Right to burial: new cemetery plan approved in Brody

February 23, 2022

On February 17, the Brody City Council approved a detailed plan for the new city cemetery. 

This is the result that the team of “Ochevydno” NGO Ruslana Pashko and Liubov Myshchuk worked on last year.

Everyone has the right to burial

“All citizens have the right to have their bodies buried and to express their will to be treated properly after death”. This is what the Law of Ukraine “On Burial and Funeral Business” says.

However, what kind of decent burial can we be talking about if the cemeteries are overcrowded, and there is no specialized utility company – a funeral service?

With this problem, “Ochevydno” NGO joined the Mentoring Program 2.0 to strengthen the advocacy capacity of civil society organizations.

At the stage of selection for participation in the Program, this topic aroused a lot of interest on the part of mentors. However only one mentor, Zoriana Stotsko, representing the Foundation for the Development of NGOs “Western Ukrainian Resource Center”, dared to support the mentee in achieving their goal.

Руслана Пашко, Очевидно

Ruslana Pashko, head of “Ochevydno” NGO, notes:

“The issue is really relevant, and I have been working on possible solutions for a long time. Cemetery is directly related to death, so people tend to avoid this topic rather than openly support it. We have already taken the first steps and are delighted to be part of this mentoring program, to have the opportunity to develop and strengthen advocacy capabilities, the opportunity to work to achieve our goal with the best professionals in the field of advocacy and sustainable development of CSOs.”

What should you do if your community has problems with cemeteries?

The adoption of the plan of the new city cemetery was preceded by other milestones. And each of them could be described as victorious.

Firstly, the decision on the possible establishment of a structural unit at the utility company “Brody”, which will provide comprehensive funeral services (at a meeting of the Standing Parliamentary Committee on Municipal Property, Housing and Utility Services, Energy Conservation, Transport, Landscaping and Ecology on June 17, 2021).

Secondly, the decision on granting permission to produce a detailed plan of the land plot for the city cemetery (at the meeting of the 10th session of the 7th convocation of the Brody City Council on June 24, 2021).

Thirdly, the discussion of the architectural design of the new cemetery in Brody (August 31, 2021) with the participation of the Deputy Chair of Brody City Council, a lawyer, heads of specialized departments and utility companies. At this stage, they not only discussed the arrangement of the new cemetery, provided for by the city master plan, but also began preparing the regulatory framework for the new site.

The next step was to survey the area and make a detailed plan. Specialists considered the option of arranging the territory of the cemetery taking into account the laid high-voltage lines, protection and sanitary zones. 

The estimated capacity, according to experts, will be about 10-12 graves.

“What is the secret of our success? Partnership and cooperation with the city council, interaction with like-minded people,” says Ruslana Pashko, head of “Ochevydno” NGO. “Joint activities and constructive communication allowed us to start solving an important problem of the community. No less influential in terms of results was the participation of our mentor Zoriana Stotsko, her support and important advice. Having completed the Mentoring Program 2.0 practice, we couldn’t help but succeed”.

Зоряна СтоцькоZoriana Stotsko, Foundation for the Development of NGOs “Western Ukrainian Resource Center”, comments: “When I first heard this topic in the Mentoring Program, I did not hesitate at all, although I was not sure of a successful outcome. However, I was very interested in trying to join the process. And I’m very glad that the local government went out of their way to help resolve this issue. It was a unique experience for me”.

According to the mentor, the fact that the representative of the NGO managed to advocate for this topic really deserves great respect and should inspire concerned residents of other communities to apply this approach as well. 

This material was created as part of the Project Ukraine Civil Society Sectoral Support Activity implemented by the Initiative Center to Support Social Action “Ednannia” in partnership with the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR) and Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law (CEDEM) with the sincere support of the American people through United States Agency for International Development.