Community Based Approach to Local Development
Tuesday, 15 December 2009

KHARKIVSKA OBLAST: COMMUNITY PROJECTS ON SCHOOL REPAIRS COMPLETED

In Novovodolazky rayon, 2 repaired schools in Fedorivka and Melykhivka villages are going to be enaugurated on 22 December 2009. Repair of the schools was co-financed by EU/UNDP CBA Project, communities’ inputs and local budgets, while the works were planned and supervised by local community organizations. These projects were realized thanks to joint EU/ UNDP Community Based Approach to Local Development (CBA) Project that organized necessary trainings for community members and financed 50% of community projects’ cost. Every community held its general meeting and selected its urgent problems, as well as identified the works to perform to solve these problems. Besides, the community had to collect 5% of its project’s cost, while 45% were allocated from village/ rayon budgets. Moreover, local businessmen-sponsors invested their money in community projects. Thus, community projects have been jointly realized by local authorities, community, business and international donors. Many communities selected energy saving as a priority problem because energy resources are constanctly rising in prise. At the same time many communities selected repair of schools as their priority problem. At their meetings people said: ‘our village exists while the school exists!’ Communities from Fedorivka and Melykhivka villages were not an exception. Fedorivska school was built in 1914 by Zemstvo Council. At that very time people knew the value of warmth. Walls of the school are thick; thus, resent state of the building is quite satisfactory. But the windows have rotten through, draughts prevented energy conservation and breaks pupils’ health. So the community decided to replace all 19 windows in the school with modern energy saving ones and successfully realized their first micro-project Energy Saving measures in the school in Fedorivka village with a total cost of UAH 57,000. Community project of Melykhivka village Energy Saving measures in the school in Melykhivka village differs from the previous one with higher cost (about UAH 136,000) and some other peculiarities. Warm classrooms were inaccessible luxury for teachers and pupils due to the mergency state of the school heating system. Cooperation between joint EU/ UNDP CBA Project and a community from Melykhivka village was launched in February 2009 with a community meeting in the school room. The Project coordinators had a possibility to see and feel the problem of the school community as participants of the meeting had to sit in coats. It was difficult to make notes, hands got frozen. And pupils had to write, attand physical training lessons, change clothes in the gym changing room! No wonder that replacement of the heating system was selected as a priority in Melykhivka village. Community success is measured by its activities. And it is very pleasant that the community meets first cold weather in 2009 in warm classrooms while the quality of work of the public organization can be measured in degrees Celsius. Communities from Melykhivka and Fedorivka villages have what to tell about and what to show. Despite discrepancy in funds and free time and other external obstacles, they are doing important work. Joint EU/ UNDP CBA Project only gives communities a possibility to realize their project while the community decides whether to use this possibility, or to wait for better time. For more information about the process of the Project implementation in Kharkivska oblast please contact: Oleksandr Komarovsky at tel. 066-766-66-54 E-mail: oleksandr.komarovsky@undp.org.ua Vyacheslav Husev at tel. 067-986-16-08, E-mail: Vyacheslav.gusev@undp.org.ua