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United communities are more resilient and successful – Final results of LDA of Dnipropetrovsk region project



 On 10th August, the Local Democracy Agency (LDA) of Dnipropetrovsk region, together with Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council, held the concluding press conference on the project “Participatory Democracy Development in Territorial Communities” supported by National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

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Among the participants, Mger Kuiumchian – Deputy Head of Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council, Serhii Ivanchenko – Project Director, Anzhelika Pylypenko – LDA Delegate, Svitlana Gudenko – creative art studio “Soncegrai”, Slobozhanska community, Lyudmyla Yermak  from the public organization “Unity is Force”.
 
 “The Local Democracy Agency is a very reliable partner of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council, and the expertise of the office is high. We hope that together, we will strongly improve the society and the region, raising the level of professionalism of community members and assisting the transition from the “Soviet planning model” to the project system strategic approach in the management of communities. The amalgamated territorial community of Slobozhanska is the pride of Dnipropetrovsk region, and of the whole country. It is a powerful, professional, and successful community. The results of this project are outstanding. In particular, a creative studio was created. I am very happy that the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council helped to achieve these goals”, said Mr. Kuiumchian.
 
“I want to thank Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council and their Deputy Head for all support and assistance during the implementation of the project”, answered Serhii Ivanchenko, project Director.
 
“The main goal of the project is to support and promote the development of the united territorial communities in Dnipropetrovsk region, in accordance with the democratic principles and the current legislation of Ukraine, creating an enabling environment for citizens to participate in management decisions. We needed to find proactive members of the community who would participate in its development and prosperity. And we succeeded. Thanks to this project, an art studio was created in the Slobozhanska community. Within three months, its members developed a Ukrainian-English animated cartoon about the history of the village Slobozhanske. Both adults and children participated. This is a perfect example of what we can achieve empowering communities”, said Serhii.
 
“The first result of the work of “Sontsegrai” art studio was the 9-minute animated film ‘How Slobodyan and Stepan have created a community’, which tells the history of the development of the Slobozhanska community. I co-wrote the script for this cartoon. In general, adults and children took part in it. Heroes were sculpted from modeling clay. Children dubbed a cartoon in Ukrainian and English. Now we have the request from the community to create a cartoon dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the village”, said Svitlana Gudenko from the art studio.
 
Lyudmyla Yermak, the representative of the public organization “Unity is Force”, resumed: “Our organization was registered in the village of Slobozhanske, but for a long time we work in Dnipro. When we became a participant of this project, it was possible to establish contacts with Slobozhanske village council and the community, which in turn helped us to achieve many goals. We are now thinking about the implementation of the project on co-working center, where there will be computer and other courses. And Slobozhanske village council is ready to meet us on this issue. We have seen from our own experience that bringing together the efforts of citizens and the authorities brings results!”
 
“The Local Democracy Agency of Dnipropetrovsk region was established on May 18, 2015. This is the first and yet only such Agency in Ukraine. The main directions of our work are development of decentralization, democracy in communities, assistance to IDPs, and support of the youth sector. The first project of the Agency was “Participatory Democracy Development in Territorial Communities” supported by National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The project was implemented in Slobozhanska Amalgamated Territorial Community and Pidgorodne town, which has not yet united with anyone and is in the process of searching. The results of the project showed that the united community is much stronger, more successful and more efficient than an unconnected one”, said Anzhelika Pylypenko, LDA Delegate.
 
“I would like to express my gratitude to the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council, which took an active part in the process of establishing the Local Democracy Agency and has provided us with all possible support for over two years. In the Eastern Partnership, there are now 5 Agencies, and Dnipropetrovsk looks like one of the best among them thanks in large part to the support of the regional council”, she concluded.
 
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The project “Participatory Democracy Development in Territorial Communities” supported by National Endowment for Democracy (NED), aimed at helping people understand and get used to the changes brought by decentralization, which is the future of Ukraine. All European countries walked the same path, and their experience is positive and successful.
 
The LDA of the Dnipropetrovsk Region submitted a project proposal to NED, aimed at spreading the project scale to the most distant communities of the region. In Autumn 2017, we will know more about this opportunity.
 
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