Dilijan has the potential to become the most prosperous region in Armenia. Our projects here are aimed at transforming Dilijan into a center of culture, education, healthcare and tourism.
IDeA, Scholae Mundi Foundation, and Dilijan Development Foundation are working together to promote the region’s development.
The anchor project is UWC Dilijan – the first international boarding school, working to the United World Colleges model in the post-Soviet space. It opened in 2014, and currently has 218 students from over 77 countries. 92% of students are awarded a full or partial scholarship. UWC Dilijan is a community working towards a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world through a balanced, challenging and transformative education with people from diverse backgrounds. The school plays a vital role in the development of Dilijan, it boosts the region’s economic development and is a key employer, providing local residents with jobs. The school has been awarded several prestigious awards for its construction and design including the BREEAM certification, the world’s leading recognition of sustainability.
The Dilijan Community Center, opened in 2014, works with a mission to shape educated, engaged, empowered and inclusive community by providing non-formal learning opportunities in educational, cultural and recreational directions. It serves as a focal point between diverse community groups. Since 2014 more than 2500 locals have benefitted from Community Center’s activities and 10 of its active beneficiaries were accepted to United World College network schools around the world. Many of community development projects have been successfully implemented in partnership with local and international institutions-Dilijan Municipality, Peace Corps Armenia, University of Delaware, Sam Houston State University, Good Deeds Day International Movement to name a few.
JUST DILIJAN IT! is the first international summer camp in Armenia for kids aged 6 – 16 years and their parents. It has been running in the grounds of the UWC Dilijan boarding school since 2013. The specially designed edutainment program in a unique environment provides the perfect balance of leisure and development, fun exploration and the chance to make friends with children from all over the world. The camp is organized by the Scholae Mundi Armenia foundation, the institution that founded UWC Dilijan. To learn more about the project, please visit the JUST DILIJAN IT! page.
Dilijan is now part of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities thanks to UWC Dilijan and other schools, as well as the efforts by the Dilijan Community Center. In October 2016, UNESCO released its Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Urban Development, which put Dilijan forward as a recognizable example of sustainable development, with the opening of UWC Dilijan acknowledged as the main driving force behind this process.
In 2017, the IDeA Foundation launched Dilijan and Adjacent Communities Development Initiative project, co-funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development of Armenia as a part of a Pilot Regional Development Program.
At least 340 residents of Dilijan and adjacent communities – Hovk, Aghavnavank, Khachardzan, Gosh, Haghartsin and Teghut – directly benefited from the project, 50 sustainable employment opportunities have been created, over 100 enterprises were supported to develop their tourism, hospitality, arts and crafts local businesses and create the new ones.
Within the project, the first Tourist Information Centre opened in Tavush which already welcomed over 1000 tourists. To make leisure and hiking more comfortable and enjoyable in Dilijan National Park, four new hiking trails and one biking trail were built, the already existing eight trails in the park were refurbished and complemented with innovative information desks.
Тhe masters and artisans of Dilijan and adjacent communities benefit from the opportunities at Arts and Crafts Centre (MADE) launched in Dilijan within the project. Besides providing space, furniture and equipment to artisans and masters, the centre employs specialists who can present and sell their products in various places.
To encourage small and medium entrepreneurship in the region, the project also issued a grant to 8 SMEs in Dilijan, Hovk, Aghavnavank, Khachardzan, Gosh, Haghartsin and Teghut creating overall 31 workplaces for the community people.
Within the project, an agricultural pavilion and city market were established and launched in Dilijan for agritourism and ecotourism lovers, where the products of the adjacent communities’ farmers will be sold.
IDeA’s program saw Dilijan’s city park renovated, which had been neglected for many years. The park’s alleys and a playground have been improved, benches and trash cans installed, and the lighting for the park modernized.