This summer day is one of the happiest for Maxym. Together with his mother Larysa, the young boy is visiting the newly constructed Safety Center in Sursko-Lytovska Community. Maxym observes how the firefighters brigade is being trained. The boy is invited to sit in the fire engine truck and is now dreaming of becoming a firefighter and fighting fires.
“Six years ago, we escaped the Donetsk region, rented a house, and started a new life here. We have planted roots. My kids don’t want to go back. They have forgotten their friends there. My eldest son says that he likes this place, he has new friends and feels like he was born here,” says Larysa, Maxym’s mother. The family are refugees from the Donetsk region.
The Sursko-Lytovska Amalgamated Community unites four villages and has a total population of more than 6,000 people. This fast growing community has many development needs. Among those needs is to ensure local households have adequate fire protection in place.
Changing climate has caused an increased number of hot and dry days over the recent years, raising number of fires.
“It’s about 45 kilometers between here and the nearest regional fire department. When there is an accident in the large Dnipro city nearby, the firefighters go there rather than helping us,” says Olexandr Yakovenko, Deputy Head of the community.
But fire safety is just one of the several challenges faced the Sursko-Lytovska Amalgamated Community. Over the past six years, the community has accepted more than 60 internally displaced persons (IDPs), like Larysa and her son Maxym, from Donbas.