A Kindergarten in Vinnytsia oblast saves over 6,000 cubic metres of gas annually thanks to the support of the UNDP project, Community Based Approach to Local Development, which is co-funded by the EU. The kindergarten is now equipped with energy-saving technologies acquired with the help of EU and UNDP grants.
Sonechko (Sun, in English) Kindergarten in the village of Tomashpil in Vinnytsia oblast shines like a new pin with brand new energy-saving windows and rooftop solar panels. The kindergarten’s director and the village residents, however, can attest to the dramatic transformation the upgrades represented.
In 2013, the Tomashpil community came together in an effort to repair the local kindergarten. At that time, the building had a broken roof and old windows and had no water heater. “If you saw pictures of our kindergarten three years ago, you would be impressed by the difference,” says Maryna, a mother of two boys who attend Sonechko kindergarten.
There was a lot of work to be done, so the community applied for a grant through the Community Based Approach to Local Development (CBA) project.
“We repaired and insulated the roof in 2013, which cost UAH 366,000. The EU and UNDP allocated UAH 80,000 to support that project,” explains Olena Hodna, director of the Tomashpil kindergarten. Motivated by the success of the first initiative, the community implemented a second project totalling about UAH 400,000 in 2014 to install eaves and solar panels and to upgrade the building’s heating system. At this time the EU and UNDP granted us UAH 229,000. The rest of the cost was covered by the local budget and by the citizens themselves.
“We save over 6,000 cubic metres of gas per year, and 300 kilowatts of electricity per month,” Hodna says. With the savings, the kindergarten was able to buy new furniture for the children and make repairs to the kitchen and laundry room. Now the kids wash their hands with warm water, which is also important.
“This project is not just about money,” says Oleksandr Zakorchenyi, head of the Tomashpil district state administration. He was one of the initiators of the grant application process and even climbed onto the kindergarten’s roof to take pictures to prove to the UNDP that it required repairs. “Our community became more united and proactive,” he says. He explains that “a social cause is solved more efficiently if the community defines it and participates in its solving.”
The Tomashpil kindergarten project is evidence that a community united in a common goal can achieve great results.
The Community Based Approach to Local Development (CBA) project launched its activities in 2007, aiming to promote sustainable socio-economic development at the local level.
The third phase of the CBA project will be implemented from 2014 to 2018 with a total budget of €23.8 million provided by the European Union (€23 million) and UNDP (€800,000).
With CBA support, local communities establish and maintain partnerships with central and local governments, as well as the private sector and international donors and work together toward improving local infrastructure, encouraging self-employment, promoting entrepreneurship, and providing vital social services (e.g. education, health care, water supply, etc.).