Source – Vinnytsia news portal “Vezha”
Andrii Kachor, August 20, 2019
647 events, thousands of activists and dozens of NGOs, a myriad of projects, and who can number the ideas generated. Today, on August 20, the partnership “Meaningful City”, in the same-name hub at Pushkin Street, reported on what they managed to achieve within the first year and a half of their activity.
The PLEDDG’s grant for “Meaningful City” is expiring next month, so “Meaningful City” is going to run its voyage independently from autumn on. Dozens of active citizens, who came to the hub at 16:00, were told what had been achieved for that time, and how “Meaningful City” was going to develop both as a partnership and a hub. Notably, Mayor Serhii Morhunov, Directors of the City Council Departments Vitaliy Pogosyan, Oksana Yatsenko, Maksym Filanchuk, as well as Integrated Development Expert Sofia Melnyk and PLEDDG Senior Expert, Head of Experts Group Ihor Lepyoshkin attended the meeting.
Director of “Institute of Urban Development” MC Alina Diachenko, Director of Department for Civil Society Development of “Institute of Urban Development” MC Anna Pertsatii, Head of Coordination Council of “Meaningful City” Network Oleksandra Lysa, and Director of Project “A Meaningful City: Communication and Participation Area” Valentyna Tkachuk told the visitors about the results achieved for that time due to the hub.
The news about that the hub’s website mistоzmistiv.vn.ua launching was definitely the headline of the event’s opening.
The resource is rather simple and hence comfortable: here one can read about urbanistic titbits, review the calendar of the hub’s scheduled activities, and apply for conducting their own event. Besides, the website contains the list and an overview of the “Meaningful City” network in particular and of the partnership in general.
Ms Diachenko and Ms Tkachuk reminded of that the “Meaningful City” partnership history originated from the time when the same-name NGO network had been established, July 26, 2018. In the beginning, there were 29 such organizations, and their number is 33 now. They have already completed the final version of the project’s Memorandum stipulating the interaction both within the Network and with public bodies.
Afterwards, Anna Pertsatii reported on the brightest projects and events they had managed to do in the hub. At times, the young girl’s voice even seemed trembled with excitement: apparently, these events were really meaningful for the hub’s team, – as if they had lived through that year and a half once again in that brief speech.
It is here where such major things as Vinnytsia Integrated Development Concept and Marketing Strategy were presented, where people saw new Vinnytsia’s brand “A City of Ideas” for the first time, and, what is more, – where such bright events as TEDx Vinnytsia, or else, “Music in Darkness” eco-project, held totally “light-free”, took place. By the way, Anna reminded of that the hub was undergoing an accreditation process for gaining “Green Office” status.
Finally, those who gave “Meaningful City” a sort of a start in life had their say: particularly, Mayor Serhii Morhunov and PLEDDG Senior Expert, Head of Experts Group Ihor Lepyoshkin. Notably, PLEDDG allocated 420, 000 UAH, whereas Vinnytsia City Council granted 3 million.
“The expectations I have had since 2014, when this project was launched, have fulfilled as of today. Behind any idea is a person. I remember once Oleh Levchenko came to me with this idea. However, it was the time when the majority of NGOs had not worked yet, and there was no one who could manage it all. So, finally, we decided that such project should be chaired by a municipal company, and, apparently, this was a good decision.
I would like to express my gratitude to each team member because they adopted quite a serious approach to the project. We shouldn’t stop, we should move ahead. The idea of Memorandum is mission critical: it is necessary that the dialogue between bodies and NGOs should be held on equal terms. Because, if you criticize only with nothing to offer, then it’s not quite fair. And even when officials make mistakes – because we are humans too and no man is wise at all times – encouragement of these or those Vinnytsia City Council’s actions, as well as public support, really matters. I would like to address to the social environments: do not compete with each other. Our team members – Vinnytsia City Council – know they should be as open for the dialogue as possible. And I think we can compare how the dialogue with authorities is being held now and how it was then.
I can see a lot of people here who used to criticize us but now they have joined the team-work. The stronger we are for the dialogue and mutual support the prouder we are of the city”.
“We have spent just a little of funds for this project, though in the majority of cities even three million for this kind of things are allocated rarely. However, what they’ve made costs much more. So, a very high added value is being created here. It is very pleasant that authorities realize this.
The way such network functions in Vinnytsia is surely nothing similar to what exists in other cities. “Meaningful City” hub is both our success story and one of our best PLEDDG projects, so we tell other cities about it. We’ve noticed that everything initiated in Vinnytsia brings very good results”.
Photo credit: Marina Serbinovych