In the city of Khmelnitsky, as is many other cities in Ukraine, there is a problem of societal indifference to “small” everyday problems of residents. There are many examples, such as beat-up playgrounds, uncensored pictures and graffiti on city buildings, swarms of wild birds, and tons of trash on the streets.
In March 2005, the Khmelnitsky community organization Center for Strategic Initiatives began to implement the “Practical Assistance for the City” project. The main purpose of this project was to create a permanent mechanism for cooperation among government, businesses, non-governmental organizations, the media, and the community in order to resolve minor city problems.
We at the Center for Strategic Initiatives believe that such a mechanism in Khmelnitsky should be built on the basis of charity development, cooperation among economic sectors (government, business, NGOs, the media, the community), strengthening interest among residents toward resolving city problems, as well as the active development of the civil sector.
Such a mechanism gives Khmelnitsky residents the opportunity to turn to CSI with minor, everyday local problems that need to be resolved. Youth are taught to turn those problems into real projects and implement those projects by involving representatives of the government and businesses. Local charities can control targeted use of donations; and the local government receives support and feedback from the community. Local investors are also recruited for small projects. Finally, the project helps local residents feel responsible and proud of their own city.
The following activities are planned with the support of the Democracy Fund of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine:
Teach youth to pay attention to societal problems, turn these problems into actual projects, and implement mini-projects useful for the city of Khmelnitsky;
Seek and support the participation of government, business, educational institutions, community organizations, the media, and political parties in these activities initiated by youth;
Promote the ideas of charity and helping each other among the community in Khmelnitsky.
The Center for Strategic Initiatives supports projects in the following areas:
For additional information, contact Natalia Shmurikova, Project Director.