The Semenivka Community is located in the southern part of the Zhytomyr Region and surrounds the district center, the town of Berdychiv, as a semicircle. The territory of the community stretches for approximately 40 km, and its surface area is 250.6 square kilometers.
The community includes 7 starosta-headed districts and the center of the community – the village of Semenivka.
The population of the community is 5,568 residents:
Мen – 2,721
Women – 2,847
And as the war broke out the Semenivka community became home to 200 displaced persons who were sheltered by relatives and friends.
The emergence of the village of Semenivka and the neighboring village of Ivankivtsi dates back to the second half of the 17th century. Two farms appeared in honor of Cossacks Ivankiv and Semenkiv.
One of the community’s schools is located in a building that was once an estate. And it was built in 1820 and today it is an architectural landmark.
The Semenivka community has also the village of Terekhove, which is the birthplace of the famous classic of English literature, Joseph Conrad. Today, the Joseph Conrad People’s Museum functioning in the village and is regularly visited by various national and foreign delegations.
A picturesque village of Khazhyn is located near the village of Terekhove. The village has been known since 1611. In the 19th century, the village was owned by Mazaraki landowners.
According to some sources, in 1846, Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko visited Khazhyn while traveling across Ukraine as a member of an ethnographic expedition. World War II of 1941-1945 affected the village of Khazhyn as well. From July 7 to 17, 1941, Red Army troops fought against fascist troops in the area of the village and its surroundings.
During World War II, fascist troops killed more than 10,000 Soviet citizens on the outskirts of Khazhyn village.
In 2019, a Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was installed and opened at the cost of a German charitable foundation, the “Protecting Memory” project.
The Culture and Leisure Center of the Semenivka Community has developed a tourist route that encompasses almost all the inhabited settlements. The tourist route includes an overview of all the historical attractions of the community as well as natural ones – a visit to the Black Vines oak forest, a rest at a picturesque pond.
In the future, they plan to create a bicycle route here because there is a tourist group in the community run by a local teacher.
Economy and Welfare
Before russia’s full-scale invasion, the Semenivka Community ranked 9th in terms of income per resident in the Zhytomyr Region. The community has about 40 agricultural enterprises and farms. In addition, about 500 residents of the community cultivate their land parcels on their own and grow various grain crops and vegetables.
The most common crops grown by large enterprises are wheat, barley, corn, sunflower, soybeans, and rapeseed.
There is a unique enterprise in the community that grows roses of various varieties.
An important gas pipeline facility is located in the territory of the Semenivka Community, through which gas is supplied to the region.
Furthermore, various types of industries function in the territory of the community:
– the mining industry is represented by an enterprise with foreign investments; the enterprise extracts and enriches kaolin;
– the light industry is represented by an enterprise with foreign investments that manufactures textile products;
– production of concrete mixers and briquetting presses.
About 70 small private entrepreneurs also operate in the territory of the community.
Moreover, the first industrial solar power plant in the Berdychiv area and the Zhytomyr Region operates on 30 hectares of land in the Semenivka Community.
Work on the project began back in 2013, and then there was a significant pause. In 2017, contact with foreign investors from Denmark was resumed (the total amount of investments in the project reaches 17 million euros), and a year later, in 2018, construction works began. In December, the solar power plant was completed and generated the first kilowatts. Currently, the power of the station is 19 megawatts, and 15 megawatts are fed into the network every hour. This is enough to provide Berdychiv with so-called “green” electricity.
The community develops entrepreneurship – trainings and seminars on starting one’s own business are held there. They are looking for partners to create a business hub in the community and specialists who can teach future entrepreneurs.
Education in the Semenivka Community is developing rapidly. Every school has its own direction, for example, there is a school of nature, a school of sports.
The head of the village initiated a tea party with schoolchildren to find out their needs; before the war, such events were very popular and were perceived positively by the children.
A bus service was launched between the villages provided by four school buses. Today, only one school bus is used as three others were handed over to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
It is still a challenge for the community to arrange shelters in educational institutions as these measures require huge capital investments. Children’s safety comes first and, given the lack of shelters and constant missile attacks by russia, the community’s children continue to study remotely.
Medical services in the community are provided by two family doctors, and the community has managed to run a paramedic station with a paramedic in almost every settlement. In 2021, a new outpatient clinic was opened in the village of Semenivka.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the first mobile vaccination team in the district was organized in our community.
The problem of providing primary medical care in rural areas is that paramedic stations have a rather extensive structure. For the purposes of mobility and more effective performance of their duties, eleven bicycles and one electric scooter were purchased for paramedics and nurses using the funds from the village budget.
There are about 100 lonely elderly people in the community who need care. And this care is provided by the specialists of the Social Services Center covering a long way to their patients every day.
In order to simplify work, eight bicycles for social workers were purchased using the funds of the village budget in 2020.
At the same time, Tetiana Nosova, the head of the Social Services Center, managed to successfully raise additional funds for opening a crisis room to provide psychological support to people affected by domestic violence, and work is currently underway to create a temporary shelter for such persons.
The burning issues include problems of drinking and technical water, sorting and processing of garbage, arrangement of places for recreation of the residents of villages, as well as the issue of energy efficiency of communal facilities and private households.
Great hopes are placed on the young generation, organizing youth spaces and events for them.
Currently, additional opportunities are being sought to create such spaces in each settlement of the community and improve the qualifications of librarians and cultural workers to meet the expectations of young people.
Community and War
Following the beginning of full-scale military operations, the Semenivka Community launched its volunteer and humanitarian front.
The community has been trying to receive humanitarian goods from the European Union; our compatriots offered them help as well.
The Semenivka Community became a shelter for about 500 displaced persons. First of all, they and the disadvantaged categories of the community residents were provided with everything they needed.
They started integrating the displaced persons into community life through psychological support and self-employment projects.
Today, the community has to respond to a challenge of integrating the military men into peaceful life, ensuring their support and socialization, and protection of their rights.
People of the Community
Nataliia Semeniuk was elected the head of the Semenivka Community for the second time.
Nataliia Semeniuk’s motto is “Strong Together”, so great attention was paid to the formation of a team of specialists, the formation of a team of like-minded people who work for the benefit of community residents, and at the same time, while attaining the common goal, everyone can prove themselves.
Providing quality services to local residents is a priority for the village head. The Semenivka Community has many gifted people, who glorify their motherland by way of their creativity, reviving, preserving and enriching folk traditions. In many villages, bus stops are painted with decorative and ornamental paintings.
The Semenivka Community is small, but united and with prospects for sustainable development.
Currently, the Semenivka Community is looking for additional financial opportunities to raise funds for the development of the community brand, as well as for the purchase of additional tourist and sports equipment.
Over a period of five years, about 20 projects of various scales have been implemented: infrastructural, educational, social ones; projects relevant to the development of youth policy and support of antiterrorist operation veterans, social action projects.
In 2021, the Semenivka Community became one of the winners of the Ukrainian National Competition “Volunteering in the Community” launched by the “U-LEAD with Europe” Program.
The Community project “Unite, help – don’t waste your time!” focuses on the development of the culture of volunteerism and the encouragement of volunteer initiatives to overcome the current challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Young people from the disadvantaged categories of the population were involved in the project. Volunteers of the Semenivka Community sewed protective masks, eco-bags, helped lonely citizens and the elderly to make electronic payments for social and utility services, transfer meter readings, and also joined the information and educational campaign to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Now the community is actively working on a development strategy. They know their weaknesses and strengths and are ready to cooperate with international partners.
The motto of the community is strong together.