FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)– Lena Niles was born in Mariupol, Ukraine, but has come to call Fort Wayne her home after being adopted by a family in Fort Wayne in 2010.

On Monday, Niles shared the stories of her home country when it was at peace, how its citizens fight to preserve democracy, and her hope for a free country for her birth family at the Rotary Club’s weekly meeting at Parkview Field.

Niles has kept in contact with her birth family in Ukraine throughout the war. Some have escaped the violence, but other family members are still in the war-torn country.