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The Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) began in its modern form in 1920. The idea was the result of a meeting of a group of Europeans following the First World War (1914-1918). They decided that they had to do something active to try to both deal with the dreadful effects of the war, and find a way to remove the causes of conflict.


Volunteers from former enemy countries were invited to rebuild a village in France which had been the scene of some of the fiercest fighting. The international group of volunteers built houses and lived together in an international community. Out of this group emerged the idea of Service Civil International.

After World War II, new organisations sprang up to help reconstruct Europe, both physically and in terms of bringing former enemy populations together. These new organisations needed co-ordination. With the support of the recently established United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the CCIVS was created in 1948.

Over the following 65 years, CCIVS expanded its membership from a West-European base to include youth movements in Eastern Europe and volunteer organisations in Africa, Asia, Arab countries and the Americas.

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