Hryvnias, Pysanky, and Glue for the Cracks: Independent Ukraine's search for identity and stability through civil society
Following Ukraine's independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, nationalism, economic hardship, and the push to construct a new democracy inspired the emergence of a never-before seen third sector in Ukraine. Where there exists no "modern history of voluntary or spontaneous public participation"1 prior to Ukraine's independence, more than one thousand non-governmental organizations emerged within the first few years of Ukraine's independence, each one taking on a portion of the needs Ukrainians now faced: unemployment; poverty; population decline and redistribution, uninhabitable land and environmental issues as a result of Chernobyl; struggle for a functional government in the shadow of a looming Soviet governance; and the task of unlearning the modes of operating under Soviet communism in favor of new processes. The cultural sector of Ukraine's emerging civil society was particularly instrumental in filling in for neglected social services. This research investigates the Borodyanka Community Center within the context of its peer NGOs within the cultural sector of the Kiev region of Ukraine's civil society in order to examine their successes and how their strategies may be transferable community-building insights for relatable circumstances elsewhere. The findings were that staff training, outside intervention, and proven organizational models were not critical factors for the BCC's success. Instead, developing human relationships with constituents, maintaining complete agility through limited outside intervention, and being programmatically-responsive to their constituency, were the determining factors of success for the Borodyanka Community Center.