A Fighting Chance for her Family

Speeches Shim

Friday, May 28, 2021
Fadia, right, helps stock shelves with her father in his shoe store.
MSI for USAID

From fleeing ISIS at the age of 7, to taking on the role of second care-giver when her father was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Fadia always put her family's needs before her own. "My daughter took on difficult responsibilities at a young age. She went with her father to his medical appointments and was with him during his treatments. She was under a lot of pressure," said Fadia's mother. Caring for her family left any time for 14-year-old Fadia to practice hobbies or spend time with friends, which left her feeling isolated and helpless. "My family's difficult situation made me sad. My father wasn't working because he was unwell and depressed," said Fadia. 

When Fadia heard about USAID-supported Taekwondo and Adolescent Girl Dialogue sessions, she decided to sign up. Together with 40 other girls, Fadia was introduced to martial arts as a tool for developing self confidence and improving physical and mental health. Fadia's participation in the program helped her confidence grow. She even began sharing her new skills with her father, hoping that they would help him too. As she showed him what she learned, she noticed her father's mood lifting; he even started smiling more often.

"The Taekwondo sessions gave me a feeling of emotional stability and the Adolescent Girl Dialogue Sessions gave me confidence. I learned to solve problems and think positively. The sessions helped me look at my family situation in a different way. I started thinking about solutions," said Fadia. 

Fadia's positive demeanor was contagious and inspired her father to take out a micro loan to open his own shoe store. "Fadia shared the skills she learned with us and I used to listen intently. I felt so happy that she was feeling good about herself. Our whole family felt more alive. She encouraged me to go back to work and with her help, I opened a shoe store in Tel Uskof!" exclaimed Fadia's father. 

Others outside her family also noticed a change in Fadia's behavior. She spoke with more confidence and participated in the dialogue sessions more frequently. "It was wonderful to see how she applied the skills she learned, especially how she handled negative thinking," said Sama, a Facilitator at the Adolescent Girl Dialogue sessions. 

Last updated: November 01, 2021

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