Newton community mobilizes for Ukrainian exchange student
NEWTON, Kan. (KWCH) – The Newton School District is helping a Ukrainian exchange student attend classes nearly 6,000 miles from her family and take shelter in a bomb shelter.
Liza Rudiaga is a senior at Newton High School. Its principle was posted on Facebook, asking the community for help for Liza, as her parents, trying to survive day to day as Russia’s assault on Ukrainian cities continues, are currently not in able to support it financially.
Thousands of miles from her family in Kyiv, Liza looks at photos, wishing she could be with them.
“…[Because] I love them and it’s really hard to be distant,” she said.
Liza has been in Kansas for about seven months. She does not know when she will be able to return home.
“I’m really upset because it’s really scary,” she said.
In her home country, Liza said her grandparents near Kyiv are not safe. Here, the parents are also in an air-raid shelter and she worries about them daily.
That’s why Newton High School Principal Caleb Smith asked the community to step in to help Liza and her family. With the invasion of Ukraine by the Russians, Liza’s family members lost their main sources of income.
Hearing about Liza and seeing the situation in her country, the people of Newton, as well as all of Kansas, are mobilizing.
“Helping his parents in Ukraine, but also [to help] that she has the normal income to be an international student, for everything from clothes to fees,” Smith said.
Liza said she loved Newton and his school and was grateful for the help.
“I’m very grateful to them,” she said.
Liza said she is in contact with her family almost every day and is trying to figure out what she will be doing after graduating from high school. If you would like to donate to help her, you can mail or drop a check to Newton High School: 900 W 12th St, Newton, KS 67114. The money will go towards Liza’s stay in Kansas and to help her family in Ukraine .
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