Varva Territorial Community
The Varva settlement territorial community is located in the Pryluky district, Chernihiv region. Formed at the beginning of 2017, it includes 30 settlements. Also, there are four starosta-headed districts on the territory of the community. The urban-type settlement of Varva is the administrative centre of the community.
Population: 15,003, including:
Men: 46% (6,844);
Women: 54% (8,159).
Internally displaced persons: 1,432.
Founded in 1079, the settlement of Varva is the administrative centre of the Varva community. The name Varva comes from the river Varvytsia, which flows through the settlement.
On the outskirts of Varva, a burial mound and a site of ancient settlement of the Kyivan Rus time were discovered. Scientists assume that the settlement called Zamkova Hora (Castle Hill) is a remnant of the fortress town of Varyn, near which the armed forces of Volodymyr Monomakh defeated the Polovtsian horde numbering in thousands in 1079.
In the days of Kyivan Rus, Varva was one of the strongholds of the battle line of the Pereyaslav land.
There were two more churches in Varva: the Perekopivska church for serfs and the Kozatska church for Cossacks (on the site of the modern district library). A club, and then a cinema were later arranged on the site of the Perekopivska church. In the 70s, during the church’s reconstruction, builders saw painted icons on the walls which remained under a thick layer of plaster.
Another interesting building in Varva is the Jewish synagogue, which was located on the site of a modern residential high-rise building, opposite the Stadium gate. It was also destroyed in the 1920s.
An oil tower monument was erected in the centre of the township to honour the beginning of oil production in the region in 1959.
There are cultural heritage sites of local significance (historical monuments and archaeological heritage sites) on the territory of the Varva community.
The Church of the Intercession in the village of Antonivka is an outstanding monument of the Ukrainian Cossacks. In 1914, the church was consecrated in honour of the Intercession of the Mother of God. In the 1920s, the temple was closed –it was used as a warehouse during the Soviet rule. In 1991, repair and renovation work to restore the temple began. Divine services have been resumed.
The Saint Nicholas Church is a beautiful authentic monument. According to the old-timers of the village, the wooden church was built at the end of the 19th century. An interesting fact is that the local landowner – Sofia Sobolyanska – allocated the wood for its construction free of charge from her own forest. At the beginning of the 20th century the church was closed. Divine services have been resumed here quite recently.
Economy and Welfare
The Varva settlement community is rich in subsoil natural resources: oil, gas, peat, clay, sand. There are 3 main mineral deposits on its territory. The largest industrial enterprise operating on the territory of the community is the Hnidyntsi enterprise Ukrnafta, which is engaged in the primary processing of oil, gas and the production of liquefied gas. There is also a shoe factory and an agricultural society engaged in mixed farming in the community.
The agricultural sector of the community is focused on the cultivation of grain, leguminous crops, oilseeds and technical crops. The grain industry and its infrastructure are developing in the Varva neighbourhood.
In the Varva community, a large number of entrepreneurs are engaged in retail trade. The settlement of Varva is characterized by a variety of catering establishments and centres of green tourism.
In the Varva community, the education sector is highly effective. Over 50% of the funds from the community budget are spent on education.
There are 7 schools, 10 kindergartens and various out-of-school educational institutions on the territory of the Varva community, including the community institution – Pozashkilnyk Varva, a Centre for Children’s and Youth Creativity.
In 2019, the Varva settlement council established the community institution – Inclusive Resource Centre for children with special educational needs where children aged 2 to 18 receive education.
The community also has a well-developed network of cultural institutions. Various festivals, performances, sports competitions are held annually.
Varva Lyceum No. 2 is part of the network of schools of Ukraine for Olympic education. Every year, the lyceum hosts the mass sports event – Olympiyske Lelechenya (Olympic Stork Chic) for students of grades 6-7. During the event, schoolchildren play games, draw thematic pictures and do sports.
A children’s and youth sports school has been operating on the territory of the community since 2009, where great attention is paid to various types of sports, and pupils notch a large number of victories.
Currently, there remains the problem of a poor provision of the material and technical base of the sports infrastructure. The premises of the sports school need renovation and reconstruction.
Due to the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, activities aimed at the development of sports and culture have been suspended. In the future, the community will develop new types of sports and plans to create new projects for the further development of sports and culture.
At present, educational institutions are equipped with buses to transport schoolchildren to the places of study and back. Recently, with the help of donors, 2 modern school buses have been provided to the Varva community.
Community and War
The Varva community has not been occupied and no hostilities have taken place on its territory; however, it is located close to the zone of active hostilities and constantly hosts internally displaced persons.
People are fleeing the war looking for a safe place. Since the beginning of the war, the Varva community has received about 2,000 migrants from various regions of Ukraine. Today, 1,718 internally displaced persons live in the territory of the Varva community, including 498 children and 70 people belonging to vulnerable groups. 6,298 representatives of socially vulnerable population categories and categories entitled to benefits are in a difficult situation.
Internally displaced persons receive humanitarian aid provided by various charitable organizations.
Thanks to the funds raised and co-financing from the local budget, the most important assets of critical infrastructure are equipped with generators. Also, there is a Point of Invincibility and heating points on the territory of the community.
Local volunteers are eager to give a hand to defenders, internally displaced persons, and residents who find themselves in a difficult situation.
Since the beginning of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, several volunteer organizations have been formed in the territory of the Varva community, which constantly provide the Armed Forces of Ukraine with clothing, tactical equipment and hygiene items, provide hospitals and military doctors with medicines, tactical medicine and hygiene items, and deliver humanitarian aid to IDPs and vulnerable population groups.
People of the Community
The Varva territorial community is headed by Valentyna Saverska-Lykhoshva.
From 1979 to 2010, she worked as a History and Jurisprudence Teacher and Deputy Director for Educational Work at the Varva comprehensive school and the Varva district gymnasium. She is the Honoured Teacher of Ukraine.
Since 2010, she has been the head of the Varva settlement. Valentyna Saverska-Lykhoshva is the winner of all-Ukrainian and international contests and educational projects, completed an internship at Northern Arizona University (USA), holds awards and honorary titles. An active participant of Ukrainian and international competitions and programmes for the development of local self-government, she completed an internship in Germany and Estonia.
During the time of working in the local self-government body – the Varva Village Council – she became the winner of the regional competition – The Best Village, Settlement and City Council. Also, she was second in the competition organized by the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine together with the Office for Democratic Institutions and Governance of the General Secretariat of the Council Europe – Best Practices of Local Self-Government in the category: Government and Community Cooperation.
The Varva community implemented the project “Children for a Clean Environment” thanks to grant support (financial assistance) from the British Council and the European Union. The project Clean Drinking Water – Healthy Children was implemented with the financial support of the Embassy of Slovakia.
Rhe Go bike Chernihiv project, supported and implemented by Agency of City Initiatives NGO in partnership with the Eco City of Chernihiv NGO, is underway.
Currently, the Varva settlement territorial community takes an active part in grant competitions and programmes to ensure the development and growth of the community.
Mykola Boyko sets an example of an active and caring resident of the Varva community. His agricultural company Progress successfully develops both crop and animal husbandry. The enterprise is constantly modernized and uses innovative technologies in its work to increase production efficiency.
Mykola Boyko pays great attention to the development of the social sphere, sports and culture. He provides great charitable assistance to the settlement council in holding sports and youth events.
In particular, on the initiative of Mykola Boyk, several oxygen concentrators that were required during the pandemic were purchased for the Varva Hospital. Village schools and kindergartens also regularly receive financial support. He also actively helps the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
A development strategy has been developed and approved in the community. The residents identified their main priorities, including:
- Improving the quality of medical care for community residents.
- Expanding and digitalization of the provision of administrative services.
- Creating a business centre (business incubator) at the administrative services centre for the required advisory support and training of novice entrepreneurs.
- Facilitating the activities of small farms and households.
- Developing rural and green tourism. Developing and information support of new thematic tourist routes to the monuments of the community’s historical and cultural heritage.
- Augmenting the potential of community residents and creating attractive living conditions for them.
- Developing sports and game infrastructure which is critically important for future generations of community residents, their health, healthy lifestyle, and developing sports abilities.
- Supporting the community’s investment attractiveness (popularizing the community’s investment opportunities), promoting the community’s investment proposals.
- Creating civil defence protective structures, which include civil defence storage facilities in order to shelter the population of the community from emergency situations of man-made, natural and military nature. Ensuring proper arrangement of existing shelters.
- Preparing of a strategy for the development of cycling in the community, carrying out all the activities planned as part of the Go bike Chernihiv project.
List of Sources
The materials and information were used from the following information sources:
- local mass media Slovo Varvynshchyny and website Newspaper Slovo Varvynshchyny;
- websites of Varva Settlement Council, Varva Lyceum No. 1 (1st-3rd Degree Community General Secondary Educational institution), Varva Lyceum No. 2 (1st-3rd Degree Community General Secondary Educational institution), Newspaper Slovo Varvynshchyny;
- social networks: Facebook page of the Varva Settlement Territorial Community Facebook and Instagram page varvasr at;