Gates and Keys - Personal Development Projects' Cycle

International Center for Intercultural Research, Learning and Dialogue (ICIRLD) in cooperation with its partner organization National Pool of Trainers (NPT) from Armenia, together with other partners from EECA and Program countries invites you to get involved in the realization of a series of Trainings and Seminars dedicated to the various aspects of PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT OF YOUNG PEOPLE!

The cycle is called “GATES and KEYS”, and it will address several aspects of personal development, such as motivation, aim setting, prioritizing, self awareness, self assessment, harmonic development etc. Due to the intercultural nature of the organization, it was decided that a special attention will be paid to the theories, philosophies, methods, tools and approaches that different cultural and spiritual traditions have on various aspects of personal development. So, when designing the activities of the Gates and Keys project cycle, possible inputs from various traditions on the topic will be researched well in advance and this intercultural aspect will be the essential part of the programmes. It will be also important to combine this elements taken from World Cultural Heritage with nowadays scientific insights on the topics, providing participants with an up-to-date information on the front-line scientific research.

The first Training which was held in 2013 and was on the topic of Motivation. According to the experience that ICIRLD and NPT gained through their numerous national and international trainings as well as research projects, young people in the wide range of cases do not lack talent, skills, abilities to bring change in their own realities and in the social environment of their communities, but they simply do not have or are lacking appropriate motivation. Motivation is not something that is given to one in a certain portion (relatively big or small), this is a feature of our deep inner self, which is connected with a lot of other aspects, such as awareness, creativity, compassion etc. As well this is a feature of us with which we can certainly work, and a set of psychological disciplines, spiritual traditions and training schools are suggesting numerous tools on how to approach this issue. All the aforementioned composed the core of this first Training Course, which was highly evaluated by all the participating promoters.

During the Training Course on Motivation partners has come up with several other ideas on continuation of this process, and training courses and seminars on the process of Learning, Awareness, Perception, Prioritizing and others were developed and will be realized in coming years. The idea is also to form a strategic partnership/network of organizations that are interested in the topics of personal development and to realize series of inter-connected events to provide even a higher impact on participating youth workers and their communities.

If you or your organization are interested in joining this process and receiving information on the upcoming and planned activities, as well as contributing in development of “Gates and Keys” project cycle on youth personal development please contact us.

Intercultural Learning and Dialogue

Promotion of intercultural dialogue and learning is the main sphere of ICIRLD activities. We strongly believe that people from different cultural backgrounds have a lot to give to each other, and without proper skills of intercultural communication and intercultural dialogue competences it is very hard to start and sustain efficient intercultural cooperation.

Since its establishment ICIRLD develops and runs several types of intercultural learning projects, develops tools and methodologies for it, as well as realizes researches and produces educational manuals about different aspects of intercultural communication, learning and international cooperation.

In cooperation with other stakeholders from the NGO and government sectors ICIRLD published two manuals for youth workers active in international/European cooperation; “Intercultural Learning and International Youth work” (2006) and “European Youth Policy, Programs and Structures” (1st edition in 2005, 2nd revised edition in 2009). Experts of ICIRLD have also taken part in the development of the “Criteria and Indicators of Intercultural Dialogue Activities”developed by the Youth Directorate of Council of Europe.

Since its early activities in 2004 ICIRLD constantly develops its methodological toolbox for the realization of Intercultural Learning activities and has developed several exercises, handouts, presentations, simulations, role plays and other tools for intercultural, inter-faith and other types of activities. Trainers of ICIRLD have taken part in the organization of various intercultural activities in Armenia, neighboring countries, European countries as well as Russia and Asian countries. They have worked for several international organizations such as UN Agencies, European Commission, Council of Europe, OSI, OSCE etc.

ICIRLD has developed a couple of specialized training courses, summer camps and an intercultural festival format each of which has been realized for more than three times in the period of 2006-2013. These are the training courses “Intercultural Learning and International Youth work” (2006-2008) and “European Youth Policy, Programs and Structures” (2005-2008), LTTC “Introduction to Intercultural Communication (2004-2013) and the Intercultural Festival “Dialogue of Cultures” (2006-2008) (and others).

ICIRLD also has a good cooperation with universities, where it has realized different types of activities integrating formal and non-formal education methodologies. In particular there was a long-term cooperation process with the University of Foreign Languages named after V. Brusov.

Promotion of Volunteerism

Promotion of international and local volunteerism is another important sphere of ICIRLD's work . Since 2007 ICIRLD hosts international EVS volunteers in the organization. Here they support the activities of the organization, develop their intercultural competences, project management and development skills, as well as the general level of cultural awareness. ICIRLD started to work with the European Voluntary Service Programme of European Commission in 2007 with one volunteer and since 2013 is hosting 3 volunteers at the same time.

Besides hosting volunteers in the organization in Yerevan since 2008 ICIRLD actively promotes EVS in regions of Armenia and due to its support now more than 5 local NGOs started to host volunteers in Shirak, Siunik, Lori regions of Armenia and Yerevan. in 2013 ICIRLD coordinated a project of 9 volunteers from Lithuania, Czech Republic and Poland in the aforementioned regions and in 2014 another project got approved to host 6 EVS volunteers from Poland in the same regions.

ICIRLD also actively works in the sphere of promoting the concept of volunteering on national level as well as volunteer projects with mixed composition (from EU and Armenia). An example of this are the educational summer cams projects realized in 2012 and 2013, where participants of a short term EVS project  organized summer camps for local and foreigners in various regions of Armenia with an aim to combine leisure time activities with educational processes on intercultural learning and communication.

ICIRLD has also some plans to promote volunteer projects in the countries where it has its registered branches and initiative group, such as India and Nepal.

Personal Development and Youth Work

Since 2012 the main scope of ICIRLD's projects is supporting the personal development of young people, using the intercultural potential of the world's cultural heritage, as well as the realization of various projects supporting the development of international youth work, especially in the regions of Armenia.

Together with its partner organizations from Armenia, EECA and European countries ICIRLD develops and realizes national and international projects on various aspects of personal development, using the techniques and methodological bases from various traditions and cultures as well as developing the intercultural competences of its project’s participants.

Projects on the usage of various meditative techniques, martial arts, healthy lifestyle, symbolism, concept of interconnection, methods of work with motivation, personal empowerment etc. were realized in different parts of Armenia, and in 2013 a strategic set of projects was developed called “Gates and Keys” which will exclusively address different aspects in the sphere of personal development.

In 2008 ICIRLD realized an internal research regarding  international youth work, usage of non-formal educational activities amongst the YNGOs operating in Armenia, and the results have shown that  intercultural learning and international youth projects are mainly realized by organizations operating in the capital of Armenia and by some rare NGOs in regions. Based on this ICIRLD has taken a strategic decision to support local NGOs from remote regions of Armenia and raising their qualifications to independently develop and run intercultural projects.

To realize the aforementioned, three regions of Armenia were selected and a number of projects were developed and realized with partners from these regions. The selected regions were Syunik, Shirak and Lori regions of Armenia, but currently some other cooperation schemes are also under development. ICIRLD has realized more than 5 international projects with its regional partners, as well as 4 EVS projects were developed and realized to support the regional partners involved in Goris, Alaverdy, Gyumry and Vanadzor cities.

ICIRLD constantly works on development of a national and international network of like-minded organizations sharing the same set of values to further develop its personal development and regional youth work development projects.

Our Working Fields


Intercultural Research


Intercultural Learning and Dialogue 


Personal Development and Youth Work


Promotion of Volunteerism