“Sometimes we’re told that we’re making things more complicated than they are. There are plenty of ready-made community strategies available online. It sounds like a piece of cake, but it won’t work, because people only want to implement what they’ve created by themselves.”
“You might have brilliant ideas, but if the people from this village or community are not particularly enthusiastic about them, these ideas are unlikely to succeed.” That’s Haiduchyk’s advice for civic activists.
For example, general assemblies are difficult to organize, since over 50 percent of the community population has to be present. Alternatively, it could be far easier to start working with the local activists, encouraging them to create a volunteer group (to clean up a park, for instance). Other citizens might join the group later on.
Nurturing partners, not competitors
While a lot of other civil society organizations compete for available resources, media attention and donor support, the Volyn Institute of Law helps other organizations to grow.
For half a year already, the Volyn Institute of Law has been functioning as a CSO hub, with UNDP support. The institute shares its own experience of institutional development, helps other organizations develop their internal policies, and trains their staff. Haiduchyk’s team believes civil society organizations have tremendous change-making potential in decentralization and the development of amalgamated communities.
“We’re often being asked why we’re nurturing potential competitors. However, if we’re striving to make changes happen, then we need partners rather than competitors. It would be ideal to have at least one civil society organization in each community.”