Comfortable recreation in the Ukrainian countryside
Goodvalley Ukraine was established by Danish farmers in 2004 based on the idea that one should follow the sustainable high-quality food production concept, which would not harm the environment. The company has developed, focusing on a unique and responsible approach to agricultural production with minimal impact on the environment.
We recognize that our business has an impact on the nature and biodiversity, and we strive to minimize that impact by caring for both the climate and the environment.
Sustainable development is an integral part of our business model, and we are working to improve our system of sustainable and responsible production ground rules based on the UN SDGs. Goals 12 (responsible consumption and production) and goal 17 (partnership for sustainable development) are among the goals we are guided by in our daily work.
The company`s activity is mainly located in rural areas, and we are interested that the villages prosper, and their inhabitants have comfortable conditions for life and recreation.
Today people spend a lot of time working, are constantly in a hurry, and even on weekends are busy with household tasks, so it is quite difficult to go somewhere and organize quality leisure. The Ukrainian village is famous for its picturesque nature, which creates ideal conditions for renewal and recreation. However, in rural communities organized places for leisure are not often seen, there is no infrastructure for picnics or family celebrations.
THE PROBLEM SITUATION SOLUTION:
Each of our social projects begins with a community initiative. This case is no exception. The project Comfortable recreation in the Ukrainian countryside began with an application from activists of Luka village with a request to help arrange a recreation place for the community on the banks of the Dniester River. In good weather, people often come here, but there is no modern public space, where one could have a good time socializing and relaxing.
This idea fascinated us right away, because in addition to the community partnership, this was an opportunity to implement an environmental initiative. In our company a lot of materials and raw materials are transported on wooden pallets, which have to be disposed after use. Thanks to this project, we have the opportunity to give these pallets a second life, and make outdoor furniture for recreation areas in villages. This is in line with the company’s sustainable strategy.
In 2020, workers together with the community set up the first recreation area in Luka village, which consisted of three locations with wooden furniture and outdoors grill.
– It was a pilot project, which would show whether communities need such recreation areas. – said Khrystyna Brynda, CSR manager, – We called on communities from villages to show initiative and invite us to their villages. Feedback from people exceeded our expectations, we received dozens of inquiries from communities, who would like to mount such sets. This confirmed that the demand for such a project is high in many villages.
The first outdoor furniture was made by our employees. Later, we found local contractors working in the villages of our presence, who were inspired by the idea of upcycling wooden pallets. They made sets of street furniture and outdoor grills for other villages.
This initiative was a real breakthrough in 2020 and received a lot of positive feedback from the public. Therefore, in 2021 we turned it into a separate project Comfortable recreation in the Ukrainian countryside, and began to implement it in other villages
– As soon as we heard about such a project from Goodvalley Ukraine, we immediately got interested in such an area. We began to think about the best place for it. – says Maria Zomchak, the head of Stankova village. – And the best choice was a place near the pond, which this agriculture company once helped us to organize.
The company provided special machinery for the heavy outdoor furniture delivery. Local people, together with the company’s employees, willingly painted tables and benches, made a concrete to fix outdoor grills. Afterwards the first try and tests if the furniture is solid enough took place. In general, they worked for several hours to arrange a recreation area. And then, the first picnics followed. The people involved worked together and celebrated the new recreation areas in their village, arranged a small party.
– A lot of people now go out in the open air, have picnics. We have very few places where you can sit comfortably, make barbeque and have a good time. It is great that the company implements this idea, because it is the integration between the community and the company, as well as the opportunity to create together something great for leisure. – Svitlana Vavryshchuk, an employee of the company, shares her impressions.
To spread the word about the project and involve the community in its implementation, we created events on the company’s Facebook page, which was shared in local communities. This paid off – the number of participants from the community increased in each subsequent village.
Taking into account the upcycling principle, which was applied in this project, the total cost reached UAH 70,000. Despite the comparatively modest budget, the effect of Comfortable recreation in the Ukrainian countryside project was seen immediately after its implementation.
RESULTS OF THE DECISION:
Since the project was created, 6 recreation areas have been set up in 6 villages, 5 of which were mounted during 2021. In total, about 42 company employees and 100 community representatives took part in the project, and its cost is UAH 70,000
The project involved company employees, local residents, representatives of NGOs, local territorial communities authorities, the youngest participant was just 3 years old, and the oldest was about 70. This project allowed us to integrate with the local community, learn more about their lifestyle and needs, work together and create something good for the village
The availability of such spaces will allow people of different ages to spend their leisure time in comfort and relax in the fresh air. So, the village will have a nice and beautiful place where you would like to come with friends or family (for example, this summer employees of one departments of our company held their team building in the first recreation area, which was made under this project in Luka village). And the fact that villagers have joined the mounting process of such sites shows that they will continue to maintain them in good condition for as long as possible. After all, what is made with one’s own hands has more value.