In 2000, Fatoumata Niambaly, our December Aide of the Month, did something courageous. She decided to leave home and move to a new country to find a job.
Fatoumata grew up in Mali, where she studied finance in college. After spending three years searching for a job, she knew she needed to move to a place with greater opportunity. She decided to immigrate to the United States, where her uncle was living. In July of 2000, a young and brave Fatoumata moved to New York City. She spoke no English and soon found that the fast-paced life of the big city wasn’t for her. Through the African community, she found a friend who knew someone in Rochester with whom she could live for a few months. In September of that year, she made the move.
Life in Rochester was difficult at first. Coming from a hot, dry climate in Mali, our cold Rochester winters were a challenge. Making friends, learning the language, and getting used a to new culture were all obstacles, but Fatoumata is a fighter. “I didn’t give up. I didn’t take the easy way. Life is challenging every day—you have to fight.” Luckily, Fatoumata had help. Her new roommate introduced her to the African community in Rochester and helped her secure a job at an African braiding shop. It was through this shop that she met her husband, Edwin, and married him in 2006.
Fatoumata is a people person. She loves caring for people, which is why in 2016, a friend suggested she pursue a career in home care. She applied to Blossom (then CCOR) and was hired. In home care, she has found a career that suits her compassionate nature. “Everywhere they send me, I make sure I do my best for that person. It’s not just home care. I see the client just like me. If something happened to me, I would want someone to treat me the way I treat them.”
Over 20 years ago, Fatoumata left home in search of opportunity, and today, she loves the life she has found. She has a loving relationship with her husband, a simple life in Rochester, and a fulfilling career at Blossom. It took courage to make a new life for herself, but the rewards have been worth the effort. “You can make your dream here in the United States,” she says. “You have a lot of opportunity here. People who live here don’t know they have all this opportunity to be somebody. It’s a dream country.”