Knyahynynok. Hromada of creative experiments
The Knyahynynivska amalgamated hromada, located in the Volyn Oblast, was formed in August 2016, when more than 200 AHs were already functioning in Ukraine. A berry freezing plant is being built in Knyahynynok village, which will export products to different continents. The local school stadium was transformed into an equipped sports complex, where everyone can train. The hromada installs garbage sorting cans in the villages and takes care of the environmental safety of their settlements. Local enthusiasts implement creative projects here, including artistically designed bus stops and a street library with books in the fridge.
Ukraїner prepared a long-read story about the hromada.
The Knyahynynivska AH amalgamated nine settlements with over 9,000 people. The locals work mostly in agriculture and wholesale.
The AH 2019 budget was over 55 million hryvnias. Olena Tverdokhlib, head of the Knyahynynivska hromada, says the AH receives money, in particular, from commercial land, for which the investor pays a share in the development of village or settlement infrastructure.
“Over the last few years, we have probably changed by three hundred times. First, people's mind has changed. They began to perceive differently what is being done here. Secondly, it is a material change, since now the budget has a larger amount pwe every hromada resident.
The village of Knyahynynok, hromada centre, is mentioned in historical documents dating back to the 12th century. In 1964 the village was renamed to Mayaky and in 2016 it obtained the previous name as a result of a decommunisation.
Olena Tverdokhlib says the hromada managed to assemble a great team of enthusiasts who have ideas for joint development. The hromada leader observed those actively interested in particular topics at the meeting, those who asked more questions. Subsequently, these people came to the village council for additional discussions, created their own projects.
In the late 1990s, Olena Tverdokhlib went to work in the Czech Republic as a dressmaker. Having returned to Ukraine seven years ago, she and her friend launched their own business here. They started with repairing clothes, and later opened their own shop sewing clothes for babies. In 2015, Olena Tverdokhlib was elected a village head, and a year later she led the newly established hromada.
Creative bus stops
The Knyahynynivska hromada is known, in particular, for creatively designed public transport stops. Several stops were made here using gabion technology (mesh box construction filled with natural stone. - Ed.). Near the school in Knyahynyniv, the hromada constructed a stop in the form of an open book supported by pencils.
In the village of Syrnyky, which is part of AH, a “delicious” 3D bus stop in the form of a village kitchen was installed at the place of an old Soviet stop.
External surveillance cameras were installed on the hromada territory along the M19 highway of international significance.
One of the large enterprises operating in the Knyahynynivska hromada is Darlisad LLC, which freezes wild and cultivated berries and exports them abroad. The company purchased a land plot under its warehouses to build a larger and more powerful fruit and berry freezing plant. Hryhoriy Zeleniuk, company director, says that frozen berries are purchased from the locals who grow them.
There are different sorting lines at the Darlisad plant, which currently employs about 70 people. After an upgrade, the company plans to export up to 50 thousand tons of cultivated berries.
Olena Tverdokhlib, head of the Knyahynynivska AH, said that the hromada is interested in the development of berry cultivation and supports residents who are starting up this work. In addition, the construction of the plant will create new jobs.
In the village of Syrnyky, local activists Oksana Hlushko and Halyna Harbaruk opened an unusual street library near the local club. Books are stored there in refrigerators, and you can read them in retro cars.
The locals who joined the library creation worked on a volunteer basis. Halyna Harbaruk tells that residents of Syrnyky village have a common online chat room where they can ask for help.
In Knyahynynok village, the hromada has built a modern school stadium. Here they made an artificial-surface football field, basketball and volleyball playgrounds, race tracks, obstacle course, set up simulators. AH head Olena Tverdokhlib says that the stadium was built exclusively at the hromada expense.
Construction of the stadium began in May 2018 and was reopened in August. Both children and adults can train here.
In the village of Bryshche, which is part of the hromada, there is a landfill that collects solid household waste from Lutsk, surrounding settlements and villages. In the spring of 2018, a biogas station was launched next to the landfill to pump biogas from waste, burn it and convert into electricity.
Almost all settlements of the Knyahynynivska hromada set up containers for separate garbage collection. The waste, except mixed waste, is divided into three fractions: glass, paper and cardboard, PET bottles. The village council issues a monthly newspaper, which is brought to every home. They explain why it is necessary to sort waste and how to do it.
At the end of 2017, the hromada approved a scheme for sanitary treatment of its settlements. Olena Tverdokhlib says that due to this scheme, they now know where to place waste collection sites, how many residents will be able to carry the waste here and how often this waste should be removed.
This material was created with the support of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme: Ukraine – Local Empowerment, Accountability and Development Programme, co-funded by the European Union and its member states Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Poland and Sweden.
The full version is available in Ukrainian – please click HERE
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