Employment Facilitation News
On February 1, 2017, Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI) conducted two orientation sessions for the certified nursing assistant (CNA) vocational training program.» The mandatory workshops provide overview of the 22-day program to prospective participants. Between October 2016 and January 2017, forty-two individuals from diverse backgrounds placed their names on a waitlist to receive more information about the asset-building program. List members represent at least five countries, including Ethiopia, Congo, Haiti, Iraq, and Jordan. Since initiation of the employment facilitation program, NSDI has served individuals who have relocated to the US from 12 countries.
The program offers opportunities for refugees, asylees, and survivors of torture to gain skills in growing industries such as healthcare. Refugees face many challenges even after their resettlement in the United States. One critical challenge is economic hardship due to difficulties in obtaining gainful and sustainable employment. To alleviate this concern, NSDI partners with two accredited schools, International Health Group, School of Nursing and Western Medical Training Center to facilitate training for qualified individuals.
In 2014, Pramoda S., her husband, and two sons moved to the US from Nepal in order to take advantage of better opportunities. In the beginning, Pramoda experienced difficulties in navigating new systems due to limited knowledge of American customs. In Nepal, Pramoda had been a banker, but in the US, she struggled to understand diverse spoken accents of people she encountered. She didn’t know where to begin to apply for a job or to seek education or skill-training.
Growing up, Jercol X. and her family were persecuted for their Rwandan roots. They sought refuge in the Democratic Republic of Congo for twelve years before resettling as refugees in the United States. Although resettlement and adopting the American way of life were initially difficult, Jercol continued to persevere through school and build a new life for herself, mother, brother, and fourteen-year-old son.
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Francois, his wife, and two young children were forced to flee their home and seek safety in Uganda, where they spent four years in a refugee camp. During their escape, Francois and his two older children were separated and have not had contact over the years since their daring escape. In his homeland, Francois was a pastor with a degree in theology. He had wanted to use his voice to highlight the abuses that he witnessed, but, instead, his family was targeted and persecuted for opposing the atrocities committed by military forces.
Born in the Southeast Asia nation of Cambodia, Channary grew up witnessing chronic poverty and dreamt of escaping her country in hopes of building a better life. In 2011, Channary migrated to the United States in search of opportunities. Since her arrival in the US, Channary has pursued education in order to obtain the skills necessary to thrive in a new environment.
Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Raha was a student who was unable to finish his studies because his family abruptly fled the country, fearing for their lives. As a young child, Raha was unaware of the tumultuous nature of the move, but he recalls their long stay in a refugee camp in Uganda. In 2014, Raha and his family arrived in the US as refugees.
Ma N. and her family came to the United States seven years ago after the Burmese government persecuted her Karen ethnic group. Although it is not uncommon to hear of government soldiers raiding and pillaging villages belonging to ethnic minorities or opposition groups, Ma never imagined that her family would encounter violence in their own home.
Resettling from Burma
Since 2010, Gary N. and his family have called San Diego their home. Moving from Port-au-Prince, Haiti then to Mexico, then to San Diego, Gary has rediscovered what it means to live in a supportive and safe environment, surrounded by people who do not judge your past but want to be a part of bettering your future.
Resettling from Haiti
At the age of 28, Safari was forced to flee his home in the Congo after war broke out. Safari’s parents were killed, and guerilla soldiers abducted him. He was held hostage in the forest for many long days before government forces rescued him. After his rescue, he fled to Uganda to lead a more stable life. Alongside his wife and children, Safari made the long journey to reach safety in Uganda.
Resettling from Congo
Michelle F. arrived in the United States in June 2015 after fleeing Rwanda, where she had been a journalist working for a government official. After learning that Michelle’s mother’s relatives were affiliated with an opposing party, Michelle’s boss began questioning her father’s loyalty to the ruling party. Since her father refused to denounce his wife or her family publicly, he lost his job, and the government placed him under house arrest.
Resettling from Rwanda