Villages & Activities


Village Life School

Village Life School is a project that aims at encouraging and supporting six rural communities with natural and cultural potential for tourism to practice community based, responsible tourism.

Still insufficiently developed in Romania, rural tourism can be a real development opportunity for communities with touristic potential, but often poor and threatened with depopulation and ageing. More and more tourists express their interest for rural traditional places and their unaltered nature and enjoy to take part in the communities’ and hosts’ daily lives.

Through Village Life School project, we will include in our responsible tourism network 20 new families from rural areas who are interested to guest tourists, to improve their services or to develop new touristic activities in the communities they belong to.

Sixty people from six rural communities, hosts, potential providers for connected services, as well as representatives of the local administrations from the identified areas will participate in trainings to develop their capacity to practice high quality responsible tourism. The trainings will approach issues such as: legislation, principles of responsible tourism, architecture and interior design , guiding, communication and cultural sensitivity.

At the end of the project, our hosts will be supported with legal advice for being certificated as traditional houses, but most important, they will be stimulated to organize themselves itineraries for the tourists and tourism programmes.

Village Life School is a winning project within Tara lui Andrei competition (, a social responsibility programme developed by OMV Petrom.

Active for Our Community

From 2012, PACT Foundation extended its area of intervention towards the counties in South- East Romania: Buzău, Brăila, Constanța, Galați, Tulcea, and Vrancea.

During the project Active for our community, we will work for the first time in the counties Brăila, Tulcea, and Constanța to find active citizens and to develop community based organizations, which long term would work for the betterment of their community.

We want that at least 48 members from these communities to be part of the initiative groups, to get involved in local activities, and to mobilize the community to solve specific needs they face.

These initiative groups will participate in a series of trainings and debates in order to gain more knowledge about working with the members of the community long term:

  • Participatory needs and local resources assessment
  • Civic involvement versus apathy
  • Good practices in the field of agriculture
  • Traditional versus modern
  • Community based tourism and ecotourism
  • Endless resources in local communities
  • Participatory project planning
  • Project management
  • Organizational communication and efficient promotion

Also, the six initiative groups will propose community projects in order to solve one of the main needs identified in the community. Thus, they will put in practice what they have learnt during the trainings and they will have the opportunity to directly involve other members in the community.

Romania - Europe's Community-Based Travel Hub

Through this ongoing project, Village Life has set up and is developing Romania's first community-based-travel social enterprise.

We are creating a platform through which, welcomed by local families from beautiful villages, travelers can discover and actively participate in Romanian village life as it really is, day by day, season by season.

There are three types of cultural experiences that Village Life organizes within this program:

  1. Travelers are hosted in village households where they learn and participate in daily life, the way it is traditionally lived in the countryside (i.e.: wine making, cheese making, shepherding, tending to animals, Holiday festivals, etc);
  2. Travelers come especially to participate in seasonal local events that we promote through our calendar (link); or local products fairs/markets, organized by local associations/ village halls in partnership with Village Life; or
  3. Travelers are experts, from Romania or abroad, who come as volunteers on a project initiated locally (i.e.: to restore an old bread oven or a traditional fruit dryer, environmental clean-up activities etc).

Most villagers are glad to be hospitable hosts for travelers, but they do not have the know-how of accessing markets. The beneficiaries of our program are regular people, not those already involved in tourism activities, so we create a new and easy-to-grab economic opportunity.

In addition to its income diversification role, properly implemented community based travel can be a great tool for informal education in rural areas. Our hosts/ beneficiaries are regular villagers, farmers or local workers, with little opportunity to get exposed to information outside of their own communities (except through TV and Internet, and we already know how poorly these tools work for educating if left undirected).

We have explained in "Our philosophy" how lack of or poor quality education creates a plethora of social, economic and environmental problems in rural Romania.

If our typical beneficiary is the regular villager, who has seen very little (or sometimes even none) of the world outside his/her village, our typical traveler is a well traveled, highly educated person, with a great need to understand and experience other cultures and traditions. What he/she is searching for and appreciating is the natural and the authentic.

Community based travelers, both Romanian and foreign, bring their new ideas and views to their hosts' homes. They appreciate those very things that can constitute the basis for durable growth in rural Romania: healthy agriculture, crafts and nature preservation. Over time, through constant interaction with these people, villagers regain respect for and learn how to wisely capitalize their inexhaustible resources (nature, culture, people's ingenuity expressed in art and craftsmanship). This leads directly to durable development in all its components: social, environmental and economical.

In parallel, Village Life is constantly working to educate its beneficiaries in the area of sustainable travel through training, conferences, personalized discussions, consultations and help designing each travel itinerary offered. This adds a new layer of sustainability to this program, since villagers will gain knowledge that they can always use in their lives.

After having visited and researched tenths of villages, our organization is working with a set of villages that have been selected according to a set of criteria. Other villages are currently under evaluation. Unfortunately and relatively counterintuitively for those not closely acquainted to the Romanian village situation, our criteria are not easy to meet, mainly because of a recent invasion of kitsch in rural areas.

For local organizations/ individuals/ village halls interested to get their community to join our program, please read carefully our criteria before you write to us.

At Home in Your Community

“At home in your community” is a project coordinated by PACT in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Romania and Village Life; it aims to address issues related to living and public spaces in 10 primarily Roma rural communities . The project uses an integrated approach to the community development process that will help its beneficiaries enjoy safer and more comfortable living spaces and value their natural and/or cultural resources in a sustainable way.

Over 27 months, from July 2013 – September 2015, under the lead of Habitat for Humanity, at least 50 high-risk* homes will be rehabilitated with the active involvement of at least 200 community members. Village Life's role , more prominent in the second part of the project period, consists in creating a frame for locals involved in the rehabilitation process to develop a sustainable entrepreneurial component to their community. Thus, at least 3 of the 10 communities will ultimately benefit  from education on income generating activities in the long term. Community members will learn, under Village Life's coordination, how to sustainably capitalize on their own resources and customs (i.e traditional crafts) for better living. By the end of the project, at least 50 beneficiaries will gain the skills that can facilitate their employment/ economic viability.

In essence, this project enables its beneficiaries to create and sustain initiatives that produce long term social and economic development , with a focus on individual and public space.

The “At home in your community” project is financed by the Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme, Thematic Fund for Participation of Civil Society, grant scheme for NGOs.

The “At home in your community” project is financed by the Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme, Thematic Fund for Participation of Civil Society, grant scheme for NGOs.

*as classified by Habitat for Humanity Romania taking into consideration risk factors such as poor hygiene conditions, degraded construction (broken roofs, windows, pipes etc).