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Our Refugee Advocates Are Our Most Valuable Assets

Since its foundation in 2001, Nile Sisters Development Initiative has made it a priority to involve local community members. Our staff is a genuine reflection of this goal.

Yu Yu Khaing, Community Outreach Specialist

Yu Yu Khaing is an advocate and translator for Nile Sisters Development Initiative, San Diego, California.

A passionate activist in every community she joins, Yu Yu first arrived in Indiana, where she added two years of pharmacy technician training to the study of zoology she had already completed in Burma, her homeland. After providing translation assistance to Burmese immigrants served by a health-based nonprofit organization, Yu Yu relocated to San Diego, where she continues to practice her humanitarianism and bilingual skill to empower the Burmese refugee community. As the Nile Sisters Development Initiative community outreach specialist, Yu Yu

  • translates and advocates for Burmese refugees resettling in San Diego County
  • facilitates special donation projects

Rebecca Paida, Senior Program Manager

Rebecca Paida is a senior program manager for Nile Sisters Development Initiative, San Diego, California.A former refugee, Rebecca is intimately aware of the social and economic challenges one faces when relocating to a new community. This experience fuels her passion for service to underrepresented populations.

Rebecca is an alumna of San Diego State University, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in public administration with a minor in Africana studies. She holds a master of public health degree with emphasis in health education from Loma Linda University. Rebecca is also a certified health education specialist and a Covered California certified enrollment counselor (CEC). She holds a certificate of nonprofit management and belongs to several professional organizations including American Public Health Association (APHA) and Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), formerly Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). Rebecca also sits on the board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN San Diego).

Having worked for both government and private sectors, Rebecca brings a unique perspective to her role as the Nile Sisters Development Initiative senior program manager. Her responsibilities include the following:

  • procuring cross-sector grants and other investments to execute Nile Sisters programming
  • planning and administering Nile Sisters programs

Susan Hagos, Health Advocacy Coordinator

Susan Hagos is the health advocacy coordinator for Nile Sisters Development Initiative, San Diego, California.The daughter of former refugees, Susan is committed to social justice and driven by her encounters with socio-economic inequalities. She is passionate about empowering underserved populations with the knowledge and resources needed to live healthy lives.

Susan earned her master of public health degree from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in international development studies with a minor in public health from the University of California Los Angeles. Susan also is a Certified Health Education Specialist and belongs to several professional organizations, including the American Public Health Association (APHA), Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), and the United Nations Association of San Diego (UNA-SD).

As the Nile Sisters Development Initiative health advocacy coordinator, Susan

  • conducts research on and publishes advocacy materials related to health disparities
  • fosters relationships with elected officials and key stakeholders to improve health services and policies
  • oversees the design, implementation, and evaluation of health promotion and education initiatives

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