Shumsk united local community combined 35 towns and villages and 21,000 people. The community has no big factories or plants, but there is an understanding of how to develop. “We do not have many enterprises, so we will focus on tourism and attracting investment. This year budget is 35 million. We understand that it must increase, and subventions will end sooner or later. We cannot do without investment. But I cannot tell each village what they should do, they know better what they need,” said Volodymyr Pletiuk, head of Shumsk united local community, at a briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center under UCMC project “Spokesman of communities”.
Mr. Pletiuk believes donor funds to be an important source for community development. The money has already been used to build a Center for administrative services. There is enough information on such financial possibilities, but not enough qualified personnel. “There are no trained personnel who can work with donor programs. We have enough information: there is a lot in social media and on specialized websites. The problem is to write a relevant grant program. But we are learning […] and looking for creative people. I am ready to announce a competition and to recruit those willing to work,” noted Mr. Pletiuk. The community learns to live in the new reality and consciousness gradually changes. “For us it’s all new. We broke the Soviet system of management. People hitherto used to write letters and wait for money in response to these letters. We will write no more letters. Now we are going to write quality projects. The public has to understand, learn how to write a grant application, not just an application to allocate some money,” stressed Mr. Pletiuk.
In addition to development plans, the community has actively set about patching holes. The seven projects for which the government provided subsidies include school repairs, boiler houses, street lighting. “A dirt road was made into a macadam road. Europe will not be surprised by this, but it is a big plus for a village as nothing at all was done there before,” said Mr. Pletiuk. “People wanted to elect the governing bodies by themselves, not through session halls. Now they liable to them for their actions,” he added.