ICU – Institute for University Cooperation Onlus is an International Non-Governmental Organization recognized by the European Commission and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs implementing development co-operation projects in developing countries and fostering information and education on international solidarity issues.
ICU was established in 1966 by some Italian university professors, whose aim was to support the growth of the Culture and Science put at the service of mankind. In order to reach this objective, ICU promotes and carries out initiatives designed to:
- Support Human and Social growth in developing countries through development co-operation projects with special emphasis to the training of local human resources.
- Disseminate the idea of a development co-operation culture as promotion of the human dignity.
Since its foundation, ICU has completed about 480 development co-operation projects in 40 countries in Latin America, Africa, Mediterranean Basin and Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Pacific, for a total budget of 150 million euro.
ICU is a partner of ECHO – European Community Humanitarian Office – in the management of emergency projects and is recognized by USAID. It is also a member of the Management Board of READI (Red Euro-Arabe de ONG para el Desarrollo y la Integración) and Link2007.
ICU cooperates with and is funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the European Union and International Organizations. It is also supported by various Italian local authorities and by private citizens.
ICU’s mission is to promote self-development in the countries with limited resources where it works. This is the reason why its activities always include a strong component of training and education of population and local institutions. Therefore, capacity building, seen as an ongoing process to hand on technology, methodology and know-how, is a leading theme of ICU’s strategy in its relationship with local partners. Through its projects, aimed at improving the local operational capabilities and skills, ICU provides technical assistance to local peoples.