Announcement by the CISV USA Board of Directors on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020 CISV Programs.
March 23, 2020
Dear Chapters and all members of CISV USA,
The Board of Directors has unanimously voted to cancel the hosting of all programmes for the 2020 Jun-Aug programme season. This includes 15 international programmes.
The Board of Directors has also unanimously voted to cancel the sending of all delegations and individual delegates to programmes being hosted by other National Associations for the 2020 Jun-Aug programme season. This decision is based on our determination that under the current circumstances, it is not possible for our NA and Chapters to adequately prepare and train our participants and volunteers for a safe experience. The safety of our membership has always been our top priority.
The decision to take these measures is not made fearfully, but practically. We have incredible respect for all our volunteers that make participation in our organization a wonderful experience and who have allowed our NA to grow and prosper for decades. We are honored by our volunteers that have stepped up to provide alternatives that might help us move forward under these unique and challenging circumstances.
However, the Board of Directors do not feel that our organization has the current capacity to adequately and safely prepare to host programmes or send delegations at this time. Nor do we believe it is appropriate to ask our volunteers to prioritize CISV programme planning and preparation, at a time when many other personal and professional concerns regarding the pandemic are dominating your lives.
Although we do not know when the current pandemic restrictions will end in each State, the Board felt that even the most optimistic forecast did not provide Chapters with an appropriate amount of time to move forward with hosting or sending safely, and in accordance with the high standards we expect of our NA and for our membership.
We are making this decision sooner than we had previously hoped. Waiting for CISV International to lead these decisions might have made other important decisions less complicated. However, further delay would only result in increased non-refundable expenditures for some of our Chapters. Equally important is our desire to allow our membership to put these uncertainties behind them and focus all their time and energy primarily on their own safety and well-being.
We are fully aware that there are still many unanswered questions which we intend to address collaboratively with CISV International regarding next year’s hosting plan, invitations, programme ages, hospitality points system, etc. We fully intend to continue to engage with International regarding all of these important transitional issues. We will not have any information on the full impact of our decision to cancel hosting and sending until the International Governing Board makes its final decisions regarding these issues. We must allow them to follow their own process and timelines in assessing the impact to the global organization and over 60 NAs worldwide. We will continue to dialogue with International at every opportunity in an effort to be part of the solution. We hope that by making these difficult decisions now, we can start working on joint resolutions to the many other issues we still face.
Last Friday, every Chapter received a letter from the Board of Directors outlining some of the financial impacts of our current situation. Our NA will be challenged financially in the upcoming years with the complete loss of this year’s income from the hosting and sending of programmes. We will make every effort to keep Chapter’s informed as major decisions are made moving forward.
With the utmost care and respect for each of you, we hope that you and your families stay safe and stay healthy.
Stephenie Teichman, Chair
On behalf of CISV USA’s Board of Directors