22 June 2024
Uniting for Change: How Poltava's Communities Collaborate to Enhance Child Rehabilitation Services
Uniting for Change: How Poltava's Communities Collaborate to Enhance Child Rehabilitation Services

With the help of inter-municipal cooperation, the Myrhorod community in Poltava Oblast has expanded rehabilitation services for children with disabilities to six communities. Inter-municipal cooperation is a tool that enables communities to join forces and provide quality services to their residents, including those which were previously unaffordable. Myrhorod is a leader in establishing partnerships with neighboring communities to achieve common goals.

In 2011, Myrhorod opened the Center for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Children with Disabilities . Today, the center serves the Velyki Sorochyntsi, Velykа Bahachka, Romodanivka, Gogolivka and Komyshnia communities in addition to Myrhorod. This expansion became possible through inter-municipal cooperation agreements. Now, the center assists more children with disabilities and those under three who are at risk of disability.

"We are addressing a significant social issue through partnership. The center's specialists provide expert assistance to children and their families. The children benefit the most from this cooperation, as they can restore or improve their lost skills and body functions. The families of these children receive psychological support, and the Myrhorod community gains additional funds for maintaining the center. Doing good things together is beneficial for everyone," comments Valentyna Sivachenko, Director of the Center for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Children with Disabilities in Myrhorod.



Komyshnia community, one of Myrhorod's partners in providing rehabilitation services, also benefits from this collaboration. According to Volodymyr Kharchenko, Mayor of Komyshnia community:

"Inter-municipal cooperation is a crucial instrument that has made quality rehabilitation services accessible to the young residents of our community. For us, this means saving money and solving personnel issues. To organize a rehabilitation center, you need appropriate licenses, specialists, and technical facilities. Currently, our community cannot sustain such an institution on its own, so we pay for services provided in Myrhorod. Ultimately, our residents receive the necessary services."

Three children with disabilities from Komyshnia community receive a wide range of social, physical, medical, psychological, and pedagogical rehabilitation services at the Myrhorod center. To ensure quality treatment of children, the center is equipped with modern specialized rehabilitation equipment. A professional team works with each child to select an individual rehabilitation program.

Not only Komyshnia residents benefit from services in Myrhorod. The partnership is mutually beneficial. For example, Komyshnia provides firefighting services to Myrhorod. In 2024, the Myrhorod budget includes UAH 814,870 for fire protection services. These funds are transferred to Komyshnia community to cover the functioning of the fire department: salaries, the purchase of protective equipment, and other materials. In 2023, the firefighting department saved 10 residential buildings, two commercial buildings, one kitchen, one garage, and one car, with the total value of these objects almost reaching UAH 2 million.



The USAID HOVERLA Activity supports communities in establishing inter-municipal cooperation. Serhiy Solomakha, Myrhorod community Mayors, shares the experience of his community, which has already signed 16 cooperation agreements:

"The USAID HOVERLA Activity provided methodological support in organizing community cooperation, including proper documentation of partnerships. They also conducted a thorough analysis and searched for new areas of cooperation. Today, we continue this work on our own. It is important for Myrhorod and our partner communities to do their work effectively and improve the quality of services provided to the population. Cooperation gives us an opportunity to consider the needs and available resources to jointly fulfill our tasks."

With the support of the USAID HOVERLA Activity, communities across Ukraine have already signed 28 agreements that allow them to jointly address complex issues and rationally use budget funds and resources to develop infrastructure and services. The project supports partner communities in establishing inter-municipal cooperation, which is a catalyst for comprehensive development and post-war reconstruction of communities with the support of the Ministry of Reconstruction.

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