Translate information in this website into another language.
Learn More.»

Event News

Invitation to Panel Discussion: South Sudan Refugee Crisis in San Diego

Filed in Event News by on June 23, 2017

Photo of four young smiling South Sudanese boys

In August 2017, Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI) will host an informative panel of South Sudanese leaders and key stakeholders who will discuss the founding of ROSS (Republic of South Sudan), concerns over ballooning populations of refugees and IDPs (internally displaced populations), as well as the responses by international, national, and local entities.

Event Details and Reservations»

Recent South Sudan History
A jubilant world watched as the Republic of South Sudan (ROSS)
» became the world’s newest country on July 9, 2011, after enduring a tumultuous journey. Earlier in the year, a referendum vote» overwhelmingly decided that indigenous natives in Southern Sudan and those in the Diaspora would separate from Sudan and become an independent nation.

View entire story.»

July Refugee and Ethnic Populations Health Convening

Filed in Event News, Health Program News by on June 9, 2017


Join NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative), in partnership with the Office of Minority Health Resource Center for a three-day workshop with sessions covering technical assistance and capacity building for board members and senior executives of health-oriented, ethnic community-based organizations (ECBOs) and training for African and immigrant community health workers.

This event has three purposes:

  • to provide evidence-based information to increase and strengthen the competence of ECBOs to provide culturally and linguistically proficient services to underserved minority populations
  • to build organizational development and engagement with mainstream health organizations, public policy, and other stakeholders
  • to promote collaboration and community building by refugee leaders and community members

View entire story.»

June 20 Is World Refugee Day

Filed in Event News by on June 1, 2017


Established by the United Nations General Assembly on December 4, 2000, World Refugee Day» acknowledges the plight of refugees and raises awareness of the world’s most vulnerable population.

In 2016, the population of refugees and displaced persons surpassed all previous global records since World War II. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), approximately 65.3 million people are displaced—nearly the combined population of California and Texas. Of this, 21.3 million are refugees» and, of this, women and children comprise about 50 percent». The United Nations defines refugees as people fleeing conflict or persecution. By international statute, refugees are free from being expelled or returned to dangerous situations. Locally, the County of San Diego is the largest refugee resettlement site in the state of California. It is also home to the second largest population in the US of refugees from Horn of Africa.

View entire story.»

Mental Health Matters Day at State Capitol

Filed in Event News, Health Program News by on May 24, 2017

On May 24, 2017, NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative) participated in a Mental Health Matters Day celebration at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. Mental Health America of California hosted the event, themed Building Momentum and Strength Together, a pledge that is particularly desirable from the perspective of refugee and ethnic populations. Among publications that NSDI staff made available to the public was Advancing Equity: Refugee and Ethnic Mental Health.»

View event photos.»

View entire story.»

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.

View entire story.»

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.

View entire story.»

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.

View entire story.»

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.

View entire story.»

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.

View entire story.»

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.

View entire story.»