We Help Facilitate Refugee Self-Reliance
Nile Sisters Development Initiative designs and develops programs that acclimate, acculturate, advocate and educate resettling and relocating refugee and immigrant families. We also assist families that demonstrate a need for our services beyond the resettlement period.
Our services fall into the following three general categories:
- emergency relief
- employment facilitation
- family advocacy and education
Essential Household, Personal and School Supplies
Nile Sisters Development Initiative focuses attention on helping refugee and immigrant families to gain skills that lead to self-reliance as quickly as possible. During resettlement, 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 supplies.
Year-round financial donations from philanthropic individuals like you help Nile Sisters to purchase an assortment of materials essential to every household. These materials fall under the following categories:
- baby essentials
- bathroom essentials
- bedroom essentials
- food essentials
- kitchen essentials
- school essentials
Grants from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and The California Endowment enable Nile Sisters to provide the following programs:
California Driver’s License Training
Nile Sisters Development Initiative provides behind-the-wheel training to candidates who have obtained their DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) learner’s permit, have passed their DMV vision test, and passed their DMV written exam. In this program, student drivers continue learning about California vehicular laws and safe-operation practices as they gain behind-the-wheel driving experience from a professional instructor in a special dual-control vehicle. Qualified learners receive training discounts.
California Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Vocational Training
Qualified participants attend a professional nursing school in order to prepare for California certified nursing healthcare settings. Prospective participants partake in an orientation process, complete two English proficiency examinations, and participate in an interview panel. Matriculated students invest in their success by contributing a buy-in fee and receive one-on-one support during and post training. Many CNA participants obtain employment within months, depending upon their career interests.
California Family Child-Care Home License Vocational Training
Successful completion of a variety of health courses, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), qualifies participants to be a licensed child-care provider. The California family child-care home license enables those who enjoy working with children to operate a business at home and be in control of their work hours and wages. Course content includes preparation for meeting all requirements of licensure and covers all aspects of providing a safe home-like environment, where non-medical care and supervision is provided to children for periods of less than 24 hours. Prospective participants partake in an orientation process and work one-on-one with a case worker to complete the licensure process. The case worker offers guidance during and after licensing to support the participant in establishing a home business. All participants invest in their home-business success by contributing a minimal buy-in fee.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Tutoring
Nile Sisters Development Initiative provides both group and one-on-one tutorial services to adult refugees and immigrants who desire to learn English as a second language. Sometimes classes take place in the Nile Sisters San Diego office. At other times, staff and volunteers take ESL sessions into the homes of refugee families, where it’s possible to reach larger numbers by inviting and engaging refugee neighbors. ESL tutoring is free.
Professional Development Tutoring
Nile Sisters Development Initiative provides both group and one-on-one tutorial services to adult refugees and immigrants who desire to enhance their professional development skills (resume building, cover-letter composition, interviewing practice, job application techniques) as they seek employment. Sometimes tutoring sessions take place in the Nile Sisters San Diego office. At other times, staff and volunteers take professional development sessions into the homes of refugee and immigrant families who may face transportation barriers. Professional development tutoring is free.
Family Advocacy and Education
Refugee and immigrant families resettling in and relocating to San Diego find themselves immersed in a fast-paced environment of unfamiliar and, often, confusing customs. The process of acculturation—absorbing and integrating a new culture—requires transformation of behaviors, social and work activities, thinking patterns, values, attitudes, feelings, and self-identity. The process is complex, personal, typically nonlinear, repetitive, and frequently stressful.
Staffed by empathetic people who, themselves, have experienced American acculturation, Niles Sisters Development Initiative helps refugee and immigrant families hurdle cultural assimilation by either introduction to or assistance through the following US systems:
Nile Sisters Development Initiative provides extensive support to refugee and immigrant families as they begin navigation through the complex California healthcare system. Services include all of the following:
- basic family-health education
- referral to affordable healthcare providers
- assistance with completing and filing documents
- transportation to and from office visits
- language translation when necessary
Nile Sisters Development Initiative is a Covered California Certified Enrollment Counselor. Our health advocate staff provides Covered California application assistance, including translation in Arabic, Burmese, Spanish and Swahili.
When appropriate, Nile Sisters Development Initiative matches resettling and relocating refugee families to volunteer community role models, whose wisdom, values and practices can positively influence behaviors that strengthen family bonds and help members achieve goals. As advocates, mentors help to identify and locate resources to help refugee families. As friends, mentors acknowledge and celebrate refugee family successes through early acculturation stages.
Prenatal and Infant Health Orientation
Nile Sisters Development Initiative prenatal program introduces expectant refugee mothers to practices that help ensure a normal pregnancy, uncomplicated birth, and healthy newborn. Instruction emphasizes the importance of adopting and maintaining the following habits:
- healthy diet
- regular, doctor-advised exercise
- avoidance of exposure to potentially harmful substances
- control of risky conditions such as overweight, hypertension and diabetes
Infant-health classes cover the following topics:
- infant behavior and communication
- infant feeding and nutrition
- diapering and swaddling
- comforting techniques
- symptoms of infant illness
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- car-seat safety
And, as need arises, Nile Sisters helps refugee mothers to access affordable healthcare services.
Nile Sisters Development Initiative introduces refugee and immigrant parents of young children to early-childhood development techniques proven to foster healthy physical growth, cognitive development and school readiness. Instruction covers the following essential topics:
- creating environments that encourage learning
- laying the foundation for scholastic success
- developing a consistent parenting style
- building a strong, healthy parent-child relationship
- strategizing positive guidance