I had my first CISV experience nineteen years ago. At the time, I was eleven, and was a rather cautious and introverted child. After four weeks I came home quite dirty, rich in experiences and knowledge and with a bunch of new friends. I continued to be rather cautious, but in these 4 weeks I not only learned that different languages and cultures do not have to be obstacles, but that it was also completely okay.
In the summer of 2014, I experienced my sixth CISV camp. I was allowed to accompany four great, eleven-year-old children as they made friends, became more open, more interested, more confident; How they began to ask questions and perceive injustices, how they consciously grappled with their own origins and learned to think globally, how they behaved in solidarity and empathy and helped to ensure that these 4 weeks for all unforgettable experience.
Of all my CISV experiences, I probably appreciate my last two when I was allowed to be a leader at Villages the most: Because I witnessed a well-functioning and harmonious Leaders Group (which consisted of very different personalities!), a safe and loving environment, within which quiet children suddenly shared opinions, anxious children could forget their homesickness, and self-assured children acted as links of the group.
Because It’s All About The Children.