Who we are
The Intercultura Foundation for Intercultural Dialogue and International Youth Exchanges was established on May 12, 2007 in Colle di Val d'Elsa (SI) by the Intercultura Association, which has been working for more than 60 years in the international youth exchanges sector.
Secretary General Roberto Ruffino explains the reasons: "Why did we create a foundation 10 years ago? Because that range of activities that we had started since the early 1970s, opening to schools, worrying about the educational content of our programs, collaborating with external institutions, has grown enormously over the years, transforming from an internal need of our association to the need of the Italian and European society. Today, everyone in Europe is talking about intercultural education, international exchanges, creating a mentality for European citizens; what was our problem, our concern, has become a general concern of society and the Foundation works precisely with the aim of contributing to a culture of dialogue and intercultural exchange among young people and to develop researches, programs and structures that help new generations to open up to the world and to live as conscious and prepared citizens in a multicultural society. "
The Intercultura Foundation conducts research in collaboration with major Italian and foreign universities, holds conferences and produces publications in the field of intercultural education. It works to foster the internationalization of Italian schools by providing examples of good practices and training sessions on youth exchanges management (it is accredited for the training of school staff at the Ministry of Education). It offers scholarships to foster international student mobility of young people from families in need: in ten years of activity it has raised almost € 30 million which have allowed hundreds of young people to take part in study abroad programs. The Ministry of Education and Foreign Affairs adheres to the Foundation and supports its activities.
By the By-Laws: "The Intercultura Foundation for Intercultural Dialogue and International Youth Exchanges has no lucrative goals nor temporal limits, it is non-political and non-confessional. It operates in Italy and abroad with the aim of scientific research, solidarity and charity"