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Nursing Trainee from Sudan Passes California Certification Exam

Filed in Employment Facilitation News by on May 12, 2017

Born in Sudan (present-day South Sudan), Suzy L. experienced hardships in her native country. Desiring more security to be happy and comfortable, sentiments she never achieved in her homeland, Suzy fled her war-torn country. On her journey to the United States, Suzy faced many financial and cultural challenges, but she was patient and worked hard to overcome the barriers.

Suzy contacted NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative) and registered to participate in the CNA (certified nursing assistant) vocational training program. After completing the intensive 22-day course, Suzy passed the state exams and obtained employment at a hospital in the Sharp HealthCare system. Suzy hopes to progress in the healthcare industry and one day become an LVN (licensed vocational nurse). Her advice to others in similar situations is to always work hard, never give up, but be patient. Suzy hopes to visit South Sudan where her family still lives, but only after the current situation in the country de-escalates.

Office of Minority Health Resource Center Awards Grant to Nile Sisters

Filed in Donor News, Health Program News by on May 11, 2017

Office of Minority Health resource Center logo

Mental-health conditions are considered priority health concerns among newly arriving and existing refugee and ethnic populations. Statewide, one such condition, dependency syndrome, is one of five top mental illnesses that disproportionately burden refugees.

Recently, NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative) received a mini-grant from the Office of Minority Health Resource Center» in order to develop mental-health resources for black and ethnic populations. Through the Harambee Project, NSDI aims to increase access to evidence-based educational materials and culturally sensitive mental- and behavioral-health resources available to black and ethnic populations, as well as to lay health workers and medical practitioners.

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Nile Sisters Focuses on Refugee and Ethnic Mental Health Throughout May

Filed in Event News, Health Program News by on May 11, 2017

Conceptual illustration of a tree as metaphor of mental illness versus mental health

Since 1949, the US has designated the month of May as national Mental Health Month». Throughout the month, events such as Mental Health Matters Day: Building Momentum and Strength Together» provide opportunities for the mental-health community and other stakeholders to raise awareness and understanding of mental health conditions in order to reduce stigma, educate the public, and advocate for affected individuals / communities. NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative) is proud to join this long-standing tradition on behalf of refugee and ethnic populations.

In October 2016, NSDI conducted a community round-table discussion» of the mental and behavioral health needs of refugee and immigrant communities in San Diego County. Two subsequent community dialogues» convened to discuss the themes that emerged from the initial round table.

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Nile Sisters Hosts Mandated Reporter Workshops

Filed in Event News by on April 26, 2017

Because parenting strategies differ across cultures, child abuse can be difficult to measure. Individuals may parent well, but in different ways as influenced by their culture. It is important to acknowledge differing cultural values and motives among refugee and immigrant populations, who often experience overwhelming need for support to reduce parental stress, increase family-member assistance, and provide access to culturally sensitive education regarding child abuse regulations in California.

Refugee and immigrant parents face many risk factors that can lead to Child Protective Services intervention. Factors include migration and acculturation stressors and socio-economic and cultural barriers. Upon resettlement, children often learn the new language and assimilate faster than their parents. A common source of tension between resettled parents and offspring is the differing value of privacy that emerges after children become more quickly immersed in American culture.

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First Criminal Case of Female Genital Cutting

Filed in Human Interest News by on April 26, 2017

Female genital cutting icon

FGC (female genital cutting), also known as female genital mutilation, refers to any partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury of the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons. The World Health Organization states that FGC is a “violation of the human rights of girls and women” that “reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes.” FGC is a social norm practiced across cultures, religions, and socio-economic statuses. It is particularly common in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

In 1996, FGC became a crime under United States federal law, punishable by up to five years in prison. The Transport for Female Genital Mutilation Act amended this law in 2013 in order to add a ban against “vacation cutting,” a term that describes a citizen of the United States undergoing an FGC procedure overseas.

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Congolese Refugee Earns Nursing Assistant Credentials

Filed in Employment Facilitation News by on April 26, 2017

Photo of new certified nursing assistant graduate

Aminata D. and her family are originally from Congo. Due to instability in Congo, the family sought refuge in Uganda, where they lived for five years, adjusting to a new environment and learning a different language.

In 2015, the family was resettled in San Diego. Then 26, Aminata worked in a restaurant to support her family. After a friend told Aminata about NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative) asset-building programs, she enrolled in the CNA (certified nursing assistant) program. She successfully completed the 22-day program, passed the California Department of Public Health exams, and earned her CNA credentials.

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Nile Sisters Founder Is a New Moxie Award Recipient

Filed in Event News by on April 25, 2017

Photo of Elizabeth Lou.

Elizabeth Lou, NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative) Founder, President, and CEO, is one of ten female unsung heroes in San Diego County to be honored at the first Moxies award ceremony, hosted by the Moxie Theatre», founded by women with the aim of showcasing plays by female playwrights.

Event organizers describe a Moxie as a woman who possesses grit and determination, leads fearlessly with a sense of purpose, vision, and creativity, is a voice and advocate for other women, and brings excellence to her organization or community.

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District 9 Community Meets with Councilmember Gómez

Filed in Event News by on April 7, 2017

On Friday, April 7, 2017, NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative) convened a meeting with City Councilmember Georgette Gómez (elected in 2016 to represent District 9). Also in attendance were recent Haitian entrants, residents from diverse refugee and ethnic backgrounds, and community leaders representing ethnic and faith-based entities that support refugees.

The group congratulated Councilmember Gómez on her City Council victory, welcomed her to their communities, and shared their most pressing concerns, including access to culturally and linguistically proficient resources and more skill-building programs.

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April Is National Minority Health Month

Filed in Event News by on April 1, 2017

April is designated as National Minority Health Month» by the US Deparment of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Minority Health (OMH) in order to raise awareness of health disparities and inequities throughout the country. Practicing the 2017 theme, Bridging Health Equity Across Communities, NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative) is increasing awareness of health, social, and economic disparities that impact refugee and ethnic populations in the San Diego region.

San Diego County is estimated to have a population of 150,000 refugee residents; approximately 30,000 reside within the City of San Diego. Over the years, NSDI has highlighted and addressed health concerns and social determinants of health in order to alleviate challenges faced by vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities. In 2016, NSDI constituents represented 31 different countries and spoke 25 diverse languages, spanning four continents.

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United Nations 61st Commission on the Status of Women Recap

Filed in Event News by on March 30, 2017

Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI) served on the United Nations Association of San Diego (UNA-SD) delegation to the United Nations 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), March 13–24, 2017. Attendees of the annual meeting included delegates from UN member states, civil society actors, and non-governmental organizations accredited by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

UNA-SD is one of only four UNA chapters that has achieved annual attendance status, resulting primarily from the leadership of NSDI board member and former UNA-SD president, Anne Hoiberg. Ms. Hoiberg is also the founder of the Women’s Museum of California, which hosted an official CSW61 side event entitled “Refugee Women Leading Women Worldwide from Abuse to Economic and Social Empowerment.” This event focused on resilient women, such as NSDI founder Elizabeth Lou, who have transformed their hardships into opportunities to serve others.

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