Believing in Your Future with Fanelson Strongitharm

S08 | 03 – Believing in Your Future with Fanelson Strongitharm

Lindsay Recknell Hope, Podcast Leave a Comment

Change is always difficult, especially when it’s a lot of change happening quickly and all at once. It’s uncomfortable, and it is pretty scary not knowing what’s coming next. However, it is still possible to keep moving forward and looking to the future if we just believe in ourselves and trust that we can do it.

In the midst of Covid lockdown, young Fanelson Strongitharm boarded a plane and flew from Haiti to his new home in Canada. Filled with happiness and gratitude for his new home and family, he now continues to look forward to his future with peace and optimism. He believes that we can all make a difference in the world, and that we are capable of being whatever it is that we want to be.

Listen in and learn as he shares his infectious joy and attitude towards life. His simple and honest answers remind us of the importance of believing in ourselves and our futures as we continuously move forward with hope.

Mentioned In This Episode:


Lindsay Recknell  0:03  

Hello, welcome to another episode of the Hope Motivates Action podcast. I’m your host Lindsay Recknell. And I just wanted to give a short extra introduction to this episode of the podcast today. It is a very special episode because I am very excited to introduce you to a very sweet young man called Fanelson Strongitharm. I had the pleasure of interviewing Fanelson’s mom, Kelly Strongitharm a few months ago. a few weeks ago, I can’t remember when on the podcast. Kelly’s episode was season seven, Episode Two. So that’s a few months ago now. I’ll link to this in the show notes. 


Lindsay Recknell  0:41  

And on this episode of the podcast, Kelly introduced us to her son Fanelson and the experience that she had adopting him and bringing him home from Haiti. On the day that the pandemic was declared back in March of 2020. You can only imagine what chaos and frustration and hope truly the hope that Kelly and Fanelson and the other families went through to bring these kids home back in March. If you had a chance to listen to Kelly’s episode, you will hear how she got on a plane in Vancouver headed to Montreal, not knowing if when she got there. 


Lindsay Recknell  1:22  

If Fanelson had gotten on the plane from Haiti and landed in and would be landing in Montreal, you’ll also hear the energy and effort that it took to get his Canadian citizenship and his passport. And you will also hear the hopes and dreams that Kelly has for her son, and for his life here in Canada. Today’s episode is extra special because it’s Fanelson’s side of the story, you get to hear what final son loves about Canada, you get to hear what it felt like leaving Haiti and arriving in Montreal and his experience of the plane trip to get him up here to Canada. You’ll also hear him share with us his favorite thing about himself, and what his hopeful plans are for his future. I think you’re really gonna love this episode. So please sit back, relax and enjoy. And let’s get to it. 


Lindsay Recknell  2:19  

Hello, welcome to another episode of the Hope Motivates Action podcast. I’m your host, Lindsay Recknell. And it is my pleasure to have the mother son duo here today. Fanelson and Kelly Strongitharm. Hello my friends. 


Fanelson Strongitharm  2:33  



Lindsay Recknell  2:35  

It is so awesome to have you guys here I have been so looking forward to this. Kelly, we had you on the show, my gosh, a month ago, maybe even longer. I’m telling sort of your side of your hope story and how you got this lovely gentleman to be a part of your life. And I’m very excited to hear Fanelson’s side of the story and hear what it’s been like for you. So maybe I’ll pass it over to you Fanelson, tell us what it’s like for you here in Canada, going to school living with mom. Tell us more about that. 


Fanelson Strongitharm  3:12  

Well, I think it’s just really great that I came to a country where I got more opportunities, and I got a family and I get to get good education. And there’s less fighting. Respect.


Lindsay Recknell  3:33  

And how has that been? Like when you say that there’s been more respect? How, how have you experienced that?


Fanelson Strongitharm  3:43  

Well, in Haiti, um, I experience a lot of people getting hurt and killed and all those things. 


Lindsay Recknell  3:57  

We Sure are happy you’re here where it’s safe. 


Fanelson Strongitharm  4:00  

Yep. And from where I came here, I saw that I noticed right away that it was nicer. And it was cleaner. There’s more respect for each other. And there was no hurting.


Lindsay Recknell  4:20  

Amazing, I love it. I love that these are the things that you brand new to a country. That’s your experience of it here. You know, I like to think that I know that that’s the experience of here and I’m sure Kelly that you brought him here because you would want to provide all of those wonderful things for him. But it’s cool to hear that that is your experiences. You’ve been here Fanelson I think that’s just beautiful.


Fanelson Strongitharm  4:49  

Yay. I really enjoy being here a lot.


Lindsay Recknell  4:55  

I bet I bet so when you learned that mom was going to be your mom, what did you think about that?


Fanelson Strongitharm  5:04  

I was really, really excited to come to a new country and have a new family. I did Not have family before. 


Lindsay Recknell  5:13  

Yeah. Well, and I know how much your mom waited for you. She worked very hard to get you here. Can you tell us a little bit about what it was like on your trip on your journey to get here in the middle of a global pandemic?


Fanelson Strongitharm  5:28  

I was really nervous at first because I had to go on an airplane. With all only kids and no grownups, except the pilot and some other person that walks around on the airplane and helps you it’s certain stuff. And I felt like, oh, no order if something goes wrong, and I never knew about the pandemic before. Because for so when I got there, the Montreal I saw, I found mommy, and I was really happy.


Lindsay Recknell  6:09  

She was you’re happy to see you. worked very hard to get you home. That’s amazing. I love it. So I know that you guys just moved to a farm. Tell me what it’s like living at the farm.


Fanelson Strongitharm  6:25  

Best thing ever. We got lots of animals that come around, and then oh, not too long ago. There’s these. That couple that always came to the pond. 


Lindsay Recknell  6:39  

Come on 


Fanelson Strongitharm  6:40  

the same exact ducks. 


Lindsay Recknell  6:43  

Did they have any ducklings? 


Fanelson Strongitharm  6:46  

No, but they’re like husband and wife.


Lindsay Recknell  6:51  

I love it isn’t but that’s something right. I bet that that’s something that you’ve learned that pairs kind of stick together. Is that right? 


Fanelson Strongitharm  6:58  



Lindsay Recknell  6:59  

Maybe they’re gonna find their home forever home there and you’re gonna have ducklings next year. That’d be kind of cool.


Fanelson Strongitharm  7:07  

Anyway, Addison would be happy


Lindsay Recknell  7:11  

What’s your favorite part about living on the farm?


Fanelson Strongitharm  7:16  

Just having peace. 


Lindsay Recknell  7:19  



Fanelson Strongitharm  7:20  

It’s very calm. And it’s not overwhelming.


Lindsay Recknell  7:26  

Amazing. That sounds like a magical place. Can I come visit? 


Fanelson Strongitharm  7:32  



Lindsay Recknell  7:33  

I would love to next time I’m in the lower mainland. I’m totally coming to visit.


Kelly Strongitharm  7:37  

 Yes, you have to. 


Lindsay Recknell  7:39  

It’s been so long since I’ve seen you anyway. Kelly, we have to we have to get together. 


Kelly Strongitharm  7:43  

I would love it 


Lindsay Recknell  7:44  

That’d be amazing.


Fanelson Strongitharm  7:45  

Where are you? Wait, where do you live? 


Lindsay Recknell  7:48  

I live in Calgary. 


Fanelson Strongitharm  7:50  

Where Is that 


Kelly Strongitharm  7:51  

in a different province in Alberta? Hmm. 


Fanelson Strongitharm  7:56  

But but but we’re in Canada. 


Kelly Strongitharm  7:58  

Yeah, there’s a different province. 


Fanelson Strongitharm  8:00  

Oh, we’re in British Columbia?


Kelly Strongitharm  8:02  



Lindsay Recknell  8:03  

you got her and Alberta is right next door so it’s driving distance. So next time you take Shira for a tour maybe you bring your across the across the mountains into Calgary


Fanelson Strongitharm  8:15  



Lindsay Recknell  8:18  

why do we do a lot of camping you see you guys could just come and we could go camping together and that’d be amazing. 


Kelly Strongitharm  8:24  

Oh, that sounds fun.


Fanelson Strongitharm  8:25  

Maybe we could bring Chloe and Diego because we got a we got a spot under the table we could put their crate


Lindsay Recknell  8:30  

perfect. Love it because I have two dogs as well. And so they could be friends who


Fanelson Strongitharm  8:35  

this can be hard. We need to bring the big black crate.


Lindsay Recknell  8:41  

Oh, I love it. So this is a hope podcast. I like to talk about the hope which means to me that the future will be better than today. When we take action over the things we can control. And I wondered if you could tell us what you think your definition of hope it’s what does hope mean to you?


Fanelson Strongitharm  9:02  

Well, when I’m an adult, I just like to be a part of more part of Ruben shoes and go to Dominican Republic and help build schools.


Lindsay Recknell  9:15  

Can you tell us a little bit more about Ruben shoes?


Fanelson Strongitharm  9:19  

Well, mommy worked really hard on Ruben’s shoes because when she first went to Dominican she no notice that all the kids needed shoes and uniforms go to school. So she donated a lot of shoes to the children so that they could go to school. And maybe it was really worth it because maybe one pair of shoes would be too good for net too big for one kid. So give it to the other and then keep going on and on and on.


Lindsay Recknell  9:56  

Right, she had a vision for what a hopeful future could look like for those kids. And found something that she could really impact their lives with shoes.


Fanelson Strongitharm  10:05  

Yeah. And when mommy got home, there’s lots of people that wanted to help.


Lindsay Recknell  10:12  

Are you guys doing some cool Ruben shoes things now?


Kelly Strongitharm  10:18  

What are we doing now? What do we do? What do we just do at your school? You help me with? 


Fanelson Strongitharm  10:24  

We did? Yeah, we talk to the to classroom about the juice.


Lindsay Recknell  10:33  

Like the kids in your school to teach them all about it. 


Fanelson Strongitharm  10:36  



Lindsay Recknell  10:37  

very cool. Are you doing a fundraiser or shoe drive there?


Fanelson Strongitharm  10:42  

Um, mommy? 


Kelly Strongitharm  10:44  

Would you be doing a fundraiser, we actually do not collect issues anymore,


Lindsay Recknell  10:49  



Kelly Strongitharm  10:49  

Um, logistically, it just got a little bit complicated. And then, obviously, with everything that happened with COVID, I think it was a really good decision for us to stop because we wouldn’t be able to ship right now. So our focus is solely on the two schools and making sure that they still have everything that they need, and all the kids are sponsored. And so all of our fundraising efforts go towards the schools, and the students there.


Lindsay Recknell  11:17  

And schools here in Canada can do fundraising efforts, however, they want to be able to contribute to that. 


Kelly Strongitharm  11:25  

Yeah, exactly. Like a good way to get involved is that I found is some of the classrooms will sponsor like a whole classroom will sponsor a student. So it’s $600 a year, but then they get to, you know, have a relationship with that their students and watch them grow. And you know, you have classroom of anywhere from 15 to 30. Kids bring in a couple toonies and quickly adds up, right?


Lindsay Recknell  11:50  

Yeah, it’s done. So that’s very cool. I want to know, what is your best quality? What is the favorite thing about yourself?


Kelly Strongitharm  12:01  

What are some of the things that you really good at? You’re really good at what?


Fanelson Strongitharm  12:10  



Kelly Strongitharm  12:11  

What were you just doing all morning?


Fanelson Strongitharm  12:13  

Lego? I really want to show you it. I really want to show you.


Lindsay Recknell  12:18  

Okay, well, let me see it.


Fanelson Strongitharm  12:20  



Kelly Strongitharm  12:21  

Okay, you gonna bring it?


Fanelson Strongitharm  12:22  



Lindsay Recknell  12:22  



Fanelson Strongitharm  12:23  

let me let me go


Lindsay Recknell  12:26  

Mom and I’ll talk for a minute 


Kelly Strongitharm  12:28  



Lindsay Recknell  12:29  

so when you’re talking to him about what his future looks like. Is there anything like, I don’t know what it’s like to be a parent right now. And sort of navigating what that future might look like for him? How are you helping him to set a foundation for a hopeful future?


Kelly Strongitharm  12:49  

Well, I mean, we talk about the fact that I believe that he can be and do anything that he wants, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be just one thing. It can be many things and when he has interest that I support, and see where that will lead but also just you know, a lot about being kind and respectful and a lot about inclusivity. And yeah, we have we have, I mean he is very, very sweet and clients and he is we have really good conversations around that. Here he comes.


Fanelson Strongitharm  13:27  

time to put it together.


Lindsay Recknell  13:30  

Wow, that is beautiful. is it a motorhome? a trailer. What is it? 


Fanelson Strongitharm  13:38  



Lindsay Recknell  13:39  

That is incredible. 


Kelly Strongitharm  13:40  

wobbly dog. Are you still working on the trailer? Yeah.


Lindsay Recknell  13:44  

That’s the future of sheara there.


Kelly Strongitharm  13:47  

Yes, he builds motor homes any chance he can get or draws them or and he would love to build his own 


Fanelson Strongitharm  13:56  

kid car 


Kelly Strongitharm  13:57  

kid sized motor home


Lindsay Recknell  13:58  

amazing. They have tiny houses.


Kelly Strongitharm  14:03  



Lindsay Recknell  14:05  

That’s amazing. That’s amazing. What do you love about camping? Because this is clearly something you enjoy.


Kelly Strongitharm  14:12  

What’s your favorite thing about camping?


Fanelson Strongitharm  14:13  

Going in here.


Lindsay Recknell  14:17  

You just want to drive around. You don’t care about stopping and being at the lake or the park. You just want to drive her out. That’s fair. That’s fair. All right, Fanelson, I got one last question for you, my friends. Tell me what do you think about when you think about your future?


Fanelson Strongitharm  14:38  

Well, I think about that maybe I could be really good at doing a few things maybe like repairing cars or I’m being like a famous racecar driver.


Lindsay Recknell  14:54  

Absolutely. You can be anything you want to be


Fanelson Strongitharm  15:00  

Or a baseball player?


Lindsay Recknell  15:03  

Why not? There’s no stopping you.


Fanelson Strongitharm  15:07  



Lindsay Recknell  15:10  

You have been amazing. I so appreciate you spending time with me and with your mom and telling the world how you feel about hope how awesome it is to have you here in Canada and as part of mom and Diego’s family life. I for get your other dog’s name. What’s your other dog’s name? 


Fanelson Strongitharm  15:27  



Lindsay Recknell  15:27  

Chloe. Right Chloe and Diego love having you part of their family. I know it. 


Lindsay Recknell  15:32  



Lindsay Recknell  15:34  

This has been so wonderful. Thank you guys, both for taking the time to hang out with me today.


Fanelson Strongitharm  15:37  

You’re Welcome. 


Kelly Strongitharm  15:38  

Thank you for having us.


Lindsay Recknell  15:40  

I’ll talk to you soon. 


Lindsay Recknell  15:44  

I hope you enjoyed this latest episode of the Hope Motivates Action podcast. These episodes are a labor of love inspiring conversations with hopeful people make my heart happy. If you also love this episode, it would be amazing if you could go to Apple podcasts and leave a review five stars if you’re into it. It’s these reviews that encourage Apple to promote this podcast to their network and the more people that listen, the more hope we can spread into the world. 


Lindsay Recknell  16:08  

Don’t forget to check out the show notes of this episode to find all the links to my guests books and other resources referenced in this episode. You’ll also find the link back to my website where you will find additional support and resources for you, your team and your community. I truly believe that the future will be better than today. By taking action over the things we can control and hearing from these guests on these episodes. I know that an even more hopeful future is totally possible. 


Lindsay Recknell  16:32  

I’m always looking for inspirational guests so if you or anyone you know would like to be a guest on the show please reach out you can find me on the contact form of my website at or by email at 


Lindsay Recknell  16:48  

When I was a teenager when my sisters were leaving the house to go out for the night, I always made it a point to remind them to call me if they need me. It was my way to tell them that I cared and would always be there for them. I’d love you to know the same so all of you listening out there Call me if you need me. 


Lindsay Recknell  17:02  

Again. Thank you for your love and support of this podcast my work and hope and your intentional focus on making your future better than today. After all, hope without action is just a wish.


Transcribed by

Lindsay Recknell | Expert in Hope | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram

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