What does it mean to be an alumni?
The CISV community is everlasting and timeless. Throughout the years, we have always valued the importance of connection and collaboration. All of our former participants, volunteers and staff are part of the alumni community. We want to allow all of our alumni to reconnect with the CISV family and remain united.
CISV has impacted my life by giving me a glimpse of how children and people in a variety of cultures live their day to day lives, both in how they are similar and how they are different. I am constantly thinking about the stuff I do during my waking hours and comparing it to what I’ve learned that a person from El Salvador, or Brazil, or Norway might experience. It’s also been a constant reminder that very little of what is shown in media around the globe is accurately representative of those countries.
One of my favourite CISV memories is from my first time leading, where we did our “rich and poor day,” where watching how quickly and strongly the children designated as ‘poor’ came together to help and support one another. (Another reminder for me that a lot of these children from some of the countries and cultures present at the time knew what extreme poverty was like and had a far better understanding of it than I ever will). The compassion and understanding shown was beyond that which I expect of the average adult, and that was despite our ‘pushing’ as leaders to steer the kids into conflict and disarray. The fact they were able to work through it all and come out stronger for it still warms my heart when I reflect back on it.