Teenage foreign student in Iowa fears for her family in Ukraine

(KCCI) – A 15-year-old foreign student in central Iowa says she is heartbroken and worried about her family in Ukraine.

Olya Hinchak, from western Ukraine, has been at State Center since August. His mother, father and 8-year-old sister remain in Ukraine.

“My biggest fear is that we will lose our freedom again,” Olya said.

His foster family, the Rohmillers, is a military family. So they say they have an understanding of the difficulties when it comes to war.

The mother, Rebecca, remembers what Olya’s mother sent her last Thursday when the invasion started.

“The most important thing for us now is that you take care of Olya,” Olya’s mother texted. “You understand that we can die at any time. Become a family for Olya.

“To be in such fear for your life, texting another mom like this asking her to take care of your child, it’s so heartbreaking,” Rebecca Rohmiller said.

The host family tried to find ways to bring Olya back to Ukraine without success.

The family also contacted Iowa senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley.

Ernst’s office says it is working with organizations in Iowa and Ukrainians in the state to help navigate the situation.

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