A family mini leisure park, with a sports ground and cinema and which will also offer English lessons could open in the town of Sievierodonetsk in Luhansk Oblast. Local entrepreneur Anastasiia Muranova launched a fund-raising campaign to fund the opening of the outdoor activities park after doing a course at the UN Crowdfunding Academy.

Muranova says that Sievierodonetsk, a town that has become home to over 40,000 internally displaced persons, has only three places where people can go for a walk, and no comfortable parks.

“Mothers and their children have to walk for several kilometres in search for a recreation area,” Muranova said. “We want to change that.”

The second issue the projects tackles is the town residents’ lack of knowledge of English.

“A lot of people in our town and regions don’t understand the need to speak foreign languages, and have absolutely no idea of the benefits that come with a knowledge of English,” Muranova said. “The park will encourage town residents to learn the language.”

Muranova herself started learning English when she was a child. She can’t imagine her life without English, and thinks that a lack of knowledge of languages limits people’s opportunities a great deal.

“The most effective way to learn and to keep up a language is to practice it all the time,” believes the entrepreneur. “Learning is like going to the gym or eating. You can’t learn the language once and for all. If you want to be fluent in English, it has to become your lifestyle. Even maintaining the language at a minimum level requires time and effort. Promises like ‘learn English in an hour’ unfortunately don’t work. Creating neural connections is a long and complex process.”

Muranova and her colleagues have plenty of organizational experience – they have already opened three English schools in the oblast.

“This park is not the first dream we have realized, and we have also asked for financial assistance before,” Muranova said. “A while ago we dreamed of creating an unusual school that would give you the impression that you were in London. The financial assistance provided by international institutions, including the UN, enabled us to open three such schools.”

The organizers of the project also want to use the project to remind people that anyone can change things in their community.

“It’s important for us to encourage town residents to be open to other people and the world as a whole, and to teach them to appreciate and create beauty,” people from the project team said. “We also want other people to treat the environment with respect: we sort our rubbish and will teach visitors to do the same.”

Learn more about the project, and support it here. 

Background information:

Since 2015 about 650 enterprises have been created or developed throughout Ukraine within the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, mainly in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. As a result, around 3,300 new jobs have been created. In addition, some 6,600 people were provided with support in the form of free training, consulting and support for exhibition activities.

The UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme is being implemented by four United Nations agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The Programme is supported by eleven international partners: the European Union, the European Investment Bank and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Great Britain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Media inquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Communications Specialist, yuliia.samus@undp.org, +38 097 139 14 75

This video was made by “Svoe Kino” Production in Sievierodonetsk to support a campaign conducted within the UN Crowdfunding Academy, with financial assistance from the European Union and the governments of Japan and Poland.
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