This project is likely to be to the most ambitious and will be run by our Western Branch.
Rivnenska oblast, a state entity of Ukraine, is located in the historical region of Volyn, an area rich in culture and history. The region was highly multicultural: Poles, Jews, Czechs, Slovacks, Rusyns and others lived and worked over many generations there. The bloody 20th century including 2 world wars and “sovok” (communism) ruined this unique multicultural and multiethnic heritage.
The idea of our initiative is to open a cultural centre. Here, locals and tourists can meet and get into the culture and history of the region. It will be an interesting place of the ancestors of those who lived here and never could return, and also a place for those, who want to work on the future of the region to consider its multicultural past.
In 2019 Martin Reuther, founding member of our NGO and head of our Western Branch, bought a house with land in Zelenyi Hai, a village located at the border of Rivne and Dubno districts. Village administration is in Varkovychy. In earlier times, many Jews lived here and, nearby there were Czech villages (“colonies”). Then, after the world war came Slovaks and Rusyns, who left again in the 1970s and after 1990.
In the framework of the project the house and the land will be given to us for long term use for MKUA or a social enterprise, to be founded by our NGO.
The place is strategically very well located, next to the M6 Kyiv-Lviv highway, which is the main transportation route in Ukraine, and the property has direct access to this motorway. The size of the land and the topographic situation allows us to create a unique place in nature.
This project is huge and needs a lot of friends and investments; this summer we plan to start to work on a business plan, a project design and a communication strategy.
Zelenyj Hai will become an engine for cultural and economic development of the region and a cradle for interesting local initiatives and international projects.
Historically, the M6 motorway is part of the Via Regia, which is awarded by the Council of Europe (CoE). According to the CoE, the Via Regia is “the oldest and longest road link between the East and the West of Europe. The route has existed for more than 2.000 years and connects 8 European countries through a length of 4.500 km.“