Video Journal from Ukraine «Off the Beaten Tracks of Shumska Consolidated Community»

Shumska community is one of the biggest consolidated communities (CCs) in Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine.

“Talking to local residents we often heard that since Shumska CC is so big, not all its villages are given due attention. Being aware of such common opinion, we were inspired to create a project that would bring equal attention to each village in the CC, and that would be useful for their residents. Thus, we decided to roll out a series of workshops that would allow community members to acquire practical knowledge to resolve their local needs, and at the same time develop a unique video journal highlighting Shumska CC villages that would build their capacity and positive image of the home CC among other consolidated communities of Ukraine» - shares Ivanna Mryha, head of RCSO “Center for Initiatives Development “InSors”. 

InSors team talks to local community members.

Bringing to life such a wonderful idea became possible thanks to the support provided by USAID DOBRE Program. It should be noted that DOBRE Program has been cooperating with Shumska CC for a couple of years. In 2018, with assistance from DOBRE, the community space “Art Vulyk” was created. In spring 2019 regional civil society organization (RCSO) “Zakhidnoukrainsky Resource Center” announced a contest “Local Initiatives for Community Development” supported by DOBRE, and the RCSO “Center for Initiatives Development “InSors” submitted their project application “Video Journal “Off the Beaten Tracks of Shumska Consolidated Community”. The project application was evaluated as successful. With financial assistance by USAID DOBRE, the team purchased necessary equipment for the shooting process: Steadicam, quadrocopters, and portable audio recorder.

To implement this initiative, RCSO “InSors” team made encouraging trips and visited 35 scenic villages in Shumska CC during 2 months to make video recordings of their beauty. Also, they facilitated 18 workshops on citizen engagement mechanisms application for 255 people; recorded over 50 interviews with local residents and shot numerous videos.

Residents actively participated in the shooting process.

In each of the visited villages, the project team spoke to different groups of local community members who were willing to share their special knowledge: telling legends; introducing them to existing mansions, ancient fortresses, deep wells, tsar-era patches of land, and many more. As a result, the Video Journal “Off the Beaten Tracks of Shumska Consolidated Community” contains 7 video pages (available via this link):

- “Self-Sufficient Shumshchina”;

- “Under-researched Shumshchina”;

- “Suburban Shumshchina”;

- “Impressive Shumshchina”;

- “Cooperative Shumshchina”;

- “Weaved with the Legends Shumshchina”;

- “Mysterious Shumshchina”.

Village residents gladly welcomed the camera crew in their community.

“Plethora of positive vibes, interest, and joy… As very often an impression is formed that a topic about a village is a boring one to all, that is why, in my opinion, the project that has just started should evolve more and continue further on. The village site is our true home, our traditions, our history”- shares her impressions after watching the Video Journal, Oksana Pasyeka, the native of Bashkivtsi village.

“The Video Journal “Off the Beaten Tracks of Shumska Consolidated Community” (pictures, videos and presentations) is not only the basic branding of the CC, but this is also the indicator of its capacity, the desire to promote itself, and develop. Quality visual content helps identify the authenticity of the CC and sketch its territory among other communities. And this project has demonstrated to our team the need to sustain the development of such a trend on the local level on” – says Viktor Smolyak, photographer, “InSors” team member.

Courtesy to Story Co-authors: RCSO “InSors” team: Mariia Makarevych and Ivanna Mryha; Victor Smolyak, photographer; and Ulyana Voloshinivska from USAID DOBRE partner RCSO “ZURTS”.

(с) This publication is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of Global Communities and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Scenery in Bolozhivka village.

Authenticity of the visited villages


Region: Ukraine
Area of expertise: Local Government Reform