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Ivan Patzaichin – Mila 23 Association

from sprouting ideas to creative traditions

The Ivan Patzaichin – Mila 23 Association was born in 2010, at the initiative of Ivan Patzaichin – multiple European, world and Olympic champion in kayaking and canoeing, and the architect Teodor Frolu – out of love for the Delta, tradition and nature, and to support local development by harnessing natural and cultural resources. The association develops social entrepreneurship programmes to support, with know-how and investment, the underdeveloped areas of the Danube Delta and the country’s natural parks, these projects serving as best practice models for successful social entrepreneurship. The Association also aims to participate in the national debate on nature in general, and water in particular, as elements of identity for Romania – constituents of the country brand. The Association’s projects include, to a very large extent, strong educational components dedicated to nature, culture and society.

the legacy that nurtured the project

The association is located in Mila 23, Ivan Patzaichin’s home village, and is the vehicle through which Ivan managed to give back to the Delta and its people the love he received from them as a child and during his career. The association aims to protect the cultural and natural diversity of the Danube Delta and other natural areas in Romania, to bring Romanian traditions back to life, to promote the cultural and natural character of the Delta, to contribute to the enhancement of Romania’s hydrographic heritage and to encourage a healthy lifestyle through outdoor exercise.

meetings through which the project gained form

Ivan Patzaichin repeated at every turn that he only acted as a link between people who felt the same way and whose visions brought them together with the Association. In over 10 years of activity, the Association has sought out and established links with more than 200 professionals in various fields or members of the community, bearers of local traditions, who have believed in our initiatives and helped to make them a reality: object designers and fashion designers, experts and activists in tourism and environmental protection, experts in education, material and agricultural researchers, boat builders, sociologists, psychologists, ethnologists, historians and anthropologists, experts in gastronomy, visual artists, writers and performing artists, architects and urban planners, great Romanian athletes, experts in human resources development, experts in development projects, opinion formers and representatives of public, local and central administrations.

nests and paths that carry the project forward

We were inspired by the Danube Delta, for the sustainable development of which we try to bring to life innovative, efficient and easy to replicate project models, carried out in collaboration with the local people and encompassing a variety of fields relevant to the whole Delta: educational, touristic, gastronomic, cultural, economic and identitarian. The urban-rural link is a key objective of our work.

Our vision is closely connected to the perspective of the human-nature relationship to the value of tradition, a link which can play a key role in the modern development of Romania. We believe in sustainable development for the future through education, in a way in which local identity is maintained and used as a resource, and innovation becomes complementary to, and in harmony with, tradition, bringing it to current relevance.


Descoperă Rowmania

Descoperă Rowmania – România naturală văzută din barcă este o campanie națională care urmărește reconectarea oamenilor la natură, valorificarea patrimoniului hidrografic românesc, promovarea ecoturismului și a mișcării în aer liber prin sportul cu vâsle, dar și o mai bună înțelegere și interpretare a naturii.

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