The refrigerator is working, Ihor Dubyk has returned from captivity
The refrigerating chamber was made to order in specific sizes for the "Azalia" shop. Due to a power outage, the refrigerator was not launched for some time, but now it works. As a result, the owners expanded the range of flowers, started selling bouquets, hired a florist (also a refugee from Mariupol), and launched flower delivery throughout Ukraine.
With the additional funds collected, we purchased cash register equipment for the shop.
After 200 days of captivity
We met with Oksana and Ihor Dubyk to ask how they were doing.
Ihor had been in captivity since May 2022. Working at the flower shop, Oksana, at the same time, was looking for an opportunity to contribute to the release of her husband. She kept in touch with relatives of other prisoners of war, contacted relevant services, wrote a letter to the Pope. On December 1, 2022 she saw a photo from the exchange of soldiers in the news and recognized Ihor among the freed. Later, he called, and Oksana heard husband's voice for the first time in ten months.
Before the Russian invasion, Ihor had a carpentry workshop and was engaged in beekeeping. He tried to join the "Azov" battalion, where he served from 2014 to 2016, but there was no contact with his comrades. That's how Ihor became a part of the Territorial Defence Forces. In April, he was severely injured by grenade: he received shrapnel injuries to both legs and a fracture of the tibia of his right leg. He ended up at Azovstal, was captured and taken to Olenivka. During the terrorist attack there, he survived but lost his comrades. After 200 days of captivity and 15 interrogations, he was released in the exchange. The meeting with the Ukrainian flag became an unforgettable moment for a lifetime.
When her husband returned from captivity, Oksana switched to taking care of him, so later, she retired from managing the flower shop. Currently, her former partner Olena is running it. Oksana says that the flower business saved her in a difficult period of her life and helped her to distract herself and not give up. Therefore, she is grateful to benefactors for their support.
Ihor returns to service after surgery and vacation. During his captivity, he decided that after the victory, he would open his bakery, and even made calculations on two sheets of paper. So Oksana is already hatching plans for a new business.
Photo: Mykhailo Palinchak
Fundraiser is completed
$4,486 was raised.
Fundraiser is launched
Oksana Dubyk ’s husband went to defend Azovstal on the first day of the full-scale invasion. She was not able to reach him since February 28.
After a month of living in occupied Mariupol, Oksana together with her elderly parent decided to go to Lviv. First weeks she lived with her son and hardly ever slept, spending most of the time searching for news about her husband. Finally, she learned from one of his comrades that he was alive and is being kept as a POW in one of the barracks in Olenivka.
In Mariupol, Oksana Dubyk had to leave her whole life behind – her own house and a dear job in a construction company. She was falling into despair in a new place until she met Olena and Katia, both from Mariupol, and together they decided to open a flower shop.
“To stay sane, we had to stay busy or find something to enjoy. For me it was a flower shop, it saved me”, said Oksana.
The flower shop “Azalia” opened in Lviv, on 84 Horodotska Street. They spent their savings on renovation and equipment.
You can buy potted flowers in the store, but the revenue barely covers the rent. The sale of bouquets would provide additional income. So, the owners need to purchase a refrigerator for storing cut flowers.
Oksana dreams that the store will be profitable and that they will make enough money even for charity.
The Keep Going foundation is raising $4,175 to purchase a refrigerating chamber.