28 May 2024
Orzhytsia community aspires for a bright future
Orzhytsia community aspires for a bright future

Orzhytsia, a community in Poltava Oblast, defines its path towards development.

Orzhytsia community in Poltava Oblast was established in 2020 and immediately faced the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and, later, a full-scale war.

The war greatly affected the community’s daily life. Since the beginning of the Russian military invasion, 1,404 internally displaced people have been registered in the small community of Orzhytsia, which has 15,000 residents. At the same time, residents were moving abroad and to neighboring regions. The community suffered economic losses – Orzhytsia's local budget expenditures have decreased by 8.8% since the beginning of 2022.

Despite the challenges of the war, the Orzhytsia people set out to create a development strategy that would consider the accumulated experience of community members, as well as ideas and suggestions from businesses and residents. After all, such a tool would be the reference point and institutional memory, remaining available regardless of who works in the community today.

“We are a young community, just starting work in such difficult circumstances. We are grateful to the USAID HOVERLA Activity for recognizing our desire to learn and allowing us to develop a quality strategy,” said Olena Sydorenko, head of the Orzhytsia community.



HOVERLA’s expert support not only motivated the residents of Orzhytsia but also instilled confidence in the methodology for developing their strategy. While the state’s methodology is an open document for everyone, it may not be immediately clear without expert interpretation. The guidance from HOVERLA enabled the community to systematically approach the strategy development, minimizing errors and optimizing the process for efficiency. Consequently, Orzhytsia completed its draft strategy within a span of eight months.

Expressing her hope for the implementation of the community strategy, Iryna Nesterenko, head of the Plekhiv Agro Farm, says:

“I expect our crafts store to be scaled up in the region and eventually across Ukraine.”

The Orzhytsia community development strategy and its implementation plan spans through 2027 and is focused on investments, businesses, and citizens' needs. One of the projects is an industrial park for business development in agricultural processing, logistics, and services. The document provides land allocations for recreation areas, photo zones, public spaces, children's leisure areas, and landscaping.

The strategic document also includes the development of the tourism industry and the maximum use of cultural heritage. All of this will allow both local businesses and the community to build cooperation with neighboring communities and attract tourists and investors.

“It was important for me to participate in developing the strategy and offer my ideas on behalf of the community. We were heard. I hope that art spaces will become platforms for developing our children's talents,” says Alina Strelets, head of the NGO Nasha Orzhytsia.



“The future is always on time, but it can only be created now. And while the future of Ukraine is being defended on the battlefield, the future of the community is being created in the rear. Because Ukrainian civilians and the military will return to a community that not only exists but is developing, particularly thanks to the strategy,” says Olena Sydorenko.

Now, Orzhytsia is working according to the development strategy implementation plan and will continuously monitor and evaluate how the community is progressing and how the commitments declared to its citizens and the state are being fulfilled.

The development strategy for the Orzhytsia community resulted from the teamwork of deputies and the public, with the participation of the NGO Endshpiel and the support of the USAID HOVERLA Activity.

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