In today's world where teenagers are nose-to-gadget with their smartphones, iPads and social media everything, it may seem like they're connected to everyone on the planet. In reality, they're only connected to the people they have encountered in their family, school and small social circles. In fact, it may be harder than ever for young people to become Citizens of the World, especially because they are Citizens of the WWW. Cristin Tarr of Business Service Corps is one mom who understands the importance of navigating the world with a sense of compassion, understanding, and an open heart. How do you instill that in your children? We at DFR are thrilled to explore that topic on this week's radio program - as Cristin introduces us to Children's International Summer Villages (CISV).
Think of CISV as summer camp with a passport. The program was founded in 1951 by Doris Twitchell Allen, a child psychologist who, at the time of the Cold War, was concerned about global unrest and threats to peace. She felt the only way to build peace was to reach children before bias and prejudice could be engrained. She identified 11-year-olds as the age where kids are old enough to travel without their parents, and young enough to be free from prejudice. In an effort to promote intercultural understanding, she brought children together from around the world for a four-week summer program to learn from each other and encourage international friendships. Today, CISV hosts about 50 villages each summer, as well as additional programs for older kids.
Our guests are two young people, Ian Tarr (yes, he's Cristin's son) who participated in his first Summer Village in Luxembourg this past summer, and Taylor Garner, who has traveled to Guatemala and Prague. They tell us about their experiences, bonding with their host families, camp activities, living and eating together with friends who become family.
Ian tells us, he is now Facebook friends with his CISV friends in other countries and even FaceTimes with some of them - sometimes while making brownies! More importantly, when there was a recent bombing in Israel, his immediate concern was for a friend he made last summer. That is the true meaning of Global Citizenship, to make the world a little smaller and our hearts broader.
You can listen to their stories this Saturday on Driving Force Radio, KNUS 710 at 10:00am. (this episode airs January 5, 2013)
A Podcast is also available: http://www.talkzone.com/shows/199/icosa.html
Or watch our video version here:
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