Why Do You Volunteer for CISV?

Year after year, our passionate volunteers donate their talent, their time, and their energy to our common mission. Volunteers are truly the heart and soul of CISV. But dedicated volunteers can be hard to find! Chapters from all around the world have expressed their difficulties recruiting and retaining volunteers. In order to try and tackle this challenge, we decided to turn to the experts in this domain; our dedicated volunteers. We asked CISVers: why do you keep coming back? Why are you a CISV volunteer?  These are their answers:

I am involved with CISV because of the impact I see it makes on children, but also the impact it made on me. This impact includes the maturity level you see increase when people come back from camp, the friendships they make, and the way they care about other countries and other people. I think CISV has given me some of the skills that are the most important to me, like presenting in front of people, working with groups, talking with people from other countries… It has totally shaped who I am today.

– Santana, Canada

I got to know CISV years ago, as my friends were participating, but I never got the chance to participate myself. So, when my daughter had the opportunity to go participate in a programme, I thought “she has to go!”, because I believe that participating in CISV is an empowerment. It empowers by giving you the opportunity to learn about different cultures and about how to be a positive leader, and also by creating a network of friends all around the world. So, when she came back and told me “Mom you have to help CISV”, I said “Of course I’ll help”.

– Camila, El Salvador

When I saw my children grow and develop, it gave me a reason to get involved. But now since I’ve been involved for a few years, it’s actually meeting people like you, that gives me inspiration.  It gives me energy, and I like that. I like the idea that if we know each other a little bit, if something happens in your country I’ll think of you, and I think this can make an impact on the world – maybe a small one, but one in the right direction.

– Tomas, Sweden

I think it’s amazing if you look around the room [here at the Global Conference] that there are 65 countries, that there are people of all ages, and still, you can sit down across the table from anyone, and start up a conversation. It doesn’t matter if you are a 16-year-old from the USA or a 50-year-old from India! I can still have a conversation with you and the thing that connects us is the fact that we are CISVers and that we want to be here. In the real world, we might not have a chance to interact, but because of CISV we get that opportunity.

– Tracey, New Zealand

I think CISV a great platform for children to get life skills because at a very early age you start appreciating things a lot more. When you are exposed to other possibilities, you realize that your life might not be so bad. And when you learn that early, you open your mind and your heart. If you are not able to be grateful you won’t be happy, and if you are not happy, what’s the point?

– Gurpreet, India

It just… makes me happy! I feel like when I’m here, I’m in the right place and maybe this could be the right place for so many people. If we push this further and open it up more, more people could get the feeling that this is the right place for them, a place that makes you feel that you are alright, just as you are. For me, CISV was one of the few places that made me realize that I’m not as bad as I thought. CISV just encourages you to be you.

– Agus, Spain

I keep doing CISV because it makes me feel alive! It makes me feel alive because every time I have a conversation with another person I get to see their hopes and their fears and that makes me realize that everyone around me is simply human. It makes me feel that I’m in a world that is not just virtual. It’s real. It’s alive.

– Ezgi, Turkey

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