Pereshchepyne Territorial Community
The Pereshchepyne Urban Territorial Community is located in the territory of the Novomoskovsk District of the Dnipropetrovsk Region, at a distance of 70 km from the regional centre – the city of Dnipro, on the border between the Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv Regions.
Total surface area of the territory: 573.9 sq. km
Children (under 6): 1,072
Internally displaced persons: 2,435
The community includes 21 settlements: 1 town, 3 settlements and 17 villages, with its administrative centre in the town of Pereshchepyne.
According to the story of former Cossack Korzh, the name comes from the fact that this area supposedly separated the Hetmanate (Hetman-run Ukrainian state) from Zaporizhia. According to another version, in ancient times the Crimean Tatars and the tsarist troops caught fugitives crossing the area. Most likely, the name comes from the surname of Pereshchepa. Apparently, it was a Cossack who first settled there.
The first written mention of Pereshchepyne dates back to 1764. According to an oral story told by former Zaporizhia Cossack Korzh, Pereshchepyne was mentioned among the 17 oldest Cossack settlements in the Katerynoslav region.
In 1973, a “Kernosivka Idol” stone statue was found in one of the villages of the community: an anthropomorphic stele from the Copper Age of the 3rd millennium BC. The original is kept at the Dnipro Yavornytskyi National Historical Museum in Dnipro. The “Kernosivka Idol” sacred statue is amazingly beautiful and perfectly preserved, which is more than five thousand years old. There is nothing like it in the world. This idol is an ancient Aryan deity and it once again confirms the opinion that the Aryans came to India from the territory of Ukraine.
There is the Valley of Smolianky in the territory of the community – more than 4 hectares of the territory, where the perennial plant of the Lily family, the Fritillaria meleagris, blooms. The species is listed in the Red Book of Ukraine. It has a specific colour, dark purple petals; this is what gave the authentic folk name of the flowers in the territory of the community – Smolianka.
The Pereshchepyne Stork well is a landmark of tangible cultural heritage, a functioning well equipped with a device for lifting buckets in the form of a huge, 10-meter high, natural image of a stork. This relic was created by local folk craftsmen in the middle of the last century and has been carefully preserved.
The community is also famous for the Oril – the ecologically cleanest river in Europe – flowing through its territory.
Economy and Wellbeing
More than a thousand business entities operate in the Pereshchepyne Urban Territorial Community.
The largest agrarian holding in the south and east of Ukraine – Ristone Holdings – operates in the territory of the community. It includes a plant with an elevator with a capacity of 20,000 tons, a new modern oilseed processing complex opened in 2019. The capacity of the complex is 640 tons of sunflower seeds per day. The oil extraction plant began its operation at full capacity and began processing the harvest in 2022.
In March 2021, the 3rd stage of construction of the plant with an elevator with a capacity of 20,000 tons was put into operation. The plans include further development of this complex and expansion of its capacities, in connection with which the 4th stage of construction is already planned.
The holding also includes Orilska with a land bank of 4,537 hectares, cultivating beets, rye, corn, barley, sunflower, wheat, annual and perennial grass.
The local self-government authorities closely cooperate with businesses and various government institutions. The land of the community is rich in the subsoil. Therefore, the more deposits are explored, the greater the revenues will go to the local budget.
Pierre Vauthier, head of the Ukrainian office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, visited the Pereshchepyne community. He was shown how agricultural businesses, small farms and the community in general work. The guests were also curious to see how the potatoes, provided to the community, grow. Among other things, future cooperation was discussed.
Community and War
The community cohesively responded to russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The town council used the social media to immediately announce the location of bomb shelters in the territory of the community, and schools were switched to distance learning. The police officers and volunteers organized street patrols to ensure public safety.
When the war broke out, the Pereshchepyne Administrative Services Centre, created with the support of the U-LEAD with Europe Program, not only continued to provide uninterrupted and high-quality administrative services to the residents of the community, but also turned into a volunteer, youth and humanitarian HUB. Humanitarian aid is coordinated, collected and distributed there – basic necessities, baby foods, clothes and shoes, food kits, medicines, etc. Such aid is provided directly to those who need it first.
Due to the military aggression of the russian federation against Ukraine, the Pereshchepyne Urban Territorial Community became a hub for receiving internally displaced persons who were forced to leave their homes.
This became an additional challenge for the entire community. During this time, the community received and accommodated more than 2,435 displaced persons in its territory.
The mayor of Pereshchepyne, Yaroslav Tsvirkun, notes: “The Pereshchepyne Administrative Services Centre was one of the first in Ukraine to organize and engage young refugees in volunteer work, thus becoming the youth centre of Ukraine.”
There is active cooperation with the Pereshchepyne Town Youth Council in the implementation of the initiative “If you need it – take it, if you can – give it!”.
The hotline of the Centre works very effectively providing online consultations and clarifications are provided to the residents; accommodation for internally displaced persons is organized; information about vacancies in various areas of businesses, municipal institutions is collected and provided to displaced persons seeking employment; volunteers are informed about the needs of help etc.
At the Centre, all those willing to provide first aid, receive e-services, use the Dia application and other useful mobile applications during the war are trained. In addition, they organize the provision of professional services of free legal assistance to citizens.
The Pereshchepyne community was included in the list of the first recipients of emergency aid from the U-LEAD with Europe Program.
The U-LEAD with Europe Program, which in peacetime supported Ukrainian communities on their way to decentralization, now delivers a large amount of emergency humanitarian aid.
In order to improve work with displaced persons and to provide services to those in need, continue providing basic public services in wartime, the community received much-needed generators, water tanks, portable beds, sleeping bags, blankets and a tent.
The Pereshchepyne community started cooperation and partnership with the international charity Save the Children in Ukraine, which helps children all over the world, including in Ukraine during the terrible military aggression.
Save the Children in Ukraine provided the copies of the children’s book “Bursunsul and Pasqualina” (Ukrainian edition) to children from 1,000 families of the community, primarily children of refugees from the war zone.
Pensioners of the Pereshchepyne community receiving services from the Social Services Centre of the Pereshchepyne Town Council help the Ukrainian military by knitting warm socks for them, making trench candles, sewing shoe linings.
Social workers of the day care department say that it is more difficult for lonely old people to survive the war in Ukraine, so they care about each of them:
“They are worried about what is happening in the country, and it is difficult for them to bear all this. When they knit, they calm down a little,” the women say. “The Centre is in charge of almost 500 elderly people, most of whom do not leave their apartments and houses. We find threads, give them, and they knit, and then we pass them on to the boys. Of course, the task is difficult for them because of their age, and their hands are shaking, but this is their desire to make the victory closer and their contribution”.
The Dnipropetrovsk regional organization of the Red Cross Society of Ukraine handed over humanitarian aid to families of IDPs with children registered in the territory of the Pereshchepyne community.
More than 300 families with children of refugees received aid in the form of family kits of foods and hygiene products.
People of the Community
The Pereshchepyne community is headed by Yaroslav Tsvirkun.
In order to ensure uninterrupted communication during lockdowns, the Pereshchepyne Town Council led by Yaroslav Tsvirkun purchased Starlink satellite communication equipment for the Pereshchepyne Police Department and the Fire and Rescue Department.
Also, a powerful diesel generator was delivered to the Pereshchepyne community.
German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH and the project “EU Strong Regions Program – Special Support Program for Ukraine” handed them over to the community.
Yaroslav Tsvirkun, the mayor of Pereshchepyne, noted:
“The GIZ program does not leave the community alone to deal with its difficulties. This is not the first gift. But at the moment, this is a powerful one, so let’s install it in our critical infrastructure facility, the utility company that provides drinking water to the residents of the community, including refugees. Today, there are regular outages, and our primary task is to ensure uninterrupted water supply to people.”
Thanks to close cooperation with a reliable European partner – the GIZ Project, the Pereshchepyne community also received a mobile office – a portable, automated workplace for an administrator of the Administrative Services Centre.
Thanks to the mobile office, administrative services become available to residents who have reached the age of 80, category one disabled people, those who are in hospital and cannot visit the Administrative Services Centre themselves.
The suitcase is equipped with a laptop, a scanner, a printer, a WiFi router for Internet access, a battery, a payment terminal, a web camera, etc. The specialists of the Pereshchepyne Centre were instructed in detail on how to use this modern equipment.
Social worker Larysa has cycled 3,000 km to those she is in charge of since the beginning of the war. Her job is to help others. Lonely people of older age, people with disabilities. Someone needs bread, water, their house cleaned, help in the garden. Others need to draw up documents, call an ambulance, cook food. In order to be available for all of them, she travels between three villages on a bicycle. In total, since the beginning of the war, she has covered 3,000 km on her two-wheeler vehicle.
She is called “the most mobile social worker” in the community. People call her if they need something. And Larysa Heorhiivna rushes to them. Sometimes, she is both a cook and a hairdresser.
As part of the signed Memorandum of Cooperation between the Pereshchepyne Town Council and the Charitable Fund, the community received materials for repairs of and equipment for the places where internally displaced persons are accommodated.
The roofs of buildings started to be repaired by the housing and utility services department.
In order to ensure the prompt and high-quality implementation of internal repair works until the heating of the buildings is provided again, another Charity Fund donated the necessary electric convectors to the community.
The Pereshchepyne community begins cooperation and partnership with IOM Ukraine, the International Organization for Migration, which is part of the UN system.
The key priority is to guarantee safety and protection of internally displaced persons, and to ensure their access to aid, including psychological assistance. It is also critical to monitor and assess potential short-term and long-term impacts, including as regards human trafficking, child protection, health and mental health, and socially disadvantaged people with special needs, including the elderly, injured or ill.