Human Interest News
For years, San Diego County has been the primary refugee resettlement site in the state of California. The county boasts a population of roughly 150,000 refugees and former refugees, a number equal to the combined populations of three cities within the San Diego region—El Cajon, Lemon Grove, and Spring Valley. Measured against the San Diego County population of 3.3 million residents, refugees equal one in every 22 individuals.
Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI) has compiled the following list to illustrate the invaluable contributions made in five fields by the diverse refugee community in San Diego.
Every year, NSDI connects community members with refugee and asylee families during the months of October through December. During resettlement, newly-arrived families sometimes encounter extraordinary challenges that leave them temporarily unable to meet their most basic needs. Under these conditions, refugee and immigrant families qualify for emergency relief services.
In 2016, NSDI identified 93 individuals in 19 families who were in need of additional support. Thanks to the generosity of everyday San Diegans, all identified families received support as part of the year-end program. The families hail from seven different countries including Burma, Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, and Sudan. Twenty-two percent of program recipients were between the ages of 0 and 5 years. Assistance provided to refugee and asylee families ranged from kitchen equipment to gift cards, redeemable at local grocery stores.
Mikelina and her husband, Phillip, are refugees from South Sudan. War drove them from their village. Phillip’s father was killed in front of his family by soldiers of one of the factions in conflict. Mikelina fled her home alongside her husband, leaving her eldest daughter,
Resettling from South Sudan
In 1996, memories of a recently passed high school examination quickly faded as San San N., seven family members, and 35 others fled to the Burmese jungle to escape government troops. With their food supplies exhausted after 22 days, they quickly learned to forage for edibles in the jungle. Approaching the Thai border,
San San N.,
Resettling from Burma