GoDeKalb.com – Contributed by: Editor
Four local 11-year olds and their adult chaperone traveled to Paris, France this summer for a four-week
international camp designed to promote peace and cultural understanding. The Atlanta-area chapter of the Children’s International Summer Village (CISV) sponsored the trip. CISV holds about sixty villages each in various locations both domestically and internationally. Each village host delegations from 12 countries, with each delegation consiting of one adult leader and four 11-year olds.
Atlanta Area founder and President Tait Anberg, a Decatur resident, says the local summer program
participants want to, “continue CISV’s mission to promote peace through understanding.” Anberg founded the local Atlanta Area chapter on June 6, 2004.
“I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of CISV, and in my youth I had many positive, life-changing experiences because of it,” he said. “I’ve lived in the Decatur for 10 years and it became important to me as a father and as an educator to start a chapter here in the Metro area.”
The program participants—Emily Clay of Atlanta, Michael Oden of Snellville, Kelcie Sellers of Lilburn, and Nick Watson of Stone Mountain—returned from Paris with stories and experiences; life-enriching cultural education and outreach.
“This was an opportunity for some of our youth to share and learn from others from around the world,” said Lakwanza Williams of Atlanta, the adult leader of the Paris delegation. “Young people coming together and finding common ground with differences in cultures, languages, traditions and values we all hold dear.”
Why eleven year olds? Williams explains, “These children have the maturity to be away from home and
understand the purpose of the village. They represent their culture and are young enough to accept their differences with no or little prejudice. They communicate easily, even without a common language, and are eager to make friends.”
Although English is the official language of CISV programs, all international programs and activities incorporate many languages and cultures. Emphasis is on activities which encourage creative expression and close relationships among the children. Day by day, the children come to realize that the differences between them are less important than the similarities that bind them together. In a natural way, they learn the deeper significance of making international friendships.
“We can learn so much, at any age, through learning about, respecting and celebrating our differences,”
The Atlanta Area Village will host a Welcome Back Party for all summer program participants on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005, at 4 p.m. If you are interested in attending, email Tait Anberg, President and Founder of CISV Atlanta Area, at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the organization is located online at https://www.atlanta.cisvusa.org.