A Distinctive Feature of Ukrainians is Self-Organisation: DTEK Sums up the Results of the Contest “Improve Your Community with Your Own Hands”
Initiative, self-organisation and interest in united actions from which everyone can benefit are intrinsic to Ukrainians. If six years ago, when the competition was launched, only 300 people took part in it implementing three projects, in 2017 there are already more than 16,000 participants, and the number of applications exceeded 500. On October 3, the national commission of the contest determined the top 5 projects, which will be funded by additional sums ranging from UAH 20,000 to 100,000. This year, the total of 268 ideas, which won the competition for mini-grants, will be implemented in 42 Ukrainian territories.
This spring, residents of 7 Ukrainian regions had opportunity to take part in DTEK's annual social project—“Improve Your Community with Your Own Hands”. In 2017, two contests were held within the framework of the project:
ü Mini-grant application contest (up to UAH 50,000).
ü Ideas contest for receiving a large grant for pilot territories (up to UAH 200,000).
The main idea of the contest is to increase the proactivity of residents of towns and villages, to give people the opportunity to improve their neighbourhood, yards, streets, and even more—to believe that with initiative and active participation, any goals are achievable. As in the past year, the National Contest Commission was established, which identified the top 5 projects among all participating territories and rated them.
Ruslan Pakhomov, Director of the Regional Media Group:
“You know, it was very hard to choose just five ideas out of 268. All projects are very strong, head and shoulders above the projects of the last year. I sticked to the two criteria: first—a project must have some impact; second—public must benefit from it. I think that it’s impossible to overestimate the significance of the “Improve Your Community with Your Own Hands” competition because the population of Ukraine over the last 25 years became accustomed to the fact that everything has been decided for them, somewhere in Kyiv, and now they have an opportunity to feel and believe that they can change life for the better on their own, in their place.”
Tetiana Sakharuk, Head of the Global Compact Local Network Ukraine:
“I really wanted to see innovation, so I supported two projects with HUB, which unite all the people of a city in general and are made up by proactive people who are ready to further develop their city. Another project is an action group of young people whose work should be developed in Donetsk Region because nowadays, unfortunately, the youth is not as active as the people of the older generation, and it is so good that an action group has emerged that will unite young people who will work together to improve life in the city.”
Taras Stepanenko, midfielder of Shakhtar FC, player of the national football team:
“I decided that it would be logical for me, as a football player, to support the ideas related to the development of children and sports. For example, the idea of creating a rural stadium in the village of Zaozerne in Vinnytsia Region. Children there have a desire to do sports, but there are no conditions for that. I think it’s important to support boys playing football in their yards and promote healthy lifestyle among the younger generation. I am grateful to the other members of the Commission who supported me in this.”
As a result of the National Commission’s meeting, the action groups of the top 5 projects will receive grants amounting to UAH 20,000 to 100,000 for additional activities within their mini-projects. This year the grant holders are:
- UAH 100,000: project “Heat insulation of concrete slab joints”, Bilozerske, Donetsk Region.
- UAH 80,000 UAH: project “HUB TOBIG “Greenhouse of the city’s public and business initiatives”, Pavlohrad, Dnipropetrovs’k Region.
- UAH 60,000: project “Youth centre is the place for implementing interesting ideas!”, Bilytske, Donetsk Region.
- UAH 40,000: project “Visiting a fairy tale”, Galych District, Ivano-Frankivsk Region.
- UAH 20,000: project “Rural stadium”, Zaozerne, Vinnytsia Region.
Hanna Panova, presenter of the “Events” information programme on the “Ukraine” channel:
“What I have personally noted this year is that there were a lot of projects related to culture and business initiatives. These are the so-called “greenhouses of business projects”, thanks to which people can create something new and develop their territories. These are projects that show that the level of people’s needs has gone beyond the basic ones, they are already interested in non-material things—and this is wonderful.”
All Commission members noted that the projects of 2017 have become more remarkable, and the ideas of Ukrainians, when compared with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, show that we have reached a new level. Also, Ukrainians distinguished themselves by their self-organisation: while earlier they participated in the contest in groups of 7-10 people, this year the number of participants in communities has reached a thousand in some regions. For example, in Bilozerske, four condominiums united their efforts, thanks to which they won the largest amount of “extra” UAH 100,000. With this money, the winners plan to insulate 4 high-risers, benefiting more than a thousand residents.
Viktoria Hryb, Head of Social Development Department of DTEK Enegro:
“For DTEK, the development of cities where our enterprises operate is more than a responsibility. First of all, it is all about the people. We would like them not only to work, but also to live in comfort. We want people to shape a progressive, European attitude to their own lives and give them a platform for improving them with their own hands. This way, we managed to create whole communities in many Ukrainian cities. I believe that self-organisation is a distinctive feature of Ukrainians, it is in our genes. If today we help people develop and self-organise, that will eventually save our country when local people will make their own decisions about how they want to live and what they want to do.”