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This project has been funded by the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, Bürgerstiftung of Ulm and other sponsors.

Gewollte Donau Wollballen

The project "The wanted Danube",
Nov.2013-July 2014, Phase I, since August 2014 Phase II

The project idea:

A handmade, woolen „Rivercarpet“ made by people coming from all Danube countries in order to demonstrate the solidarity among the Danube countries, involving as many people as possible from all Danube countries - no requirements with respect to age, social background, education and language skills – and ending in July 2014 during the International Danube Festival in a cultural performance. More information...


The successful project “The Wanted Danube” demonstrates how mutual knowledge and first steps of mutual friendship between people from all over the Danube Area can develop from a hand-crocheted friendship ribbon. The project was initiated in November 2013 by the Ulm-based educational network "Danube-Networkers " in cooperation with partner organizations from eight different countries along the Danube river. The presentation of the “common Danube-River carpet” on the Cathedral Place in Ulm during the International Danube Festival Ulm/Neu-Ulm on July 13, 2014 included representatives of all involved institutions along the Danube and was a big public success.

Designed as a parallel to the European Union’s Danube Area Strategy, which involves politics and economy, the goal of “The Wanted Danube” was to address the people on a personal level. They should view it as a positive challenge to get involved with each other and to improve their mutual knowledge, especially people from Western and South Eastern Europe as well as the people from different ethnicities in various Danube countries.

The output of the project is unique. More than 6.000 people from 8 Danube countries (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria took an active part, seniors as well as pupils and students. 1.457,99 km of friendship ribbon were crocheted, 3.649 “river-piece carpets” were hand-crafted by the participants, along with many cultural and educational side events. A lot of engagement and interest in the Danube Area was demonstrated. The Danube Area became topic of many school classes. Wide-spread media coverage turned public interest to the project.

The project evaluation showed high outcomes on the individual level as well as on the group and institutional level. The “river carpets” and many hand crafted wool products, such as bags, blankets, cushions and more made from the friendship ribbon after the July 2014 presentation, are given away for donations which are used for social purposes and Danube-focused educational activities developed together with the partners from the Danube countries. At the end of December 2014 the amount of donations has run up to almost 12.000 Euros. In October 2014 two educational institutions in small villages in Serbia and Croatia, which were damaged by the latest Danube flood catastrophe, were restored with the support from the “Wanted Danube” donations.

Partners: The project „The Wanted Danube“ was initiated as a mutual project of universities and civil society organizations in 8 Danube countries, in cooperation with the Danube Office Ulm/Neu-Ulm and the international non-profit organization “Danube-Networkers for Europe” (DANET e.V.), which was founded in Ulm in March 2014 out of the educational network "Danube-Networkers”. The project was coordinated by the “Institute for Virtual and Real Learning in the field of Adult Education at Ulm UniversityUlm” (ILEU) e.V.  

Contact: Carmen Stadelhofer, chairwoman ILEU e.V. and DANET e.V.