The results of cooperation between All-Ukrainian initiative “Active Community” of Drohobych and the Initiative Group of the block of flats №4 on Knyagyni Olhy Street
Everyone knows the saying: “to change the world, you should start with yourself”. But we are sure that we can start changes together with our neighbors. New plastic windows in the three entrances of the 5-storey building, renovated neighborhood, established communication between neighbors and interaction with the city authorities – this is the result of the Drohobych Initiative Group only for the last 3 months.
How it all began
“I settled on Knyagyni Olhy Street a few years ago and tried to encourage my neighbors to take care of the house together. However, the neighbors do not communicate often and do not even know each other. Ever since I joined VI Active Community, I have been convinced that changes in the country depend on changes in every small town. And I decided: I will start changing Drohobych from my own home!”, says Svitlana Klyuy, communication coordinator of All-Ukrainian initiative “Active Community”.
Svetlana’s first step in this direction was the usual communication with neighbors. Together with her colleague Olena Yurkevich, on February 8, 2020, she went around 4 entrances of a 5-storey building and knocked on every door. This is how the door-to-door campaign takes place, the purpose of which is to learn about the problems of the residents of the house and find their solutions. Of the 70 apartments, only 30 were opened to them. Communicating with neighbors, Svetlana realized that most of them do not believe in change.
Creation of an initiative group.
The coordinators of All-Ukrainian initiative “Active Community” did not stop and continued to look for those who care. They wrote announcements and invited everyone to a meeting to choose the most important ones from the evoked problems and to identify steps to solve them. Among the residents of the house there were 16 daredevils who wanted to make changes together! They identified the most pressing issues and joined an initiative group on February 17.
Signing an appeal to the mayor.
Subsequently, the participants held the first meeting of the initiative group and wrote 4 appeals to the mayor. These appeals concerned the following needs:
- replacement of old windows in three entrances;
- repair of the footpath near the house;
- repair of chimneys and parapets on the roof;
- elimination of obstacles in the work of sewer pipes.
They collected 50 signatures in support of these appeals and made an appointment with the mayor.
Meeting with the mayor
The initiative group was formed on February 17, and on March 2 the representatives of the house talked to the mayor Taras Kuchma. He expressed support for the activists, but could not promise a speedy implementation of all requests. For example, repairing roofs and sewer pipes requires more time and financial resources than replacing windows. Therefore, these issues can be resolved only in the second half of 2020. Among 4 appeals, all together chose the most optimal and agreed on cooperation.
The meeting with the mayor resulted in new plastic windows in the house. They were installed on April 2 with partial funding from the city budget, assistance from the deputy Myroslav Luzhetsky and community contributions. During the replacement of the windows, the residents of the house helped the employees of Housing and utilities administration: they took out the old frames, cleaned and washed the stairs. Together, they pruned trees and replaced old street lamps with new LED lights.
The next step of the initiative group will be to solve the problem of washing the house underneath with rainwater. The participants of the initiative have already talked to the management of the cycling school, entrepreneurs and residents of neighboring houses. Together, they plan to repair the intersection, the drive to the yard and equip it with high curbs.
Creating a platform for communication
Drohobych residents understood the importance of communication and interaction. The members of the initiative group created a group in the Viber application to exchange ideas and suggestions. They remember the first meeting with a smile, because they did not believe in the result. One of them, Vitaliy Haliv, remarked: “Drohobych All-Ukrainian initiative “Active Community” coordinators were able to inspire hope in the residents of the house. Neighbors believed that change could be made together!”
These are the things that happen when neighbors have a common goal and support each other. This is the result of the activities of only one initiative group. Imagine the changes that await our country if active neighbors cooperate in each city!
Note. Mission of the AI “Active Community”: to achieve prosperity through democratic development of Ukrainian communities. Aim for 2025: activate and involvement at least 1% of citizens in decision-making and reform in Ukraine on a systematic basis for well-being in Ukrainian communities. The initiative was created within the activity of the Institute “Respublica”. We work to increase the conscious activity of citizens.