I recently had the opportunity to sit down with the talented and gifted leaders of an underrated organization based on reaching the embattled female youth in the Summit County community. Conceived by Yvette Thompson,
Fadia (Arabic for “protect others”) as an organization has existed for two years but the vision had been nurtured since Yvette had been 18.
Founded in the basement of her house while running Miracle Child daycare upstairs, she opened up
her home to create an operation devoted to helping better and save the lives young women.
Her counter-part and a lead woman for the organization, Octavia Solomon, has been involved for nine months. She has adapted and maintained a role of mentoring and redirection to help guide, problem solve and encourage the young women of the program. Our conversations lead me inside to finding out true awareness and humanitarianism does still exist. Not only by working within the organization with the ladies, the also schedule outside events such as volunteering at the battered women’s shelter. They have what is called a “Purple Party” during October supporting domestic violence awareness month which is a gala in ballroom attire and they split the door with the battered women’s shelter and the other half goes to Fadia for the girls need in the program. They offer “Speak up, Speak out” every March, events with live entertainment and talent shows to keep the morale of the youth up beat, giving them something to look forward to. Fadia is also ready to start HIV and Lupus awareness. The organization is also working on a documentary movie “Real Stories about the Girls.”
It was after her grandmothers passing that Yvette took the physical steps in realizing her passion with a group of friends and she hasn’t looked back. Before Fadia, she was around the wrong crowd of friends that she didn’t have anything in common with which lead to being involved in bad situations, she has witnessed the abuse, she has seen troubled side of how young girls carry themselves the wrong way looking for love and attention with no one focusing on providing a positive activities to get them away from that lifestyle and out of that mindset. This has leads her to believe that “most organizations are limited, every kid needs a chance to be in something, just because a kid gets straight A’s doesn’t mean they’re straight”. In a time where a great deal of organizations are in tune to being opportunist by making money off of and exploiting child abuse and troubled youth, Yvette has reached into her own pocket to fund the organization with no grants or solicitation to other organizations. She believes if you love what you do, you will take the necessary steps in supporting your vision.
Describing herself as a child of her ancestors and nonchalant, Yvette feels the need to only deal with those associated with Fadia and no one outside the circle if they don’t represent any of the morals the organization has. “I do it for the girls, with no support people don’t take it seriously. They just want to see it so they can duplicate it”. Yvette lists her mother and aunt as her support system and says her foundation is built on family & friends. She would like to see the parental involvement rise in the movement stating the parents don’t really get involved, and that is one thing that she would greatly like to change. Through working within her Fadia organization, Yvette has been able to implement certain values or morals into her personal life saying “practice what you preach, having the girls makes me think twice and makes me appreciate my mother more”. She also believes in helping friends realize their goals within the organization so the community can know “black women can work together, it doesn’t have to be drama”. Having thirty-six kids total with the daycare and Fadia, her plans are to have Fadia in every inner city along with the daycare she is currently working on Arizona right now.
As a leading lady of Fadia, Octavia Solomon is installing knowledge of self into these young women “Teaching everything in self. Love, respect and morals. Know yourself, everything starts within. By becoming accepting of who you are you can grow.” is what she is delivering to the minds & souls of the youth. Her reason for the program existing as it does is because she feels as do many “As a Black race we are failing tremendously, no positive role models or organizations for kids. No one cares about the youth and it’s time for someone to stand up and try. What good is having knowledge and not sharing.” Ms. Solomon also feels the community needs to get back on track in the lives of not just the girls but all youth. “The at-risk teen girls are shown no encouragement and their thought pattern must be changed. You never know how many people go through things then you realize you are blessed. I wish I could help everybody and one day I will.” She is very passionate about her work and vision within Fadia. From interacting and playing such an important role in the organization she has taken the qualities with her she instills upon the young ladies to practice. Since being a part of the group she talks more with her family, more with the kids. Makes sure they get an understanding. “Most girls don’t talk with their parents” and that opens her eyes to the things she could do better within her family and leads her to trust her feelings that she always knew she would help others. She states her mother as her admiration & support system saying “She is very strong and taught me the important things in life. She does a lot for others.” Octavia also has a vision for Fadia to be known nationally and also is in the process of starting her own organization.