Page 1

IJB Thinks

it takes two


What would you ask a CISVer if you only had one chance?
 That was the simple rule for IJB Thinks #22. !

Junior Branch is a worldwide community. We are a network of thousands of people working towards CISV’s goals, exploring similar educational themes, discussing the same questions and searching for diverse answers. This edition of IJB Thinks is as much about the questions as it is about the answers.

! The first issue of IJB Thinks in 2014 aims at bridging the gap between CISVers around the world by offering them this space to chat and discuss. In the first phase of putting the edition together, we collected questions that were on CISVers’ minds. In the second phase, CISVers could volunteer to answer one of these randomly assigned questions. By opneing IJB Thinks in this manner, we want to stregthen the dialogue on common questions in Junior Branch.




Anjo & Cande

International Junior Representatives 2013-2014 April 11th, 2014

“ Why CISV? ! - Quang Tu

To us, CISV is special because it is truly a youth organization. It gives power and authority to Youth (JBers) and allows for young people to work together educating each other. In most organizations (especially of this size), at least in our experience, it is usually governed and run by adults. CISV has given all of us so many opportunities and gifts, that we use every single day. It connects the world together and gives youth a platform for learning from each other and creating peaceful change in the world. We have seen JBers change from shy kids who can't make eye contact, to being opinionated passionate individuals, in only a short time period. However, we have seen other kids who aren't largely impacted by CISV. They have other things in their lives that are priority, and that's ok. It's finding the balance in it all, and finding a place that you as an individual can grow and develop. We need to focus on how diverse the individual is, instead of trying to find a lump sum solution for everyone.

by Amy Ayer & Mercedes Fogarassy

“ What makes CISV a unique organization? ! - Juanca Lozano

It took weeks for me to even begin to understand how to answer this too many options, help! So instead of focusing on each individual way that I see CISV setting itself apart from other organizations, I will (with great self control) write just about one aspect that demonstrates a way in which CISV is truly extraordinary. This year marks 11 years since my village during which I have never left CISV. And throughout all this time, even as I grew “too old” to be a real “participant” I have never stopped learning. Of course we have our educational content areas, but the education that CISV gives us goes far beyond the theme of the year or the topic of an individual activity. In JB, CISV teaches us not only about the world, but also about ourselves as a part of the world. We learn about our leadership styles, about our organizational styles. We learn how to work as a part of a team (and sometimes we learn this by experiencing how not to work as a team. Within the context of our local chapters or minicamps or summer programs or even board meetings, we learn how to learn, how to listen, how to understand. For all of the time that each of us as individuals dedicates to this organization, the organization keeps giving back - we’re not just working to grow CISV, but CISV is working to grow us.”

by Grace Vottero

“In Costa Rica we did this dynamic that we asked all our JBers to answer the question and what we did at the end is to mix all the answers into one 199 words exactly!”

Why do we, as CISVers, [and as JBers,] devote so much time and thought for CISV? ! - Quang Tu

CISV is not like any other organization or camp for that matter. When we are at a CISV activity we are with family and in Costa Rica family is a very important part of our life. Like many of us we do a lot of things for our family no matter what, if we have to pick someone up at the airport at 2:00 am or even if it’s taking care of some small cousin’s for a night while their dads go out for some free time. We see CISV as part of our lives and we devote so much of our time and thought because we see it as a family, a place were we can share and be heard without limitations. I think like many of the CISV “real homes” it’s another place where we feel safe and comfortable and we want to keep it that way. The only way to achieve this is with dedication. At the end of the day that is the most powerful thing one can have, dedication towards something not only you believe in but you also love.”

by JB Costa Rica


What is a secret? It is something only a limited amount of people know about, though others may talk about it, creating something mysterious, maybe creating rumors around it. In CISV we try to make everything that happens visible, be transparent and inclusive in decision- making. This means our best kept secret in my opinion must be something abstract.

What is Junior Branch’s best kept secret? - Cande Lucero Dente

A definition of what JB is has always been controversially discussed. But what stays in the end are people all around the world who are very different from each other, who gained different ASK over the years and use these ASK in different ways. We sometimes tend to draw a picture of JBers being very similar to each other, which in fact is not true. We are very diverse and constantly think into different directions but what unites us is the fact that we are all working towards common goals creating a massive global movement. Since ever, JB has been developing. Every year again it evaluated itself, its structures, efficiency, reach and impact and very often we changed something about the just mentioned. Some say that is not necessary and only prevents us

from focusing on more important things, such as content. I think that is not entirely true. Going through all those changes brought us to where we are today. That may sound soppy now, but look at how professional JBs all around the world work today, how big their impact is and how many people are reached by it. I find this rather impressive and believe it is only possible by our best kept secret: the potential of Junior Branch, the potential of going anywhere.�

by Hannes Podzun

In concrete terms, what do you do throughout the year as a JBer? - by Rupert Friederichsen

My work as a JBer began and still is mainly local. I joined CISV Portugal when I was 16, so the CISVer that lives inside of me was “raised” to be a Junior. The Portuguese National Junior Representatives always motivated people to act and to be more involved in JB, and it was last year, 2012/2013, that I started to be an active JBer. I started going to all activities and then I even started planning them. I felt like I entered a whole new world within CISV, new things to learn, terms, people, events: “TOR (Terms of Reference)”, “James and Cande” “JASPARC”, etc. I started spending my classes on JB Pedia (, instead of actually listening to what the teachers were telling us. All this knowledge, this parallel universe, becoming close to the National Junior Representatives and seeing what they did and how they could inspire someone’s life (as it happened to me) made me run for National Junior Representative for Portugal last year.

Even though I was not elected as National Junior Representative (NJR), that didn’t stop me from wanting to get more and more involved, keep working close to the NJRs, participating in all the activities, help planning local meetings and activities, as much as I could. Because I believe that being an NJR requires a lot of work and time, more than what’s required of the rest of the JBers, but it’s mainly a title. If a person wants to get involved and work towards the JB goals, it’s not the fact that he/she’s not an NJR that should keep him/her from it. Anyone that’s willing to, can and should do it. I went to international meetings and workshops, such as European Junior Branch Meeting (EJBM) 2013 in Poland and Ibérico 2013 in Barcelona, and now I’m going to EJBM 2014 in Greece. I went as well and, of course, to our NJBM. I also joined the Monthly Digest Team, because it involves two of my favorite things: JB and writing! I’m running again for NJR, this year. But even if I lose, it doesn’t matter! I won’t stop doing my best, caring. At this point, JB is part of me, part of who I am.”

by Flor Lança de Morais

Rupert Friederichsen is the Training & Quality Assurance Manager at the International Office of CISV. Did you know he has a blog about Diversity? Check it out! -

Cande Lucero Dente is about to become a Social Educator. After eight years devoted to Junior Branch, and almost finishing her term as International Junior Representative, she is still wondering what’s next for her in life. -

Flor Lança de Morais is a Portuguese JBer who is incredibly good with dates, incredibly. -

Hannes Podzun is an active member of CISV Germany and his ultimate dream is to be mentioned in the german news show on TV, “Tagesschau”, for having done something great in life. -

Juanca Lozano is a member of CISV Colombia and currently sits on the Governing Board of CISV International, acting as Vice President. -

Grace Vottero believes she is a cat. Oh, and she is also member of CISV USA and part of the International Junior Branch Team acting as JB Representative on the Chapter Development Committee. -

Amy and Mercedes are the 2013-2014 National Junior Representatives for CISV Canada. Did you know they both love weird obscure teas? Currently Amy's favorite is Horse tea, and Mercedes' is Invigorating Mint Mate. -

Quang Tu is a dedicated JBer from Hanoi Vietnam. Also known as “Doctor Quang”, he is known for his StarCraft skills. –

According to their NJRs, JB Costa Rica is like a surf board balancing a bunch of 15to 25-year-olds who are crazy about CISV! We can't resist the Pura Vida style, and 'Mae!', we're bananas for bungee jumping! -

“ What is the biggest struggle you have had in CISV and how did you overcome it? - by Amy Ayer & Mercedes Fogarassy

I joined CISV when I was 13 but really started being involved in JB around 19 after my seminar and I loved it. I loved it so much that I wanted to be as involved as possible, and for me at the time it also meant running for NJR at some point. During this process and especially after not being elected, I sometimes felt like my ideas weren’t coming across, that my work wasn’t appreciated or that I had not much impact because I was seen as just a regular volunteer and not a “cool National Junior Representative kid”. How I overcame it was by taking a little time out of JB to think about it and get new perspectives. But also by trying new things within CISV like being a leader, helping locally and working on IJBC/AIM. Having a look from outside made me realize two main things. First of all, I personally needed to get away from JB to observe it and come back to it. And second of all, that “titles” aren’t the most important part of CISV. They give you some great responsibilities, but they don’t give you any super power. And not having one doesn’t mean you can’t create projects or have an impact. No title is needed to own great ideas.”

by Marie Roussier

My biggest struggle would be taking all of the things I have learned in CISV and applying them to my daily life. When I am involved in CISV, especially at international programs, I feel as though I want to spread everything CISV stands for. But when I am at home, at school, or anywhere else, I sometimes forget that CISV is not just about the activities or the people. It is about living out its values on a regular basis. I let CISV become a “second life”, separate from my daily life outside of CISV. It must be a part of daily life, or else it loses its meaning. If no one were to apply what they have learned to their lives, the organization would have no chance at creating any sort of change. I have found that when I am faced with dilemmas, using what I have learned in CISV is a great resource. I have since found that the values of CISV stand true in any situation, and I will always have them to help me.

! CISV can make a change, but it has to start with the little decisions we make every day.”

by Dante Cardenas

See the photo series behind the painting that was used to promote IJBC Thinks #22 – “Chain of Gossip”, by the US artist Norman Rockwell (1948) – right here.

In order to continue connecting Junior Branch, a new Facebook page for all things JB has been created:

! Give it a like!

Based on the research of students at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, the Digital Exhibits of the Center for Diversity Education offer a wide range of subthemes for CISV’s educational content area of the year, Diversity:

! !

➤ Bullying ➤ LBGTI themes

➤ People with disabilities ➤ Racism and Segregation in the USA ➤ … and seven more topics.

“ How do you manage to balance school/ university responsibilities and JB responsibilities comfortably?

Hey Alvaro, CISV responsibilities and university responsibilities can definitely be a difficult thing to manage. Right now I’m serving on JB USA’s National Youth Committee, which is keeping me very busy. Next month I will be out of town doing CISV work for three weekends in a row! I would always like to put CISV first, but sometimes it’s necessary to focus on school work. My advice would be to create a weekly schedule. Have days where you only focus on CISV work, and others when you only focus on school work. Use CISV as a break from your school work, and use school as a break from your CISV work. Hopefully you are learning a lot of interesting things in university that you can apply to CISV, and a lot of interesting things in CISV that you can apply to university. They can compliment each other very well.


I wish you all the best!”

- by Alvaro Yañez

by Daniel Krajnak

Managing university and JB responsibilities has always a big big challenge for me, usually because I give more time and dedication to CISV and JB than my studies most of the time. One thing that time has taught me is that once you have yourself organised, then everything falls down into place and you don’t have to choose one or the other. That’s why i always keep a year agenda where i write down the things ill have to do for uni and JB to know whats coming up next :)”

by Ana Cueva

“ What is the biggest impact that CISV has made on your life? - by Amy Ayer & Mercedes Fogarassy

Everyone has something or someone who has made an impact on his/her life. Parents are supposed to play an important role in our lives. They are the ones who teach you how to love, care and be independent. They support you and love you unconditionally. Parents see you in a way that you don't see yourself and for me, CISV does that too. That is for me the biggest impact that CISV has had on my life. The ability to see and develop myself in ways that I would never imagined, through the eyes of people I get the chance to meet. Of course CISV makes you develop skills as organization, leadership, communication… but it’s so much more than that. By working with people with different backgrounds, with different ideas and perspectives, we are able to learn so much from them. The way to see things but mainly the way you see yourself. I know it sounds weird but people in CISV are more inclusive, they expect you to trust. They eager for the true you. So it becomes easier for you to be yourself.

! CISV has taught me so much along the years. How to trust myself and others, how to connect with people who are not from the same places as I am, who communicate differently than I do, with who I have so much more in common that I thought in the beginning. CISV has taught me how to be more open-minded, more inclusive, more participative. To dare to step out of my comfort zone. It has enabled me to develop myself and that is the biggest impact that CISV has made on my life.”

by Pipa Raimundo

Can you notice a clear CISV influence in a big decision you've made in your life? If yes, how was it?

I think most of the decisions I make in life right now have a clear CISV influence Although I think the biggest decision I’ve ever made was my career. When I started studying human nutrition I was just getting involved in JB and realized I really loved helping others, and wanted to be someone who could change someone else’s life in a positive manner. So, I do think CISV has had a big influence in shaping who I am now and my future in a way I love right now, and I think that it has given me the opportunity to help people not only by telling them what to eat but relating to them in a compassionate and thoughtful way.”

- by Flora Simon Gurgel

by Ana Cueva

Marie Roussier is a horse lover and her pony, Clyde, is a complete beauty. She is also a member of the IJB Team acting as JB Representative on the Conference & Events Committee. -

Dante Cardenas is proud of celebrating his birthday the same day as Shakira, his idol! He is also Local Junior Representative (JB President in the USA) for JB Michigan. -

Pipa Raimundo is very much looking forward to her Erasmus in September. For CISV, she is the National Junior Representative for CISV Portugal. -

Alvaro Yañez is that music-loving, guitar-playing, discussion-enjoying CISV-aficionado! He is currently the National Junior Representative for CISV Perú. -

Daniel Krajnak has been involved in CISV since he was 11. He has participated in many international programs, and currently serves on the National Youth Committee for JB USA. His favorite energizers are "Get Loose!" and "Friend me on Facebook” -

Flora Simon Gurgel has the cutest smile. She is National Junior Representative for CISV Brazil. -

Anita Cueva is the most sensible and sensitive girl we know. She is a member of the IJB Team acting as JB Representative on the Educational Programmes Committee and has already won the love of all her fellow colleagues. -

What issues do you wish IJB would address more than we do? ! - by Anjo Peez-Zvetina


I've been wondering all week on how to answer this question. I haven't come up with a new answer or solution, actually I just thought on what you could maintain as our main ''focus''. I asked someone what did International Junior Branch (IJB) mean to her and she answer ''you''. And it's true, we are all part of IJB. So, what do I wish we would address more? I would say not address more but keep ''addressing''. I think that we should keep on focusing on three main areas: cooperation, integration and motivation.


It's very easy to get to the end of the European Junior Branch Meeting and feel motivated, what is hard is to maintain that motivation once we get home. With integration it's the same, we know that like us there are plenty of others but with all the different communication tools it becomes somehow too much and quite ‘'impersonal''. And this is why I think that initiatives like this IJB Thinks makes you feel close to the different CISVers/JBers out there. Somehow you get closer to them by reading their answers.

Did you know that… …? It takes two! Last but not least cooperation. We all know that Junior Branch is a Global Movement and once again cooperation goes along with motivation and integration. It is so much easier to keep being motivated by being part of something and getting feedback on what's happening around the world. For example, during IBÉRICO, we Skyped with ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Actively Cooperating) that was happening on the other side of the world (in Australia) and we sang the CISV Anthem with them. And even though I didn't know who they were it made me feel happy that somewhere across the globe there were people who shared the same goals, love and dedication for JB as I do. And that is why I think that these three areas should always be on our minds. In order to make us feel that we are all in this together. And that said, I think we are doing pretty good.”

by Pipa Raimundo

In a world wide community such as International Junior Branch, communication is an issue that requires lots of work, which means that it is an issue that IJB should focus on more. Finding a way to communicate different people from different countries is a challenge, but when this communication occurs, results are clearly satisfactory. Also, with a stronger communication, it is easier to build up a stronger community.

! Having in mind that CISV is focusing this year in diversity I find interesting to create a tool in which every JBer of the world has the opportunity to share how his life develops in his country, which type of problems youth encounters in particular regions of his country and so on. I think that making these spaces possible would present the opportunity to people to identify similarities with others, turning strangers into partners or friends, and bringing them towards common issues, which would help in a long term to solve certain problems.”

by Cristhian Sánchez

don’t wait till the next IJB Thinks

f t

JB World Facebook group

@Int. Junior Branch

Share. Promote. Connect.

Read. Inform. Connect.


! !

x ?

JB Faces You Tube channel

JB Community Google Group

See. Upload. Connect.

Ask. Learn. Connect.



What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Why? - by Pipa Raimundo

Well, it’s a very hard idea to wrap my head around, the concept of failure that is, I think that failure is very important to our personal development and growth. I am personally currently struggling with the notion of failure, I live in a society where failure is almost a taboo, people tend to ignore or not believe of the concept of failure. You are not allowed to fail, and that pressure is really bad and even harder to deal with . And so, if I had this “power” of not failing, I really would, try to show people the importance of failure, and its significance, and most importantly, to embrace it.”

by Rand Ghibril

If you want to learn more for what Junior Branch Norway does, make sure to follow their page on Facebook. They have jaw-dropping projects and initiatives! ! >>

What can other Junior Branches learn from your local Junior Branch? - by Anjo Peez-Zvetina


I will answer on behalf of my local JB in my home chapter (CISV Buskerud) first which is that I think other Junior Branches can learn to cooperate with the adults in the chapter board and be equal when it comes to planning camps and in general structuring the chapter. From my local JB here where I go to university (CISV Bergen) I think one thing that other local junior branches can learn is having regular meetings and social events. Its a really good way of having stability within members in the chapter. Thanks!�

by Kristina Moshuus

Do we actually apply to leadership positions in CISV because we want & feel like we can represent people or because deep down inside we want to label our level of implication? - by Marie Roussier


Leadership positions in CISV are due to my understanding of a volunteer organization highly overvalued. My ideological approach to work in a youth organization is to gain motivation for actions due to the transported values and goals, which are not necessarily achieved through the different roles we take up. Leadership positions are mainly about new and also exciting responsibilities that are coming along, such as deadlines, constant communication, and representation. But these responsibilities do not automatically support the basic reason why I joined CISV, which is my enjoyment of non-formal peace education.

! Taking the step to apply for a leadership position has several reasons. But every candidate or JBer with a certain title that I’ve met have had one reason in common: The self-understanding that they have the skill to actually represent JBers. This selfunderstanding is one reason for a big ownership towards Junior Branch.

But are we labeling our level of implication with leadership positions? The overvalued reputation of titles is something that makes Junior Branch different from other organizations, as sometimes we focus more on decision making processes than on our work to become active global citizens. Labeling ourselves with titles, however subconscious or not is a coherence with the alleged glorification. It's more important to be satisfied and proud of our own work, which is an essential factor in self-evaluation of your job in CISV. Leadership positions require certain abilities which are improving a lot during a term and seeing your own skills develop is a satisfying process. After all, isn’t that the icing on the cake to every role that we have?�

by Marvin Vertein

Anjo Peez-Zvetina is tweeting news from the Rwandan Genocide on the same day the events happened 20 years ago. To read about this cool project (in German) follow it at @Ruanda1994. He is also International Junior Representative 2013-2015. -

Cristhian Sรกnchez has been actively involved in Junior Branch for the last 5 years. Apart from studying both Math and Electronic Engineering he loves playing the guitar and playing football. -

Did you know Ran Ghibril loves writing fictional stories that involve her, her friends and pizza? She has also been an active member of JB Lebanon since she was 15 and was alternate National Junior Representative last year. -

Against all stereotypical expectations, Marvin Vertein has never met the initial deadline of any paper for university; he only meets deadlines in CISV. This dedicated boy is National Junior Representative for CISV Germany until September this year. Good luck, Marv! -

Apart from loving fishing, Kristina Moshuus is a member of the International Junior Branch Team, and liaison for all three JB Regional Teams. -

Do you have a great idea for Junior Branch? If you want international support for an idea you have about Junior Branch, check the Working Groups space on JB Pedia. Link: You can also check IJB Thinks #21: Truth or Dare to read what other CISVers think and propose. Link:

“ What resources and material CISV produces are most helpful to your local Junior Branch? - by Anjo Peez-Zvetina

Well, to answer this, I need to tell you a little bit on what we do here in CISV Israel. One of the biggest things for our chapter is leadership; unlike most CISV Chapters we do an activity at least once a week. We maintain our own cloud storage/archive filled with activities and CISV materials that we collected over the years. I won't list them all but my point was that in general anything leadership or activity related from CISV we probably use it and use it a lot J Ok so that was the general answer a more specific one will be :

! Big Ed and The Passport - We used them to create a year round activity plan for each age group. The JB Training Curriculum – We are building our JB and our JB training based on its ideas. Looking Good – Because who doesn’t like to look good? We love designing things and we run our own JB shop and so on… The CISV Site ( and CISV Resource ( – when in doubt :)

! And many more things we collected over the years …

by Tomer Talgam

“ CISV is stereotypically known for only being open to rich families. How does your chapter reach out to not so privileged families and get them involved in CISV?

Hey Daniel! What my chapter has done with reasonable success is finding LMOs that work with less privileged families. The latest example is Bryggan, an organisation for children who has at least one family member in prison. A few years ago CISV Mölndal and Bryggan got in touch, and we invited some of their kids and leaders to our own local camps. To add to that: Local camps are awesome. They are much cheaper and easier to go to, while still giving the less privileged kids. We do at least two local camps per year per age group. And finally: scholarships. Inviting new kids to camps will lead to them wanting to go on a program. Why not use some of the money you have to at least partly fund a program for the kid?

! Make sure this is done with integrity, of course.


All the best!”

- by Daniel Krajnak

by Björn Kåberger

Can (or should) CISV International arrange a fund for the kids who would benefit from this beautiful experience even though their parents cannot afford it? - by Acar Can Akbulut

The obvious answer is YES YES YES! But I feel that there are many aspects to this question so to narrow my answer I will put on my skeptical spectacles. First of all how do we define what kids would benefit, because in some sense all kids would benefit. Second of all how much are we funding? The whole trip? And what criteria would we use to decide what kids to send?

! Another aspect that might be thought provoking is in our ‘quest’ to create Active Global Citizens I feel we are most successful with the people actually having a ‘CISV career’. I don’t believe that by simply sending an 11 old to a camp we are being effective in this ‘quest’. I am not talking against the impact of attending the village programme but about CISV trying to use this fund in our favour as an organisation. In comparison if we fund delegates to for example a Step Up they will have a higher understanding of the attitudes CISV is trying to promote in them. Also here we create a direct link to JB, which is a branch of the organisation that underprivileged kids can still be an active part of after without further cost.

As it is right now CISV is not a very diverse organisation when it comes to social classes. Even though we promote diversity I see a lot of challenges in attempting to embrace all. This leads back to the question of what kids would benefit from the experience. Although I may not have given a conclusive answer I feel the questions I raise are very relevant when exploring the possibility of creating this fund.”

by Emilie Hellesoe

Read what this thought-provoking article from the creator of “CISV From The Balcony” (Nick T. from Germany) says at

Tomer Talgam is a multifaceted CISVer who has been involved for over 12 years. He has led the CISV Israel’s Dragon Project - now going international! - and is known by the name of “muffin man”. Do you know him? -

Björn Kåberger is an avid reader of IJB Thinks, and contributor. If you want to read more about what he things, check the previous editions of the magazine. -

Acar Can Akbulut is so dedicated to CISV that he participated in the ANZAC workshop all the way in Australia in December 2013. He enjoys discussing opening CISV up to more families. -

Emilie Hellesøe has an incredible voice. She gave a spectacular show at the last AIM party ever. She is part of CISV Denmark and very proud of it! -

IJB thinks… What do you think? Did you like the concept for this issue? Do you have an idea for the next? Do you want to create a revolution and end IJB Thinks?


Send us your ideas to


Send us letters! We will publish them.

…and thanks. !

Every person who contributed to IJB Thinks #22, you made it possible! Denise from CISV International’s office for her years of work to strengthen Junior Branch and define our core message. Bravo!


The outgoing members of the regional Junior Branch Teams (2013-14): Sofia & Sam (APJB Team), Jerry & Mariana (AJB Team), Kiki, Ryan & Pavle (EJB Team). Rock on!

Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.