May 18, 2021

We Matter: Celebrating 15 Years of FANmily!

Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso (FAN), a youth peer operated center located in the southeast Ward 8 of the District of Columbia is released a documentary that highlights the impact that autonomy and environment has on mental health while acknowledging the importance of the work non-profit organizations do with limited resources. FAN is excited to be celebrating 15 years of service and to share the impact the organization has had on its program participants and the community.

COVID-19 and civil unrest has brought to light many disparities that plague disenfranchised communities. For years, non-profit organizations have worked tirelessly with limited resources to fill in the gaps. Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso (FAN) is celebrating 15 years of service and created a documentary “We Matter: 15 years of FANmily.” To view the documentary, Click Here

Racial justice is not just the absence of discrimination and inequities, but also the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measures. FAN is an organization that works with youth participants to break the cycle of poverty created by systems designed to keep people of color disenfranchised. FAN opened its doors in 2005 to act as a safe space for fostered youth, but since then has branched out to service the entire community with a focus on youth who have been or may be impacted by the child welfare system. Our mission is to be a youth focused community of safe places and linked hearts. FAN breaks cycles and changes community narratives to create a safer, more connected, more loving world where youth can thrive.

“My hope is that this documentary will raise awareness about the challenges that non-profits incur when trying to serve the community. I also hope that it will shine light on the correlation between having safe spaces in the community to be yourself and positive mental health.” -Josephine Mazyck, FAN’s Executive Director.

FAN provided a safe environment to connect with participants and community members so that they would share about their experiences with the community and the world around them. What started as a simple question as “Why does your life matter?” evolved into a series of stories that augments the many issues the plague the black community. The question also highlights how the power of community can impact an individual life.

The documentary can be found on FAN's website at fan-dc.org or on YouTube if you Click Here. If you are interested in learning more about FAN, please check out our social media platforms: Facebook @FANwashdc, Instagram @fihankradc. 

Dec 31, 2020

HAPPPY NEW YEARRR!

Seasons Greetings. We hope that everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! 

As we reflect upon this turmultous year of 2020, we recognize that we have lots to be grateful for, starting with our wonderful donors such as yourselves. While the grinch tried to steal our holiday! We were able to provide ample support to our FANmilies this holiday season. 

The community stepped up BIG TIME!

FAN was adopted by Maximus Federal employees and they secured all the wish list gifts for our youth participants. Oye Palaver Hut donated $300.00 to purchase hats, coats, and gloves for our FANmilies. St. John CME donated grocery gift cards to include in holiday kits and Families4Famlies provided 15 bags of groceries and 25 holiday kits for our youth participants. Our community pantry and fridge is filled every 3-5 days for community members to take fresh produce and items as needed. We were even able to host a pop-up holiday give away for the larger community where we gave out donated items from clothes, toys, to face masks and other essential items. We were also able to launch a wellness pantry with toiletries and other essential items! 

This season, we were reminded of just how much the power of community matters and we would not be able to do the work we do without meaningful partnerships. We thank you all so much and are looking forward to continuing the momementum in 2021. 

We are hopeful that COVID-19 is on the verge of slowing down with the new vaccinations, and we are excited about the opportunity to run a full in-person program again. In the beginning of the New Year, we will be looking to kick off our 15 year Anniversary by hosting a virtual screening of our documentary "We Matter:" 15 Years of FANmily. Be sure to check out our website for information on where to watch it. HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone and thank you for your committment to working with us! We're forever grateful for you! 

Peace & Blessings, 

Josephine Mazyck

Links:

Sep 3, 2020

Virtual Summer Success & We turned 15!!!

FAN has been busy this summer and did not let COVID-19 restrictions slow us down. Not only did we turn 15 on August 5th and will spend this year celebrating 15 years of service, as a result of COVID, we've managed to provide FANmilies with over 11,000 non-perishable meals and enhance community partnerships to provide more direct services. We provided tablets and laptops for our families to stand in the gaps of the digital divide, and connected three families with resources to ensure they had access to the internet. 

Our partnership with Oye Palaver Hut and Let's Go Boys & Girls allowed us to keep our youth participants engaged throughout the summer by hosting virtual cooking lessons, story telling, and STEM projects. Our youth participants were not disappointed when we hand delivered their summer kits to them which provided all the materials they would need to follow along on our virtual platform. 

While we did miss seeing our FANmilies in person, we were grateful for the opportunity to still serve them throughout the pandemic. We were able to provide more direct services such as transportation and meal support. In doing so, we reduced the risk of exposure to the coronavirus for our participants who would have otherwise had to use public transportation. 

In light of the civil unrest, we also wanted to create a space for our participants to share their feelings about the current climate and we launched a "We Matter Campaign," and partnered with the Social Justice School to have our youth participants create a super hero zine in which they identify ways in which they can make in difference starting now. 

We are looking forward to supporting our FANmilies with distance learning this fall as schools are closed and students are learning from home. We will be accepting participants in small groups for a few hours a day to give them a safe space to learn, relax, and have a meal (all with proper social distancing policies in place, of course). 

Feel free to stop by our facebook page to check out an interview with our founders to kickoff our 15 year celebration!

FAN hopes that everyone is safe and well, and we look forward to your continued support! 

Be blessed. 

Links:

 
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