CISV PassportCISV Big EdCISV offers a fun and exciting experience, but there is a lot more to us than that. Our purpose is to educate and inspire individuals to become active and contributing members of a peaceful society – active global citizens.

We deliver our programs in a way that is age-appropriate, informal and experiential. Experiential learning or ‘learning by doing’ is simply a way of saying learning from direct experience, rather than from reading books or listening to lectures. Learning by doing, combined with our focus on building friendship, achieves lasting learning outcomes that impact on our participants emotionally and in their everyday lives.

For further information on CISV’s educational approach, review the information below or click on the CISV BIG ED or PASSPORT documents to download a full PDF copy.

Peace education provides us with the attitudes, skills and knowledge to become agents of change, locally and globally. Through peace education, CISV seeks to educate and inspire our participants to become ‘active global citizens’ working towards a more just and peaceful world.

Peace education looks at local and global issues that are relevant to us all, recognizing that peace can mean much more than the absence of war. In fact, peace education encourages us to look at a wide range of issues and helps us gain a better understanding of:

  • our own identity within the local and global community
  • basic human rights as well as forms of exploitation and injustice
  • conflicts and how they can be caused, prevented and resolved
  • sustainable solutions for environmental and development issues

Having the opportunity to make friends with people from different backgrounds and life experience plays a vital role within peace education. This is because it encourages us to examine our own attitudes and values, which in turn helps to broaden our perspective of the world. It also helps to raise our self-awareness and our awareness of others.

CISV believes that fostering friendship between people of different nationality, gender, age, race, culture, and class is a key building-block for peace. CISVers worldwide build friendships to learn from each other and take positive steps towards more peaceful and just communities.


Our educational principles underpin all of our educational programs and activities.

  • We appreciate the similarities between people and value their differences.
  • We support social justice and equality of opportunity for all.
  • We encourage the resolution of conflict through peaceful means.
  • We support the creation of sustainable solutions to problems relating to our impact upon each other and the natural environment.

Our educational principles have a direct link to our four peace education content areas.


In CISV we have four peace education content areas, which are explored in our programs. Our peace education is delivered in a way that is both age-appropriate and experiential. The content areas are:

  • Diversity - Explores the identity of the individual and asks us to consider ourselves within our own and the wider community.
  • Human Rights - Considers how human rights affect every aspect of our lives and how violations can lie at the root of problems such as poverty, violence and lawlessness.
  • Conflict and Resolution - Helps us to understand how conflicts can arise deliberately or otherwise and what can be done to help bring a peaceful resolution.
  • Sustainable Development - Looks for integrated ways to promote economic and social well-being, while protecting the environment through the responsible use of natural resources.


A founding object of CISV International is to contribute, through research, to a science of international relations. For CISV’s founder, Dr Doris T. Allen, research was an integral part of CISV from the beginning. The first CISV program, now called Village, built on her knowledge as a developmental psychologist, and aimed at reducing children’s cultural stereotypes before they would harden.

Adults accompanying the first children were encouraged to reflect on their experiences, document them, and to attempt to distill general learning points and recommendations – in short to engage in applied research. CISV has since continued its involvement in research. Thereby we can incorporate scientific knowledge into our best practice as well as contribute to scholarly literature and debates. Contributing to research is also essential for increasing CISV’s visibility and educational credibility and attracts academics and professionals in the field to our work.