"The Wanted Danube" project: Raising awareness by crocheting



EAEA GRUNDTVIG AWARD 2014. EAEA hands out the yearly EAEA Grundtvig Award to a successful European learning partnership. The theme for the 2014 award was "Remembering World War I for the Future – Adult Education promoting Peace and Cohesion in Europe"

The Iron Curtain after WWII as well as the separation of communist and capitalist systems divided Europe into two areas and finally, the civil war catastrophe on the ruins of ex-Yugoslavian countries revitalized historically conditioned hatred. These actions fostered ethnic and national ideologies fuelled by xenophobia and economic turmoil and enhanced the long term separations of the Danube countries between East and West but also within the Eastern Bloc. Due to those facts Danube-Networkers for Europe e.V. (DANET) created the project 'The Wanted Danube' (Die gewollte Donau).

Coming together through handcraft

The project aimed for a common artistic result with common Danube awareness and cooperation without knowledge of foreign languages. On a national level, a lot of educational opportunities related to the Danube are stimulating awareness for the Danube Region and common values.

The wanted Danube was based on personal handcraft skills. The Danube River was represented by handmade river pieces on the Cathedral Place of Ulm in July 2014 during the International Danube Festival Ulm/Neu-Ulm 2014.

The participants used wool to crochet the "friendship-strip" and "water-carpets" as a symbol for the "common Danube space". People of all ages, from several ethnicities and with different cultural and educational backgrounds were invited by the participating institutions to join in and bring to light that civil society from South-Eastern countries to the common house – "Europe".

Increasing interest in the Danube Region

Activities were based on participant’s skills and handicraft therefore it was possible to raise the interest of participants for the project (their everyday life, mutual interest, concerns etc.) from the Danube region as well as the awareness about significance of transnational initiatives. With a large number of activities (workshops, meetings, cultural events etc.) participants gained equal chances to present themselves and to acquire knowledge about each other.

More than 6000 people of 8 Danube countries (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria) were actively involved including seniors citizens and students. 1.457,99 km of a friendship band was crocheted, 3.649 River-pieces were produced by the participants, a lot of engagement and interest in the Danube Region was demonstrated. The presentation of the "common Danube-River" on the Cathedral Place in Ulm, including participation of representatives of all involved institutions along the Danube was a big success.

The Wanted Danube project

Project partners

Contact the coordinator

Danube-Networkers for Europe e.V. (DANET)


Project website 

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Nominees of the EAEA Grundtvig Award 2014
EAEA Grundtvig Award 2014 goes to Book of Plans, Hopes and Dreams and Vygonoshchi Fortress projects