Borodyanka Center

The BORODYANKA CENTER primarily serves a local population of 18,000 people, but also provides regular services to 24 rural locations in their region. The Center provides assistance for children and families in crisis, social work services to the local hospital, and addresses local poverty issues. The Center is also the site for much of the town’s civic and social activities.


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Borodyanka Image

Villagers, Community Center staff and FOCCUS members celebrate
reopening of library in a small resettlement village.

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Community Development: A Case Example

It is an established fact that life in a community improves only as people who live in that community work to make it a better place in which to live and work and raise their children. In recognition of this fact, the 2002 UN report on dealing with the aftermath of Chernobyl emphasized the need for “social mobilization” (community action), or engagement, of populations residing in communities affected by the disaster.

This emphasis stresses the Community Centers objectives to encourage people to take control over their lives; to promote problem-solving ability, development of social responsibility and to contribute to local development through community initiatives. As a result of this initiative, community organizations are sprouting up in areas where the Centers are located.

A library project in a re-settlement village near Borodyanka, Ukraine, illustrates what one Center project has accomplished. Two community development workers hired by the Center began working with a local re-settlement village with a population of about 600, and average per capita monthly income of $39 per month. Four community development organizations now exist in this village with projects to renovate the library, develop heating and water systems for the village, creation of social clubs and activity groups, clean-up of public spaces.

FOCCUS Board members Mabs Mango and Norma Berkowitz visited the village in June, shortly after the library had been renovated and reopened. The library provides, among other things, the only internet access in the village.

The pride and excitement of the villagers, generated by their own accomplishment and initiative was palpable!

 

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