Ukraine’s Youngest Council Chairman Revives His Village
The village is governed by the youngest village council chairman in Ukraine — Artem Kukharenko. He was elected at the age of 22.
Free WiFi, repaired roads, and entertainment for locals. All this can now be enjoyed by residents of the Podilske village in Ukraine’s Cherkasy region. The village is governed by the youngest village council chairman in Ukraine — Artem Kukharenko. He was elected at the age of 22.
The village of Podilske is located 30 kilometres from Cherkasy. The houses here are neatly painted, the roadsides are clean. Locals are finishing their evening work.
Liubov has three children. All of them left the village — for the district center or to work abroad. She hopes that now they will return home.
“The village came to life, various events are held here. It became more fun. Before, it was like the village was dying,” she said.
Roads have been repaired, the roof and windows in the local school were replaced, and centralized garbage collection was organized. The village now also has a park and free wifi in the center. The head of the village council, Artem Kukharenko, says he’s doing everything to improve the standard of living for locals.
“Everyone pays taxes so that the place where they live would get better. People have been paying for many years, but no one knew what the money was used for, so they lost faith. Regaining their trust is difficult. The village must offer jobs and decent salaries, so that young people would come back here,” he said.
Artem is the youngest head of a village council in Ukraine. He was elected at the age of 22. He admits that his job is not easy. The budget is too small, so he’s looking for sponsors.
To make the life of locals more fun, Artem decided to organize a party. His friends came to help him.
“Psychological rest is essential for villagers. Because people who work hard need to relax. And entertainment in villages is at a very low level now. Both young people and people from the older generation have nowhere to spend their spare time,” culture house coordinator Taisiya Kamsha said.
At the party, awards were given to the winners of a social game. For several weeks, local schoolchildren tried their hand at the mayor’s job and decided how to improve the life of villagers.
“We started a game called “I’m a mayor”. It’s aimed at teaching children to be more responsible. Three teams were formed at school. Participants had to think of some ideas to make the village clean and comfortable. The second task was to help someone in need – such as lonely, elderly people. The kids managed it,” Kukharenko said.
Eight members of the winning team will go to the seaside with the village council head for 1 week.
In the autumn, Artem Kukharenko is planning to start working on the village’s trademarks. The first item on the agenda is to establish a dairy cooperative.