"No one dies as long as memory lives." A story of café in Lviv, opened in memory of a fighter

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At 27, Dmytro Pashchuk was a successful restaurateur, an active member of the Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization, and even served in the French Foreign Legion. A full-scale Russia`s invasion of Ukraine prevented him from realizing a new project, so Dmytro's friends did it in his memory.

"The media hub 'Your City' launched the project 'On the Front Line. Lasting Resilience' - documentary video stories about those who remain resilient, approach victory, and create the future in every corner of Ukraine. The first episode of this project is about the story of the café 'Republic of the Garden,' the idea of which belonged to Dmytro Pashchuk, a Lviv restaurateur, Plast member, and French legionnaire who died during the defense of Kherson region in March 2023.

"We opened in May 2023, a few months after Dmytro's death. Everyone was shocked, didn't know what to do," says Vika Hnivushevska, the manager of the café 'Republic of the Garden.'

Before the full-scale invasion, Dmytro had his biggest project - Port, which is now called Plav wine bar. He was developing it after returning from the French Foreign Legion. It was his 'little child.' Dmytro also developed the gallery 'Light.' It was his second project of inspiration and love for art. At the same time, he was planning and thinking about 'Republic of the Garden' and several other options for different projects, because he always had a lot of thoughts and dreams.

Dmytro already had military experience from his service in the French Foreign Legion. So, a few days after the full-scale invasion, he headed to war. Dmytro was one of the fighters who liberated Kherson in November 2022.

"People hugged them very tightly. The guys said they felt like they would have bruises. Because people were in a moment of euphoria and happiness. He understood that the things here, he could ask friends for help or delegate to someone. And the things there, it's hard to delegate. Dmytro understood that he wouldn't delegate his experience to anyone. So he decided to go to war," says Vika Hnivushevska.

"Plast" taught Dmytro to value and find value in Ukraine, to love it deeply, she says. "Plast" is an organization built on patriotism, on a patriotic vision. It gave him an understanding of Ukraine's value.

"Dmytro had many different ideas that he carried within himself and then shared with someone. 'Republic' was supposed to open in March 2022. And then February came. From December, we actively searched for someone to manage it, but couldn't find anyone. So Dmytro was in a sad state. The last time he came to Lviv, we talked a lot about the 'Republic' and agreed that we were looking for someone to oversee it, I would try for a month and then tell him whether I liked it or not. Since I had never been in this role. I reminded him of this on Saturday, and on Sunday I found out that Dmytro had died. His last decision was that it would be me. So I decided to do it."

After Dmytro's death, his friends launched a volunteer collection to implement one of the projects he dreamed of.

One of the projects Dmytro wanted to open and dreamed of in the distant future was a rehabilitation center in Tukhlya. This was one of his dreams that we will try to implement in the future.

Dmytro's concept of the "Republic" was that he wanted to create a quiet "own" place for "his" people, where they could gather, talk, meet on different important days for them and just on regular days. It was supposed to be a cozy, aesthetic, and beautiful "own" space.

"I think that what many people learned about us is definitely Dmytro's merit, the merit of his dreams and his openness to how much he loved people."

The café is located where, in Soviet times, the youth association "Republic of the Holy Garden" gathered. It included hippies and active youth who played the music that the Soviet regime did not support.

Dmytro's friends want to inherit from them the values of freedom and liberty. Social responsibility was important to Dmytro. So our team came up with the initiative "Good Dish." All the profit from this dish goes to some collection.

"The Republic of the Garden" actively supports volunteer collections, organizes charitable events, poetry evenings, exhibitions. To preserve Ukrainian traditions, this year the establishment organized caroling, which was combined with a collection for a children's Plast camp.

"How can you help?" - I think this is a question that many people ask themselves. One of the most accessible methods of assistance, when you're not fighting, is to help boys and girls meet their needs."

In the first year of operation, the "Republic of the Garden" team, in collaboration with other funds and organizations, raised about half a million hryvnias to support the Ukrainian army. They are convinced that together we can do even more.

"So that these sacrifices are not in vain, we must be honest with ourselves and honestly answer ourselves: am I doing enough to win? I would like the society we are building now to have one vision and one goal, to have the same values that unite everyone. Because, it seems to me, this is the most important thing - when we unite around one goal and values. I really want this to be a society that looks forward, and its values are honesty, patriotism, and a vision of Ukraine as a beautiful and strong country in the future."

The video project "On the Front Line. Enduring Resilience" is a series of documentary video stories about soldiers, volunteers, organizations, activists, human rights defenders, and entrepreneurs who are bringing our victory closer every day. You can follow new releases on the YouTube channel "Your City."

The project is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. government.

Щодня наша команда працює над тим, щоб інформувати Вас про найважливіше в місті та області. За роки своєї праці ми довели, що «Твоє місто» - це медіа, якому справді можна довіряти. Долучіться до Спільноти Прихильників «Твого міста» та збережіть незалежне медіа для громади. Кожен внесок має значення!