EU helps to improve lives of kids and local communities in Ukraine


Representatives of European Union embassies and cooperation institutes have attended two social projects in the Kyiv region to witness at first-hand how the EU is working together with its partners to help develop communities in Ukraine. According to a press release from the EU Delegation to Ukraine, the group of diplomats visited in particular the German-Polish-Ukrainian project "Our Kids", which protects children in need, and a Community Based Approach (CBA) micro-project to improve the water supply system in the village of Yerkivtsi. 
During the visit, the EU Delegation representative Laura Garagnani stated: "By supporting civil society and helping communities identify and address their own needs and priorities, we can help facilitate practical and sustainable improvements to living conditions at the local level."
Managed by the German-Polish-Ukrainian society and funded by Poland and Germany, “Our Kids” is constructing three homes for children with special needs. The EU representatives met with the project managers and the 15 children who will have a new home and family. Two of the three houses will serve as homes for eight families, with “social parents” and one social worker looking after up to six children. The third building will house an office for a psychologist, a doctor’s surgery and other rooms to accommodate experts, social workers, and volunteers. The spacious gardens covering 14,000m2 will provide room for sports, games, and introduce children to plants, animals, gardening and growing their own food.
In Yerkivtsi, the delegation saw how the entire 1,060 person village has benefitted from joint EU-UNDP support. Thanks to the community-based approach, Yerkivtsi's community organisation "Vira-2008" set the village's priority needs and agreed to reconstruct their water supply system. Through two micro-projects, they replaced the pumps and pipes and installed a control unit. Both projects cost around €26,000 of which €1,500 was contributed by the community. The remaining funds were provided by the EU/UNDP CBA Programme, local authorities and business.
Last week, First Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev, and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle signed an agreement for a second phase of the successful CBA Programme. "Deepening co-operation with the Ukrainian authorities is a top priority for the EU, but this has to extend beyond Kyiv and to touch the lives of Ukrainian citizens at large," Commissioner Füle stated at the signing ceremony in Brussels.
Funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP, the current CBA programme has helped over 1,000 Ukrainian communities to rebuild health centres, install street lighting, replace windows in schools and hospitals and ensure the supply of clean water, since the programme's start in 2007.
During the second phase, 900 additional communities will benefit from the extended CBA programme over the next four years. With a budget of €17.1 million, the programme will train and support towns and villages to develop democratic processes to decide their own community development needs. Energy efficiency, water supply, environment, healthcare will continue to be the priority fields of support, and human resource development a cornerstone of the CBA programme. (ENPI Info Centre)
Read more
Press release
“Our Kids” - website
 ENPI Info Centre report - Co-operation beyond Kyiv: extra €17 million in EU support for local development in Ukraine (01-06-2011)
ENPI Info Centre report - European Union and UNICEF help to protect rights of vulnerable children in Ukraine (12-04-2011)
EU Delegation to Ukraine
ENPI Info Centre webpage - Ukraine
ENPI Info Centre - EU & Ukraine


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