Community Based Approach to Local Development
Monday, 26 October 2009

COMMUNITIES FROM CHERKASKA OBLAST LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE OF PEREYASLAVSKY RAYON

On 23 October 2009 a delegation of more than 30 representatives from local communities of 8 rayons in Cherkaska oblast that participate in Community Based Approach to Local Development (CBA) Project, the Project coordinators, and specialsts form Oblast Council visited Pereyaslavsky rayon, Kyivska oblast. Local communities from Kyivska oblast started to cooperate with the Project earlier than communities from Cherkaska oblast, and, thus, they have certain results from its realization to share with their neighbours. At that day Pereyaslav-Khmelnytska rayon council was in session, but still local authorities did not neglect the guests. The Project coordinator in Kyivska oblast Serhiy Chutkyi and the Project coordinator in Pereyaslavsky rayon Ihor Herasymov met the guests from Cherkaska oblast. It will be recalled that 40 local communities from 8 rayons in Cherkaska oblast, namely, Zvenyhorodsky, Talnivsky, Umansky, Kanivsky, Kamyansky, Chyhyrynsky, Horodyschensky and Shpolyansky rayons, participate in the CBA Project. Serhiy Chutky said that 40 local communities from Skvyrivsky, Tetiivsky, Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky, Myronivsky, Fastivsky, Kaharlytsky, Ivankivsky, Stavyschansky rayons and Rzhyschiv town participate in the CBA Project in Kyivska oblast. 149 communities applied to participate in the Project, and 40 participants were selected. In the beginning much attention was paid to training members of local communities. At the trainings participants analyzed the most pressing problems the communities faced, experts consulted community members how to correctly process necessary documents, special attention was paid to keeping requirements to reports on exploited funds. Thus, 32 micro-projects were approved by the experts in the Project central office, while the first projects are already completed. The Project managers first faced citizens’ distrust, absence of experience among local communities of similar projects realization; but they managed to remove these oblstacles with the lapse of time. Direct communication of the Project coordinators, heads and experts of the state executive bodies with members of local communities convinced them in the gravity of their expectancies. As a result, communities from Kyivska oblast easily collected 5% share. Close location of communities from Kyivska oblast to the capital city has both advantages and drawbacks. Drawbacks are as follows: the majority of young people leave their villages for Kyiv and despite preserved social and cultural infrustructure the number of villagers dicreased year in year out. While the advantage of this situation is that citizens of Kyiv procure houses in the neighbouring village as country cottages, re-build them and take care of them. And as the majority of holiday-makers are more prosperous than local villagers, they often suggest reasonable help to local communities. Consequently, citizens of Kyiv managed to collect 45% of funds without allocation of money from local budgets. Local media reported about the good deed and local communities became more and more active participants of the Project. The Project coordinators adhered to visibility principle. For instance, Rayon Community Resource Center is located in the premises of Pereyaslavska rayon council. Anyone can either apply to RCRC specilists or find detailed information about the Project on information boards. So other local communities consider terms of cooperation with the Project, and think how to participate in the Project, as the CBA Project is going to be implemented till 2014. While partner communities are trying to complete realization of their projects. At the meeting with the delegation from Cherkaska oblast head of Pereyaslav-Khmelnytska RSA Valentyna Usyk told them about present social and economic state of the rayon, and admited that cooperation with UNO is very important in limited possibilities of local budgets. 31694 people live in the rayon. Despite consequences of the economic crisis they manage to fill rayon budget, but there are still difficulties with filling village budgets. Agricultural rayon has developed crop production, and problematic animal breeding. In the last years investment activities have become more brisk. Much attention is paid to the development of tourism in the rayon. Valentyna Usyk wished the guests from Cherkaska oblast to successfully stay in Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsk rayon and invited them to visit historical and cultural national park. The Project Coordinator in Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky rayon Ihor Herasymov informed the delegation that 5 micro-projects are being realized in the rayon. In particular, local communities from Zhovtneve, Kovalyna, Shevchenkove villages decided to realize energy saving projects in local secondary comprehensive schools that presuppose, first and foremost, replacement of windows, doors etc. At the same time community of Yerkivtsi village decided that its most pressing problem was renovation of local water supply system. Communities have already received first trances from UNDP and are actively exploiting them. Community of Polohy-Yanenky village decided to revew street lighting; but inadequate activity of local cmmunity memebers caused some difficulties with the project realization. Serhiy Chutkyi and Ihor Herasymov confessed that the role of public ogrganizations is also significant in the process of micro-projects realization. For example, female organization of Kovalyn village managed to help the development of its village and several neighbouring ones. Women that migrated from Polisky rayon after Chernobyl catastrophy were struck with pain when their countrymen from Polisky rayon died and other people bought their houses. New owners often threw away family values, including towels, tablecloths, family albums etc. So they decided to create a museum room to save the memory about people from Polisky rayon. Women were pleasantly surprised when local community supported their idea and every family in the village wanted to have their small ‘corner’ in the museum to tell about their family tree and presented their displays. This is the way village miseum was created. Some people helped financially. This project was followed by others. For example, villagers won 2 rgants in frames of the Projects Democratic Initiatives and Global Female Fund. One of this funds financed creation of an asylon for aged and il people from 5 neighbouring villages. Thus, the CBA Project is not the first for the community of Kovalyn village. People from Yerkivtsi village also welcomed the guests. Village head Kateryna Kondratenko is a really energetic leader of the village. She told the guests about the first progress in the project realization and empasized the necessity to keep all requirements of the agreements signed, explained how to hold tenders, emphasized the gravity when preparign all necessary documents etc. as of today the community of Yerkivtsi village is waiting for the third trance and enjoying that in two months after repair works local water supply system functions and people have water in their houses. Members of community organization Vira-2008 were the first to help village head. International Project Manager Jeysingh Sah visited this community three times. Benevolent hosts inquired about the state of the Project implementation in Cherkaska oblast. The Project coordinator in Cherkaska oblast Natalya Belyukina informed that 28 micro-projects out of 40 have already been defended in UNO, 4 projects are being approved in Kyiv, 4 more projects are analyzed in oblast community resource center, and the rest 4 projects are being elaborated by local communities. Besides, she admited that till next year communities from Cherkaska oblast had to defend 25 micro-projects, but there is a real possibility to defend all 40 MPPs. Moreover, there is a possibility to receive no less than 10 new grants next year. Chehyrynsky, Zvenyhorodsky, Shpolyansky and Kanivsky rayons have already defended all projects. That very day the guests visited Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky State historical and cultural park. They returned home in good spirits late at night.