The Trostianets urban amalgamated community (ATC), which was set up in July 2017, in the first half of 2020 became the leader in the all-Ukrainian ranking of the most successful communities. Read on to find out how this newly established community achieved this result in under three years.
Health and education as priorities
One of the first steps taken by the newly formed community, which has a population of over 21,000 people, was to take over the running of a district hospital and some primary health care facilities. Trostianets ATC was the first to do so in the region. The reformed district hospital now has fully staffed departments that provide services to patients around-the-clock. The modernization of the Trostianets city hospital is going to schedule. Thanks to these steps, the community's medical facilities were ready to respond quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second priority of the community was to reorganize the system of educational institutions. Now there are two main schools and three affiliated schools, as well as two secondary schools of I-III levels. The renovation of classrooms and the procurement of the required multimedia equipment were funded from the local and state budgets, and partially by international donors. All educational institutions in Trostianets ATC now have access to the Internet. Also, several energy-efficiency measures implemented in secondary schools have helped the community to save over UAH 100,000 in budget funds per year.
In addition, a modern Inclusive Resource Centre last year started to operate in Trostianets ATC, allowing children with special educational needs to study there now. Today it has a sensory room, a gym, and a fully equipped classroom with all the training materials, which allows modern, professional and affordable correctional and developmental classes to be held. Previously, parents had to seek private specialists and sometimes travel tens of kilometres to visit such a centre. Now it's all here, next to them – and it's free.
The public library was renovated in Trostianets according to the European model: now it is a cultural and educational space with a co-working centre, a multimedia hall-transformer, a children's area and a social cafe. Moreover, the other day it was named “Library of the Year 2020” in the category “Small Libraries” by the Ukrainian Library Association for its project “Information, Cultural and Leisure Centre of the Community.”
“We breathed life into the abandoned and empty building,” says the head of the Trostianechchyna Family Circle NGO, Halyna Ihovska.
“First, we took over the running of the library. Second, before the construction work was launched, a focus group was held, and citizens were asked for their views. As a result, we have a modern centre, where people have started to spend their time, read books, communicate and develop themselves. For example, I often use the room for seminars and trainings, and children, of course, love multimedia with computers and a Play Station.”
The success of ATC in the ranking, which is compiled by the “U-LEAD with Europe” programme to support decentralization reform and the SKL International project, took into account the hromada’s financial potential. This includes many factors: its geographical location, historical development, cultural traditions, economically active business, minerals, industrial and social infrastructure, which determine the prospects for effective community development.
By the way, in addition to the large confectionery manufacture of Kraft Foods corporation in Trostianets ATC, the first private company that provided gasification in Ukraine, LIMIK, operates there. The company’s focus is now on the development of renewable energy technologies, based on wind and solar systems, solar collectors, heat pumps and heat generation from biomass. Most importantly, each of these projects provide jobs for the community’s population. In particular, the professions of builder, electrical engineer, and so on.
Moreover, according to LIMIK’s Chief Engineer Mykhailo Lyon, the company offers its services not limited by just in the territory of Trostіanets ATC and Ukraine: Local specialists are also involved in the implementation of projects in foreign markets. “By exporting services abroad, we also provide decent work and promote the economic growth of our community,” says Lyon.
The roadmap for the development of Trostianets ATC is the Community Development Strategy until 2030, which reflects the joint views and understandings of community members, business, and the local authorities on the further development of Trostianets ATC. For example, they plan to develop a tourist cluster and build a biathlon base to hold international competitions at a range of levels.
A successful community is a sustainable community
When it comes to sustainable community development, an understanding of strategic approaches and practical peculiarities is also important. That’s why all Trostianets ATC officials have already completed the online course “Act Further: Sustainable Development for Civil Servants” launched this year. The course was developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine in partnership with the National Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine and with financial support from the Government of Germany through the aid agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The course is available free on the national educational platform Prometheus.