New houses: New hopes
from old crafts in the Danube Delta


The project is developed by the Romanian National Prison Administration, the Norwegian Correctional Services in the South Region, Ivan Patzaichin - Mila 23 Association and RomanoButiQ Association, and is implemented on Tătaru area, in partnership with the Tulcea Prison - Chilia and Tătaru sections.

The National Prison Administration

The Romanian National Prison Administration is a public service that contributes to the protection of public order protection and national security by guarding, escorting, surveillance, applying the detention treatment. It has a significant social role due to its punitive and educational functions, as well as responsibility regarding social reintegration of the detainees.

Its role is critical in the social context, especially when negative events occur. A sound system is necessary, in order to effectively organize and coordinate activities related to the execution of custodial sentences, security, escort and supervision of prisoners.

Kriminalomsorgen-Region Sør (Norwegian Correctional Services in the South Region)

Bastøy Prison, subordinated to the Norwegian Correctional Services in the South Region, is located 70 km from the capital Oslo, on the island of the same name, and is the first prison in the world that works on ecological principles and the concept of "human ecology". At Bastøy, prisoners are selected from the entire Norwegian prison system, regardless of the type of punishment that they perform, live in ordinary houses and consume what they themselves produce in the organic farms from prison. The principles underlying the operation of the prison are those of a therapeutic community that aims to empower inmates to help them in developing relations based on good communication and respect of colleagues and the environment. Bastøy is one of the Norwegian prisons with the lowest maintenance costs and the lowest recidivism rate in the entire Norwegian prison system.

Ivan Patzaichin – Mila 23 Association

It was founded in 2010 by Ivan Patzaichin and other partners residents in the Danube Delta and in Bucharest, in order to support a movement that promotes local development projects and eco-tourism. Taking its name after Ivan Patzaichin’s native village, the association aims to raise the profile of the Delta and its people in their endeavour to keep their traditions and preserve the nature. The association’s activities benefits from the reputation of Ivan Patzaichin, a multiple champion who is actively involved in defining the association's strategy and in its day-to-day activity.

Established with the aim of protecting the cultural diversity and water related biodiversity, the Association initiates social entrepreneurship programmes designed to support the underdeveloped areas in the Danube Delta and the natural parks in the country by providing know how and investment.

The projects initiated by the "Ivan Patzaichin - Mila 23" Associatiom have a strong educational component, promoting and explaining modern concepts (ecotourism, cultural tourism, pescatourism, adventure tourism, sports tourism, responsible tourism, slow tourism) that can activate Romania's competitive advantages: natural capital, authenticity, diversity of landscapes and biodiversity, the variety of its landforms, specific culture elements (traditions, gastronomy etc.)

The Association upholds the following sustainable development principles:

  • protecting the environment and the natural tranquility;
    • preservation of the environmental resources, the biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources;
    • supporting economic growth and employment.

The Association’s objectives are :

  • to encourage an active outdoor experience by developing ecotourism projects and programmes, especially in the Danube Delta area;
    to encourage innovation in improving the quality of life in communities located in protected areas and to identify opportunities for their development;
    •to protect, promote and support the development of the natural, historical, archaeological and multicultural heritage of Romania.


Rowmania is “Ivan Patzaichin – Mila 23” Association’s brand, a movement that brings together sustainable development projects aiming protected areas, tourism and ecotourism services, social entrepreneurship projects and campaigns to promote rowing. The movement was launched in April 2011, when Ivan Patzaichin launched a new type of boat whose design is unique canotca. It was designed by combining the characteristics of a speedy canoe and those of the traditional Delta fishing dinghy called “lotca”. It was named after these two parents: can-oe and l-otca.

Under Rowmania’s umbrella events were organized for local and foreign tourists, in Romania and other European countries: the annual RowmaniaFEST editions - International Rowboat Festival held in Tulcea, the series of events "Discover Rowmania" in Bucharest and other cities in Romania, the transnational project "Danube Connection" developed in 2012 in Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. These consisted of activities designed to support the Danube Delta inhabitants and traditions, and to promote Romania’s image, natural and assertive, as genuine and lively as she can be witnessed during a boat stroll.

’’Romano ButiQ”Association

It was founded on April 18, 2011 aiming to promote non-discrimination via cultural and educational activities. The association was founded out of the need to realistically present the Roma community and create the space in which people would discover the experimental value that these community members bring to society beyond the negative stereotype or victim paradigm.

The main objective of "RomanoButiQ" is to study, cultivate, develop and promote domestically and abroad the artistic and cultural heritage of vulnerable communities, multicultural and ethnic /interethnic, especially the Roma community in Romania, and the cultural heritage of persons at risk of discrimination or social exclusion.

The association organizes cultural-artistic and civic events to raise awareness on non-discrimination on ethnic grounds. These are music concerts, promoting Roma craftsmen and their products, theater activities with children from isolated areas, lobby and advocacy.

The founding members of the Association have relevant experience in conducting national campaigns to combat discrimination of Roma minority and to improve their image, such as S.P.E.R campaign - the largest campaign developed by the Romanian government for fighting prejudices against Roma community. Depending on the current projects and the workload, the association operates with a staff of up to 20 people, mostly volunteers.

Chilia Penitentiary – Chilia and Tătaru

The project is hosted by the Chilia Penitentiary, at Tătaru. The houses are built on the land owned by the penitentiary, where the training courses are to take place. In order to fulfill the project indicators, especially in connection with the vulnerable target group of the project, the penitentiary secures the transfer on inmates from other penitentiaries.

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