This wooden house in a village of Babyn, located deep in Ukrainian Carpathians, stood empty for six years. Last year a group of activists from different cities of Ukraine decided to give it a new life. Now the old house is called the WorkShop Hut – a centre for trainings, seminars, and meetings. The repairs in the Hut are being completed now and the first seminars are being held.
This article is originally published by Ufra.com.ua. Translated by NovaEuropa.
What is the Hut for?
“The Hut idea – a seminar house in the Carpathians – have been conceived in the minds of different people for a very long time and approximately on June 1, 2013 it was simultaneously realised by many of them who said: “Why wait? Let’s do it!””, the project’s Facebook page reads.
An international team of about 20 people is engaged in it. They mainly graduated from a Public Activity Workshop – a program of informal education for young people from Ukraine, Poland and Belarus. Now the graduates are engaged in their own educational projects. In particular, “Live History Studies”, about which UFRA website has already written.
We wanted to have a certain physical space in the country, in the mountains, where we could come together, get inspiration and work on new ideas. But also we aim to attract new people: to conduct seminars, workshops, meeting – anything for what this place may be suitable.
We want to see people of different interests and preferences in the workshop Hut, but they should share common values with us. One is always eager to work with those who understand and see things the same way. We are also interested in interaction with the local community – our neighbours. We would like the diffusion to take place: we take some ideas from the neighbours and we also provide them with others. And from this kind of cooperation something special can be born.
Why in Babyn village?
One of our team members have long been acquainted with Bogdan Petrychuk, who lives in Babyn. Bogdan practices Hutsul culture, he has got his own collection of not only traditional Hutsul costumes, but also national costumes from different parts of Ukraine. The Hut, which we are reconditioning, belongs to him. It stood empty for a long time, and that’s why Bogdan is also interested to reinvent it. So we found the common ground.
I was looking for means to make this house an outdoor events centre, so artists and craftsmen could come together there. I had an opportunity to take part in the open air events, which was organized by the Lviv National Academy of Arts, and I want to do something similar here. I was told about the idea of the workshop Hut and I agreed. I also would like to organise a pottery competition here. It is in my plans. Possibly it will take place in autumn.
How is it funded?
The Hut repairs are funded by the team members’ contributions. We also raised 785 Euros on the Betterplace crowdfunding platform for the Hut heating installation. We also managed to raise a small amount at the auctions, which we conducted at Public Activity Workshop seminars.
We first thought of buying a house and even started to look for it. But later we realised that we will not have enough money either for the repair or for the development of the project in this case. We also concluded that it is more expedient to make such a centre in cooperation with local people, as the hut needs attention and care.
Later the workshop Hut will be supported with funds from fees for seminars taking place there. There is room for seminars of 30 participants. The village locals will provide food and services for participants, so this project will also create jobs for the people of Babyn.
What will take place in the Hut?
We hold a lot of events as part of a Public Activity Workshop, including this year’s “Live History Studies” project. But the workshop Hut is an open space and we are also open to other ideas. For example, we think of organising an art school there.
There is such an activity direction as healthy lifestyle pedagogy. It studies nature, animals and their reactions. It is possible to teach it to children here, and besides, more and more children join our team.
People who helped with the repairs and furnishing the Hut came there during winter and early spring. The workshop Hut now also needs help of partners and volunteers.
Would you like to help and/or visit the Hut and its volunteers?