A brief history
IDC was created as an association of humanitarian workers inspired by cooperation with the Spanish humanitarian organization Movimiento por la paz – MPDL. MPDL was present in the Balkans from the beginning of 2000 until 2008. In the process of withdrawal of MPDL, IDC began to take over part of their activities and programs, and was officially registered on April 13, 2007.
The English name of the organization is Initiative for Development and Cooperation, and the abbreviation of the English name, IDC, is found in the logo of the organization and is most often used as an abbreviated name of the organization.
In 2010, IDC became a member of the informal network Green Initiative, which still functions today. Through this initiative, IDC establishes its first social enterprise, Eko BaG. The company operates in the field of ecology and waste management and makes bags, wallets and other fashion accessories from used billboard foils.
Since 2011, bearing in mind compatible goals and missions, IDC has started intensive cooperation and strategic partnership with the German organization Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Serbia (ASB). As part of that cooperation, these two organizations shared an office in Belgrade until recently.
Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB) is a German organization focused on humanitarian and social activities and mostly engaged in the fields of civil protection, rescue services and social services. ASB was founded as a non-political and non-religious organization back in 1888, and is currently one of the largest organizations in Germany in the field of providing social services, employing over 15,000 people. As a result of the partnership with ASB, in 2013 IDC became a member of SAM.I network (Samaritan International).
In the same year, IDC became a member of the SOLIDAR network, and later, realizing the value of networking and its benefits for the growth of the organization, we became member of other important international networks such as ECF.
In the field of social economy IDC takes the role of the general secretary of the SENS network funded in 2011, who is a member of ENSIE. Also, IDC is one of the funders of the Coalition for the Development of Solidarity Economy as an actor in the field of advocating a more favorable environment for the development of social entrepreneurship.
Since 2014, IDC has become one of the leading humanitarian organizations in Serbia, in the first place in partnership with ASB, but also independently. During the floods that hit Serbia, IDC managed to collect and distribute large amounts of humanitarian aid. As a project partner, IDC, together with ASB, carried out revitalization and restoration projects of flooded households and agricultural land in Ljig, Krupanj, Sabac and other municipalities.
In 2014, the IDC volunteer program was created, which has been experiencing its development since 2015 with the outbreak of the migrant crisis. Through volunteer and medical teams, IDC has provided support to local communities to mitigate the effects of this crisis for 3 years. With our continuous presence in Subotica, Sid, Sombor, Dimitrovgrad and other municipalities, we implemented over 50,000 medical interventions, 6,000 volunteer days and provided medical equipment and vehicles to local institutions.
In 2016, we founded another social enterprise, Agro IRIS, which deals with fruit drying. The company connects small farmers threatened by the consequences of floods in Serbia and through a system of mobile dryers, buys their products at an increased price, provides joint branding and marketing of goods. Already in the first year, the company received numerous awards at the Novi Sad Agricultural Fair. Agro IRIS is the winner of the “Best small business” award at the Good Food for All competition, within the UN Food Summit.
In 2018, IDC, as the leading holder of the IRIS networking project, takes over the coordination of the IRIS network – a regional network of organizations providing social services.
In 2020, IDC is the only local association of citizens that simultaneously implemented two projects dedicated to the integration of internally displaced persons and returnees under the agreement on the readmission and return of displaced persons to Kosovo. As part of the EMPACT project, we developed internal procedures and documents and got certified as part of the Europe Aid Volunteers program.
In 2021, a third social enterprise, Frigo IRIS, was founded. The company is located in Novi Pazar and owns a cold storage facility built as part of the Social Entrepreneurship project as a model for poverty reduction.
The main programmatic focus of the projects implemented in this period are social inclusion and poverty reduction of members of vulnerable social groups, with a focus on returnees under the readmission agreement, Roma and young people.