In May 2018, a modern centre for the provision of administrative services opened in Chmyrivka ATC in Luhansk region. Now one can quickly and comfortably receive 70 kinds of services: register place of residence, register a marriage, get a passport, etc. Funds for repairs and equipment have been allocated by the EU within the framework of the UNDP Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme. At present, the local administration is planning to clean up the lakes around and bring swans back there. Read more about these and other positive changes in Chmyrivka here.
There are only a few hundred meters between Chmyrivka and the suburb of Starobilsk. And only by pure coincidence Chmyrivka was not absorbed and did not become a suburb.
And now this village is a good, albeit rare, example of a settlement not doomed to extinction.
Example one. How to search for and find resources
The Chmyrivka Village Council has occupied several premises in the house of culture recently. The building has not seen repair for a long time, and occasionally various cultural events were held there. And the representatives of local self-government felt uncomfortable, and residents could not fully use the premises for the intended purpose.
In May, it was decided to move to the former administrative building of the former collective farm. They had to pay UAH 1.3 million for the building and to spend another 5 million on repairs.
For sure, this is not done for the officials to feel comfortable. They decided to open an administrative service center (ASC) in this building.
Where did they get the money? They learned about the EU-funded project, which was implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in the framework of the Recovery & Peacebuilding Programme.
“When we amalgamated into a community, we did not have our own building. And then, a competition was announced for the construction of ASCs. And we had to really do our utmost to get there. We bought the building, and in half a year we were able to do what you see now,” says the Head of Chmyrivka Amalgamated Territorial Community, Serhii Voitenko, and shows this beauty.
And children sing and dance now in the house of culture. The community plans to turn the facility into a cultural and sports cluster, in particular to attach a gym and to make a modern dance room in the hall.
Example two. About how important it is to be persistent
An IDP from Luhansk became the Head of the Administrative Service Center of the Executive Committee of Chmyrovsky Village Council. But soon, she was offered a job in Kyiv and left.
Today, Olha Beshkinska performs the duties of a chairperson. Previously, she was engaged in registration of property rights at the ASC.
“The quality of our work directly depends on comfortable space and comfortable conditions. We used to have a utility company. We were together with the department of social services – ten people in a small room. A real beehive. When people came in, they forgot what they needed and to whom they came,” says Olha.
There are two boxes now in Chmyrivka ASC, as in each one in the country, where one of which shows a cheerful smile, and the second shows a sad one. When leaving, people can assess the quality of service by “voting” with their coupon. The second box remains steadily empty.
“People leave satisfied, there is not a single complaint about our work! We wrote wishes on coupons! They wrote that they liked it, that everything was very beautiful and that they wished us all the best,” – says Olha Beshkinska with a smile.
Today, the center provides 71 services, but their number will grow. The ASC, for example, plans to issue ID cards and international passports.
“It should be said,” continues the head of ASC, “that, for example, the State Migration Service is not ready to transfer to us the services for the production of ID cards and passports for travel abroad. Negotiations with them are difficult. But we do not back down! Even the contract has already been signed. We are ready to pass the necessary training. They keep promising us to prepare schedules… We do not give up. We know that all this is necessary for our residents. And we are ready to save time and money of our people.”
Today, there are situations when people seek services that are not available at the ASC. But there they are trying to deal with each specific case. If necessary, they get Chmyrivka Village Council involved – there still are certain types of administrative services.
Everyone is trying to work comprehensively and focus on the final result. It is about meeting the needs of those who applied and to do it with proper quality and in a short time.
Four administrators of the ASC receive up to 60 people per day. Queues here are a rare phenomenon, but still they are trying to speed up customer service at the institution.
Currently, there is an acute issue of raising funds to acquire more functional software.
“We want to buy the SQS software,” Olga shares her plans. – It costs more than UAH 100 thousand. But this will allow us to speed up the registration and de-registration, the formation of different reports. Registration and de-registration are our most popular service, therefore it is necessary to save time. Now, two administrators are engaged in reception. They sometimes fail to cope with the tasks, and then we all sit down and help fill out forms.
Example three. How failure leads to success in other directions
There are two tiny lakes to the left and to the right of the facade of the ASC. Two swans once lived, as they say, on one of them. Gradually, the lake became polluted, and the birds found a cleaner place.
The head of the community believed that the swans would return if good conditions were created. However, the lakes have dried out over the past few months.
“There is an opinion on 20-year cycles, when the level of groundwater first falls, and then there is a gradual rise of it. It is possible that the water has gone because of the mines. Mines are 40-50 kilometers away from us, but coal seams can be found here. Perhaps, it is still due to the well on the outskirts of the village. Water was pumped to Starobilsk from it, but then they abandoned it,” Serhii Voitenko lists his versions. “And that’s why we have another project now called “Lake”. We won the regional competition, and now we will deepen and clear the Sand Lake in the territory of the former Butove Village Council. Life is always active around water – we know that and such a project is important to us.”
Communities become successful when they find opportunities to transform, look for different ways to improve the lives of people in their territories, do not give up, even when something does not work. Experience and desire are what helps be winners.
By Ivan Bukhtyiarov
The article was originally published on Ostro.org