make a difference in their communities and the world. The glue that underpins all of our programs is friendship, in line with our founding belief that peace is possible through friendship and mutual understanding.