20 June 2024
Децентралізація
Building Resilience: The Story of Bobrovytsia Community's Recovery after Occupation
Building Resilience: The Story of Bobrovytsia Community's Recovery after Occupation

The Bobrovytsia community in Chernihiv Oblast felt the horrors of occupation: the community was occupied two days after Russia’s full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022.


“The aggressors caused untold civilian suffering. There were casualties and injuries among children and adults. Enemy shelling destroyed 124 residential buildings, many municipal facilities, agricultural fields, and equipment. Russian soldiers looted government and private properties,” Gennadiy Ivanyuk, Acting Mayor of Bobrovytsia community, recalled.

 

 

When the community was liberated in early April 2022, the community officials immediately began assessing the damages, hoping to restore the most vital ones. However, the community's budget was insufficient to cover the reconstruction costs, so they sought partners and donors for support.

Seeing the massive destruction and understanding what was at stake, the whole Bobrovytsia community rallied to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces by raising funds and providing direct aid to soldiers:

“We understood that victory can only be achieved through joint efforts. Farmers, youths, businessmen, local government officials, and all caring residents of our community raised funds to provide for the needs of our defenders. The citizens also made camouflage nets, prepared trench candles, cooked pastries, collected food stocks, and provided warm clothing for the soldiers,” notes Gennadiy Ivanyuk.

 

 

An important stage in the recovery and development of the Bobrovytsia community was the support of the USAID HOVERLA Activity, which began on July 11, 2023. After de-occupation, significant work was needed to restore the town and plan for further development. USAID’s support was very timely.

“The new backhoe excavator provided by HOVERLA became an indispensable tool in our recovery as we continued clearing out damaged properties and repairing houses and utilities. With the help of this equipment, a significant amount of work was achieved to improve the living conditions in the settlements," said Gennadiy Ivanyuk.

 

 

After overcoming the urgent challenges, HOVERLA helped the community find new growth opportunities in wartime conditions. In particular, the Activity provided technical support in developing community statutes, clarifying land issues, establishing inter-municipal cooperation, developing spatial planning documents, and implementing a youth internship program. Moreover, the Activity enhanced the capacities of local officials in budgeting, regulatory activities, transparency, accountability, and administrative procedures through various training programs.

"We are confident that in case complex issues are not clearly defined in the legislation, we will receive professional advice from expert partners,” said Gennadiy Ivanyuk, emphasizing the importance of HOVERLA’s capacity-building activities.

The initial outcome of the collaboration between HOVERLA and Bobrovytsia has been to instill hope among the citizens and local officials.

“Despite the ongoing war, our community looks to the future with optimism, does everything possible to bring victory closer, and moves forward toward development,” summarizes Gennadiy Ivanyuk.

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