“Here in this village you may see
children living happily
Different race and different land
Here we come to understand
one another’s point of view
learning through the things we do
How alike am I to you.”
This summer, before I immerse myself into the real world adult life that is the workplace, I will be spending a month in Bursa, Turkey and have the chance to be a kid again! CISV is a non-profit global organization dedicated to educating and inspiring for peace through building inter-cultural friendship, and teaches participants to be active global citizens and leaders in their communities.
As a painfully, painfully shy 14 year-old in the Philippines, going to a CISV summer camp was life changing. I met people from all over: New Zealand, Jordan, France, Indonesia, Norway, Brazil, Germany, Spain…We engaged in activities about human rights, diversity, sustainable development, and conflict and resolution, acted silly, and sang lullabies before going to bed: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live us one.” It was the longest time I had spent away from home, and is what inspired me to get away from home and really redefine what home is. Home is the people you’re with.
Since then I’ve been involved with CISV in Chile. I’ve hosted CISV participants at my house. And this summer I’ll finally have the chance to be an adult leader for a group of four wonderful eleven year-old kids (two girls, and two boys) at a summer camp called a “Village.” There we’ll meet with other delegations from another eleven countries. It’s a mini United Nations! Every kid who goes through CISV strives to build a career out of it, and I wish that were actually possible.
CISV has inspired me personally, has made my life more enriching, and has even influenced my career aspirations. Through CISV I’ve met some of the best people and have a network that crosses borders. I think that it has great the potential in the Seattle area, and hope to start up a local chapter if I stick around for at least another year.