The Dnipropetrovsk Local Government Development Centre, established with the support of the “U-LEAD with Europe” Programme and MinRegion, continues to highlight the best practices of the amalgamated hromadas of the region by organising thematic media tours for regional journalists.
On 8 November 2017, journalists from Dnipro and Kryvyi Rih got acquainted with the life of the Vakulivska amalgamated hromada (Sofiyivskyi Rayon, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast).
The centre of Vakulove, the central village of the hromada, is now cozy, modern and extremely exciting, though two years ago the territory was rather untended and scruffy. Never before have there been street wi-fi, LED fountain, renovated roads, illumination of all streets, equipped squares and pavements, which can now be seen in the village. It may seem a usual thing, but the peasants have received all these benefits of civilization with decentralisation. The local authorities do not stop at the aforementioned improvement, they dream to change the people’s opinion about the village which had been left for other places until recently but is settled now by newly-married couples: the project of a new mini-stadium for workout trainings is now being accomplished. Sports structures – chin-up bars, wall bars, various gymnastic equipment – are being installed. Soon a special training coat will appear.
“I am confident that the new playground will be constantly used, and we will soon be able to carry out competitions among our youth first for the Hromada Cup, and then, hopefully, our young compatriots will perform at the high-profile competitions. The main thing is that we give an impetus for the young people to develop harmoniously, we meet their needs and accustom them with comfort, which may not exist in some cities or may not be charge-free. All entertainment and youth classes are free of charge. Training instructors, who became the residents of our hromada and receive competitive salaries, work with the youngsters,” said the head of the Vakulivska AH Artur Shevtsov, “You see how dedicated our young people are, how their eyes shine and how proud they are to live in the hromada. I am sure that we will be able to create both modern living conditions and comfortable first job conditions for them, so that they stay to live and work in the hromada rather than escape to the cities.
An amusement park for children is located in front of the mini-stadium. The public guard composing village residents keep the order at the place.
“Not so long ago we bought a special car to clean the streets,” says the head of the hromada. “We already have this opportunity due to our own budget, which has grown significantly over the last period as a result of financial decentralisation. The oblast authorities, deputies and various international partner organisations help us to implement our ideas.
Thus, due to our cooperation with the Swiss-Ukrainian DESPRO project, “Decentralisation Support in Ukraine,” over three dozen kilometres of water conduit were laid on in the Vakulivska amalgamated hromada, where there was no water supply at all. At the expense of infrastructure subventions, five villages of the hromada received LED lighting in the streets, as well as renovated and insulated children’s institutions.
The Vakulivska amalgamated hromada looks like an oasis in the desert, journalists said. Though the oblast centre is more than 120 km away, and the city of Kryvyi Rih is over 50 km away, there are new European standards of the village infrastructure development and a fresh look at its prospects in the hromada.
“We elaborated a development strategy till 2020, and everything we do now is just the beginning. Personnel is currently among the priorities. We are especially concerned about this issue now. There is already a certain result. Our school is headed by a Doctor of Science from Kryvyi Rih. We invite other professionals to us and create jobs. We have also established a dairy cooperative with the largest number of cows in the Rayon. We are already working on the construction of a solar power plant in our hromada,” Artur Shevtsov said.
The journalists have seen a lot of other interesting and seemingly unusual things for a common village. But the Vakulivska hromada confirms that decentralisation is a real chance for peasants to make their most daring dreams come true. In fact, the number of such capable hromadas in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast is constantly increasing. The next media tour will present a new renewed hromada.
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