International Center for Intercultural Research, Learning and Dialogue was established by a group of experienced youth leaders, trainers and researchers in 2003. All of the members of the initiative group already had extensive experience in the organization of international projects. They came together with the idea to create an international platform to mobilize the potential of people with various cultural backgrounds for research and training on the topic of intercultural dialogue and communication as well as for the promotion of a culture of peace all over the world.
For the founders of ICIRLD it was clear, that the solution for current global challenges can't be found within a single group, society or country and therefore joint international actions are needed. The key actions of the organizations were evolving with the time. Here is a brief timeline presenting the most important phases of the development of ICIRLD, key projects, aims and ideas.
The time from 2003 to 2005 was mostly dedicated to establish a dynamic, devoted core team. The key activity in this period were internal trainings for staff and volunteers on all the spheres of functioning of the organization. In this time, a concept of a long-term training on intercultural communication was being shaped to be implemented in following years. The organization was mainly functioning as training provider and expert organization for institutions willing to host trainings on various aspects on intercultural communication, e.g. in cooperation with the Panarmenian International Youth Center Foundation and the Ministry of Youth Affairs. Two periodical annual training courses were organised. The first one was dedicated to intercultural learning and international youth work, while the second was an opportunity to learn more about European Youth Policy, its structures and programmes; both projects were realised in close cooperation with National Pool of Trainers NGO. Two manuals on respective training topics were written and published.
In 2004, ICIRLD started working in the frame of YOUTH Programme of European Commission. The team took part in two training courses in Lviv and Warsaw respectively, where the programme was introduced to the them. ICIRLD has been very active in European youth programmes ever since. The organization is both hosting and sending participants and volunteers abroad. Moreover, ICIRLD is one of the main organizations in Armenia presenting the youth programs of EC to the NGO sector in Armenia and promoting in it in all the regions of the country. ICIRLD cooperates with SALTO EECA Resource Center of EC as one of its multiplier organziations since 2004 and is accredited to send and host EVS volunteers.
Since 2006, ICIRLD has been organizing expeditions and study vists to various countries in order to study their cultural peculiarities and collect materials on their cultural background. This cultural/intercultural research is one of the main spheres of ICIRLD's activities till today. The team representatives have visited e.g. India, Iran, Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Nepal, Russia. ICIRLD is aiming at exploring cultural peculiarities of both neighbouring and distant countries.
Today there is a wide range of activities that ICIRLD considers to be crucial for the organization. Firstly, working with the regions of Armenia, supporting them in EVS projects and other international activities. ICIRLD aims to prepare them to work independently and realise international projects. Up to now, due to the support of ICIRLD more than twenty organizations throughout the country have started to realize international/European projects.
Secondly, active cooperation with partners from EU and Caucasian countries on the organization of long-term projects on regional level, e.g. “Caucasus Cultural Initiatives Network-CAUCULT” (2012-2014) and “South Caucasus Part of Europe” (2010-2011). This particular long-term project format is more and more appealing to the organization as it enhances strategical changes in communities.
Last but not least, besides a very active European cooperation, ICIRLD is aimed at extending its international network and to do so it is in the process of establishment of its brances in various countries. It established its branches <hyperlink to the text about branches> in two countries: India and Ukraine. And there are a number of initiative groups which are in the process of forming Branches (India-Punjab, Nepal, Poland, Germany and Finland).