YOUR COMMUNITY BEGINS WITH YOU (YCBY)
Your Community Begins with You project is a grant contest held on the territories where DTEK’s Companies do business, which is based on ESG principles, values and business accountability for the progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, included in a UN-GA Resolution.
The development of territories remains in a significant demand for the people of Ukraine; however, residents of the appropriate communities manifest low activity and initiative in resolving their local problems. The company’s response to this challenge of the society is the project, entitled Your Community Begins with You, which provides for the conditions for activation and involvement of the community residents, various stakeholders and establishing partnerships between them. Social partnership with local communities is a condition precedent for DTEK’s business to create the relationship of trust. Engaging the representatives of small and medium business, non-profit and public organizations allows to be in constant dialogue and to create projects that contribute to both social and economic development of the entire regions where the company’s enterprises conduct business.
This project provides a unique opportunity to not only government officials, but also each resident of the participating community to get involved into the implementation of changes within their particular communities and to reveal the new horizons for their potential development. It is a combination of a vision of the future and specific changes that communities are adopting “here and now” within the framework of the contest.
Due to this project, DTEK helps every citizen to realize his or her own importance in ensuring sustainable development not only of the residential area, but also of the country as a whole.
RESOLUTION FOR A CHALLENGING SITUATION
History of YCBY project began back in 2012, when the company decided to launch a pilot project in a sole area where DTEK Energy operated at that time — in Kyrovsk (today the city is renamed the city of Golubovka). The contest was positively accepted by local residents and the project was further scaled up to all-Ukrainian format. From 2013 till 2021, a total of 4,236 applications were submitted for the contest and some 1,798 projects were funded and implemented. More than 80,000 people took part in the project — volunteers, the company’s employees, community leaders and proactive residents of the communities involved.
Holding an open grant contest, entitled Your Community Begins with You helps unite the efforts of actively minded citizens, local authorities and businesses and provides financial support for implementation of socially significant projects. Due to this project, public initiatives are being implemented in the following areas: community cooperation, environmental protection and responsible consumption, healthy lifestyle and sports, education, culture and art, urbanization and smart technologies.
It is for the first time ever in the contest history in 2021 that the accessibility principle was set as a priority, namely: involvement of residents of territorial communities throughout Ukraine into the process of developing accessible, socially minded and inclusive infrastructure.
A number of tasks, which are being implemented under the auspices of Your Community Begins with You project were identified in 2021 in order to resolve the problem of community development and to actively engage residents of the territories where the company is conducting its business activity into these processes:
Focusing public attention on the principles of accessibility and development of an inclusive environment in Ukraine.
Promoting the combination of two components: overcoming stereotypes of thinking and removing mechanical, informational, operational and behavioural barriers for people with disabilities and socially vulnerable groups.
Spreading best practices and exchange of positive experiences of local development, gained by individual citizens and/or public organizations in resolving both humanitarian and economic problems of society.
Promoting sustainable development of the communities and strengthening their capacity to implement social and economic development strategies within the context of decentralization reform.
Creating common value for project stakeholders through synergies from combining the efforts of society, government and business.
In order to take part in the contest, residents need to create the initiative groups and to draw up project applications to become eligible for grants. The contest committee, which is composed of the representatives of local government authorities, public organizations and the company’s employees, selects the best projects that receive funds to be implemented, on the basis of the approved criteria and by virtue of public voting on the online platform. The company cooperates closely with the appropriate NGOs, which act as project administrators in the regions where it conducts business and advise the residents on how to draw up the project applications appropriately and to how to duly implement the projects.
During 2021, the project is being implemented from April till late November. Total project funding in 2021 is UAH 23.5 mln. Maximum amount of one grant awarded to the winners is up to UAH 80,000 per project.
Due to the worldwide pandemic that hit the entire world last year, the project did not reach its traditional scale in 2020. Only DTEK Oil and Gas LLC managed to implement some 10 projects locally in Poltava region in the fall.
In 2021, the projects within the framework of the contest are implemented in 32 urban and rural communities throughout 11 regions of Ukraine in compliance with the established quarantine guidelines and restrictions, related to Covid-19. This fact is an evidence of how successful and important the project is in terms of the nation’s territorial communities development.
RESULTS OF THE SOLUTION TAKEN
In 2021, 667 project applications were submitted for the contest, 330 projects were considered the winners and the company supported their implementation. Most part projects were completely implemented in November 2021.
The number of members of the initiative groups and volunteers directly involved into this year’s project is 3665 people. Total project audience that could potentially benefit from implementation of projects within the communities is more than 600,000 residents (total population of the communities where the project is being implemented).
Your Community Begins with You project was transformed in 2021 after DTEK joined Ukrainian initiative, entitled Business Without Barriers and international The Valuable 500 initiative. DTEK was the first Ukrainian company to join the global movement, which brings together the company’s executives from around the world who are committed to improving the integration of employees and customers with disabilities.
Accessibility principles are part of more than 300 project applications in 2021, which is 60% of the total number of initiatives submitted by both the communities and volunteers. Out of these, more than 180 projects, implemented in 2021 bear signs of featuring accessibility principles.
The project has been implemented since 2012 on an annual basis, the total contest budget for the period 2012-2021 has amounted to more than UAH 86 mln.
West Ukraine city of Burshtyn is an example of what impact the project has made on the territory where the company conducts its business: some 49 initiatives were submitted for the contest, 22 projects were implemented, a considerable number of which were the projects that featured accessibility principles, ca. 300 volunteers that were the community residents took part in the project. Due to the contest, Burshtyn territorial community has been able to acquire an inclusive sports and games room, entitled Everyone’s Dream at Burshtyn Gymnasium No. 1, an environment study tourist trail to Kasova Mountain has been equipped and an observation deck at its top has been restored, a beach soccer pitch has been arranged on the bank of Burshtyn water reservoir, a health office was established at Dovirya Center for Social and Psychological Rehabilitation of the Children and Youth with Functional Disabilities and equipment for rehabilitation of children with functional disabilities was purchased, etc.
“Our initiative provides an incentive for the development of municipalities and entire regions where the companies of DTEK Group conduct their business. By supporting Build a community by yourself contest, we help the volunteers who want to improve the lives of their communities,” said Olena Semych, DTEK’s Chief Officer of Human Resources, Social Development and Environment.