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“One Dollar per day… for the better”

Their trip to Eritrea was not planned far ahead; Naomi Samsom urged her family to spend summer in the homeland. Because she had an objective on which she worked for the past four years, now, Mr. Samsom’s and Mrs. Kulenta family is here. Even though this young lady seems a bit shy, she is certainly smart and very considerate for her age.

-Would you please introduce yourself to our readers?

“My name is Naomi Samsom, I am fourteen years old and I live in Atlanta Georgia. I am currently in middle school but will start high school after this summer. I like reading books.

I am here for the summer; I am here to visit family and friends. Currently I am preparing for a college exam; if I get good marks I will be able to save one year of college and finish earlier.” 

-Why do you want to finish school early?

“I have plans… I want to be a pediatrician.”

-For how long have you wanted to be a pediatrician?

“Four or five years ago, when I saw how children are really fragile and they are the ones that need more love and care.

And I also kept on noticing that in TV they always talk about children dying because of hunger and sickness. So I told myself that I would one day be some one that is able to help children.”

-Tell us more about your initiative.

“It started four years ago when I noticed  that there are children less fortunate that I am. I then stated thinking of ways trough which I can help. That is how I came up with the idea of saving up one USD per day and give my savings for the orphanages here in Eritrea. I said to myself that one dollar per  day could make some changes for the better.  My parents agreed and encouraged me. I collected 25000 Nakfa and asked my family if we could come here to give what I saved up to the children in the orphanage.”

– And that is how she backs up the reason of why she convinced her family to accompany her to Eritrea. She is only fourteen yet she is considerate, has big plans and a straight A student. How was she raised for her to be of such wisdom? Her mom, explains…

“Raising children is not an easy task. Moreover, raising a family in a foreign country is even harder. Within the Eritrean community we have certain values that are kept dear and we make sure they are well comprehended and practiced by generations. So my husband and I are simply passing dawn what we inherited from our community.

Even though we live far from home we make sure our children are raised according to the values that make Eritreans everywhere unique in so many ways. We always keep an eye on our daughters and set regulations that that they have to follow because we don’t want them to be spoiled.

We make sure they follow their studies, do their chores and participate in the activities prepared by the committee of the Eritrean community living over there, which by the way, the girls enjoy very much.

I am a working mother, but I arrange my working hours very carefully so to be home when the kids get home from school and so to keep an eye on them.  For my husband and I, raising a family away from home and family is very challenging. My husband works in multiple jobs.

“So of course, it requires time and effort, but on the other hand it is very rewarding.”

-Betty is Naomi’s younger sister. She says that her parents thought her that:

“Age doesn’t matter it is the thought that counts, so even if we are young we can contribute.”

-Betty too managed to save some money and she shared it with the children in her home village when she went to visit.

-With only few weeks left for the family vacation to end Naomi told us that she will miss the peace , tranquility and the affectionate love and care she received from the Eritrean community here in Eritrea. She says:

“Unlike when we are here, back in Atlanta, I am not allowed to walk alone!”

-When talking about her dreams and visions, young Naomi says:

“What I have done is not a big deal. Money is not everything, but I promised myself that I’ll do more to help. My plans include children and my country!”

-We truly wish Naomi and her family all the best.


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