Sonya has been a friendly face at Fatima Family Center for over 13 years, and her twin daughters, Genice and GeNiah, have been participating in programs at Fatima since they were little. “I love Fatima – I love the staff and the programs they offer here. I truly don’t know where I would be without their help,” says Sonya.
Now in their final year of middle school, Genice and GeNiah have been relying on Fatima as their school has shifted to online classes. “Fatima staff helps us with school work and technical difficulties we might have with online school,” says Genice. Shifting to a ‘Learning Pod’ format, Fatima now offers a safe, quiet place for students to learn with helpful staff that supervises classrooms throughout the day. “Things are better at Fatima because learning at home doesn’t give me as much focus as it does here - I can be around other people who are also working,” adds GeNiah. As a parent, Sonya appreciates how much Fatima has helped the kids, too. “When the pandemic hit, everything was upside down. I was grateful that the Fatima Family Center was still open to offer resources for us, especially having my twins in the learning pod to offer instruction and computer help with their school work,” says Sonya.
Even before the pandemic, the sisters always turned to Fatima’s after school program for help and guidance. “We got homework help at Fatima, learned how to engage with other people, and build self-courage. We learned how to respect the teachers, students, and everybody around us – and they respect us back,” says Genice. GeNiah agrees, “My favorite thing about Fatima is that they give us a lot of opportunities to learn, explore, and meet new people. They help us experience things we haven’t experienced before.”
Along with Sonya, the twins are grateful for the programs and services offered to them by Catholic Charities. “I would like to thank the donors of Catholic Charities for helping Fatima to be a part of my life,” says GeNiah. “I’d like to thank the donors of Catholic Charities for helping Fatima help us and everybody else around us,” adds Genice.
About Fatima Family Center
A staple of the Hough community, Fatima Family Center offers programs and services for all ages and all members of the community.
Originally established in 1973 as a pastoral counseling and outreach ministry of Our Lady of Fatima parish, Fatima Family Center prominently anchors the Hough community with a 26,000 square foot facility developed by Catholic Charities and dedicated in 2000. In 2002, Fatima was recognized by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as one of the top five family centers in the United States.
Fatima currently offers recreational and educational programs for all ages, annual community events and traditions, and supportive services designed to meet the needs of individuals and families residing in the surrounding communities.