TROY — The world is often a cacophony of cultures, customs and attitudes. Being aware of such dissonance led Dr. Doris Twitchell Allen (1901-2002), a psychologist from the University of Cincinnati, to establish the Children’s International Summer Villages (CISV International) to work towards greater global understanding and acceptance of our many differences. Laurie Winans Reiser and Betsy Smith presented information on Troy’s chapter of CISV International at Troy Rotary Club’s April 12 meeting.
What began as an idea of a global organization that would foster intercultural knowledge and understanding following the end of World War II has become a multifaceted organization that brings together children from different cultures to educate and inspire action for a more just and peaceful world. Allen’s premise was to establish a model for a multinational “village” for children from several countries to explore their differences and similarities. Her dedication to peace did not go unnoticed in the world. Allen was nominated for many awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize (1979, The Year of the Child); the Freedom Medal (1999); the Hague Appeal for Peace Prize (2001); and the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education (2001).
Since that first village in 1950, CISV International as grown to sponsor 200 programs per year in 70 countries and supported by 10,000 volunteers. Similar to Rotary International, CISV International has four principles: (1) Appreciate the similarities between people and value their differences; (2) Support social justice and equality of opportunity for all; (3) Encourage the resolution of conflict through peaceful means; and (4) Support the creation of sustainable solutions to problems relating to our impact upon each other and the natural environment. While CISV International promotes diversity, multiculturalism, and heightened awareness of other cultures, it may also be viewed as an economic development tool to attract families to smaller cities and communities. It has been an excellent way to differentiate Troy from other cities that do not have a CISV International program. This summer, CISV Miami County will host a village that will welcome approximately 70 children from many other cultures and countries. To learn more about the programs and how to become involved, visit www.cisv.org.
Troy Rotarians, and the Troy Rotary Foundation, support several community projects annually. If you are interested in presenting your business or organization, visit the Troy Rotary Web site at www.troyohiorotary.org and submit your information in the “Contact Us” section. Troy Rotary is a member-involved, goal-oriented service club focused on socio/economic issues that have an impact both locally and internationally. You can follow their activities on Facebook at Troy Rotary Club.