EU-supported coworking spaces of Baranivka ATС produce protective equipment

In Baranivka, the Interschool Resource Center prints protective face pads on a 3D printer and makes face masks using an own sewing equipment. That was how the communal enterprise, whose equipment is used by schoolchildren, was reformatted to help medics and residents of Baranivka AC (amalgamated community) in the Zhytomyr Oblast.

In 2018, Baranivka community received modernly equipped co-workings thanks to implementation of the EU’s project “Youth cluster of organic business in Baranivka city AC” initiated by the Civil Society Institute. School co-workings were created in the format of a new educational institution, the Interschool Resource Center (IRC). Baranivka IRC combines five co-workings: sewing, joinery, 3D modeling, media, and greenhouse.

“These protective pads are easy and comfortable to use. Thanks to support from the city council, equipment from the EU and skills of Baranivka IRC’s workers, we are provided with protective equipment,” Ihor Shatrovskyi, Chief Physician of Baranivka Central District Hospital, says.

Using a 3D printer, co-working attendees print assembled protective pads for medical personnel. A protective pad is a gear worn on the head over the mask. Together, they comprise a “conventional set” for protection against viruses. These pads can be used multiple times, and can be treated with disinfectants.

The project did not envisage a 3D printer, but thanks to a tender for procurement of sewing, metalworking and woodworking equipment aptly organized by the Civil Society Institute, the IRC was able to save money, buy a 3D printer and organize a 3D modeling group which became the most popular among schoolchildren.

“We are glad that we could create the full cycle of producing protective pads at the IRC. We don’t need to order certain parts somewhere else, because we have an own equipment; it saves us time, which is very important today. We found a model of protective pads from the freely accessible online sources, and redesigned the front part of the rim to prevent the fogging of the shield,” Vasyl Nazarchuk, Baranivka IRC Director, says.

The design of the pad is minimal: a fastener printed on a 3D printer from PLA plastic, a fastening ribbon and the face shield made from transparent plastic. One fastener takes two hours to make. The printer can produce 5-6 pieces per day.

The first batch of 25 protective pads was provided to medical personnel of the central district hospital run by Baranivka AC, and another 12 pads were printed on the order from neighboring Dubrivka AC. These pads can be freely bought at Baranivka IRC: the price of one pad is 50 hryvnias. For comparison: the price of similar pads manufactured by commercial enterprises starts from 70 hryvnias.

During the quarantine, the sewing co-working made 600 cheesecloth face masks. More than 200 pieces were made free of charge for the community’s medics and administrative personnel on the order from Baranivka City Council, which supplied the material. The community’s residents can also buy protective masks at the cost price. The finished products are reusable: all you need to do is to wash and iron them, and they can be used again.

This personal protective equipment can reduce the risk of infection for local medical workers who are on the frontline of combating the outbreak of COVID-19.

“During their classes and in free time, children make various items on the equipment and 3D printer. And during the quarantine, the IRC staff, feeling social responsibility, has been working almost as volunteers. For the price of our products is minimal, enough to pay the cost of materials, electricity and operation of machine tools. I am proud that the IRC personnel were able to quickly switch from regular work to help provide the community’s medics and residents with the necessary protective equipment. All communities are now concerned with producing personal protective equipment, but not all of them have such a powerful technical center and complex tools as Baranivka community,” Ivan Savytskyi, coordinator of the EU project’s youth component, says.

What makes Baranivka AC’s school co-workings innovative is simultaneous access to them by not only students of the community’s schools but also local youths and older people, who can attend the classes and learn to work on modern equipment.

And the most creative and enterprising of them can implement their creative ideas under the Dreams in Action brand, whose name was coined by the community’s residents, and sell their products via the Facebook page or online store at What is needed from authors are the ideas and performance. Upon agreement, products will be sold under the Dreams in Action brand name.

According to a survey held in February 2020 (featuring 611 respondents in Baranivka and in all 12 starostats of the amalgamated community, surveyed using the face-to-face method, with the statistical error not exceeding ±4.0%), 17% of the community’s adult residents (20% in Baranivka and 14% in the starostats) have already visited a co-working at least once, and another 26% of them (25% in Baranivka and 28% in the starostats) are going to do it.

During the year and a half in operation, Baranivka IRC:

  • held over 500 labor education lessons attended by over 1117 pupils
  • created five hobby groups in a renovated format, attended by almost 120 children
  • held 30 various master classes attended by over 400 adults and children in the community, and organized onsite presentations and master classes during more than eight community events attended by the total of over 6,000 community residents
  • held six trainings teaching adults and children to work on modern equipment
  • held 10 trainings for teachers of Baranivka AC, including four onsite trainings in Lviv, Zhytomyr, Mykolaiv, and the Ternopil Oblast
  • held, in October 2019, a seminar: “Development of interschool resource centers and school co-workings as generators of community development”, attended by over 64 teachers, heads of interschool resource centers and representatives of communities from all over Ukraine
  • organized three planting campaigns in the greenhouse: first (spring 2019): 5400 flower pots for the community, second (summer 2019): 2000 spice plants, third (fall 2019): lettuce, spinach, scallions, radishes
  • had its media co-working prepare over two hundred minutes of video news about the community.

The team of the EU’s project “Youth cluster of organic business in Baranivka city AC” wants to make sure that everything which Baranivka community received under the EU project is used in the most efficient way, and that the community’s residents become successful for their own wellbeing and common wellbeing of the community.