26 February 2024
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Siverska Sich protects hromada’s future. Reportage

Siverska Sich protects hromada’s future. Reportage

The Sosnytska AH of the Chernihiv Oblast links its future with tourism and agricultural processing enterprises development.





By Dmytro Synyak

The girl laughs on and on. Almost every step of the palm-color horse she rides causes her another attack of laughter.

Twenty more boys and girls are watching her with envy, waiting for their turn to ride.

Riding a horse is the best entertainment!

Behind the palisade


“Welcome to the Shchors Health Resort, Siverska Sich Children's Camp!” tells me Andrii Portnyi, head of the Sosnytska AH.

It is not true that in Ukraine, everyone hates communist symbols. In remote settlements, where people often are regardless of politics (and even of time), some totalitarianism symbols are referred to as monuments of their own past. It is just the case with the Shchors Health Resort.

Surrealistic stele at the entrance to Sosnytsia health resort named after M. Shchors


Mykola Shchors, a native of the Chernihiv Oblast, first led a regiment and then divisions against the troops of the Ukrainian People's Republic, taking away Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Berdychiv, and several other cities and towns from them in 1919. According to official legend, Shchors died from the bullet of a Petlura follower... Now the stele at the entrance to the Sosnytsia health resort, named after Shchors in the USSR times, is generously painted in yellow-blue colours and decorated with a trident. And for the fourth year in a row, the Siverska Sich NGO has been organising children's patriotic education camp.

“Despite surrealism in the name, “Shchors camp” is our future, our point of growth and our greatest hope,” says Andrii Portnyi. “If we manage to include this health resort in our asset list, life in our hromada can significantly change.”

“As soon as in 2015 I became Sosnytsia settlement head I addressed the State Property Fund with a proposal to transfer the health resort to the communal ownership of the settlement,” proceeds Mr. Portnyi. “However, something that I call a “state football” still continues...”

A year ago, in response to a journalist's request, the State Property Fund reported that it had approved the relevant documentation stating that it was not against the transfer the health resort to the Sosnytska AH. Now the decision to transfer the facility into communal ownership must be adopted by the governmental commission, and then submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers. When approved there, the health resort will become the ownership of the Chernihiv Oblast Administration, that should then transfer it to the Sosnytska hromada.

One of the buildings of the Sosnytsia health resort


According to Andrii Portnyi, Sosnytsia has neither a hotel nor a venue for festivals. Meanwhile, the territory of the former camp is a perfect location for this.

The Siverska Sich appeared because of the enthusiasm of local public activist Yevhen Prykhodko. This was he who found enthusiasts to build a decorative fortress, organised 10-day camp shifts at a nominal fee. This was he who found volunteers to work with children for free.

Siverska Sich Fortress

Siverska Sich administrator Roman Khomenko invites to the fortress


“We don't need help, we just need no interference in our work,” says Roman Khomenko, Siverska Sich administrator.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education and Culture of the Chernihiv Oblast Administration last year allocated UAH 30 thousand to the Siverska Sich for children’s recreation. This sum helped in particular to repair the camp.

Hiking wall made for children in the Siverska Sich


Another help came from a local businessman who agreed to supply a camp with confectionery products at cost price. Andrii Portnyi considers this a very important step for the whole hromada, “where all entrepreneurs work just for themselves.”

“Establishment of the Siverska Sich is our step to take over this territory,” continues Andrii Portnyi. “On the other hand, we are proud that some children come to us for the fourth consecutive year.”


Andrii Portnyi, Sosnytska AH head, (on the left) and Roman Khomenko, Siverska Sich administrator, show the level to which the AH economy can grow due to tourism development

Sich boats on Ubid

“I have recently traveled to Canada with the support of the Chernihiv Local Government Development Centre,” he continues. “The delegation was represented by one hromada head from each oblast. We participated in the Ukraine Reform Conference. Our current President, several our ministers, as well as over 40 ambassadors from different countries also attended this event. For two days we listened to various speeches and then went to the outskirts of Chatham Kent to a community of 105,000 residents that amalgamated in 1998. The local economy there is based on tourism and agriculture... We should have the same approach. We have launched the Kapelyush movie festival, an develop cycling routes. We will soon promote eco products manufacturing...”

Andrii Portnyi tells that the Volynka Dairy Union has been operating on the territory of his hromada for already several years, which he considers to be a great example of agricultural production development.


Ghosts of the past

“Without tourism, our AH will fail. We would like a little help from the state regarding this issue… and the soonest possible completion of the reform…” he says.

The full version is available in Ukrainian – please click HERE


report article tourism Andrii Portnyi


Чернігівська область


Сосницька територіальна громада


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