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Refugee Roundtable: Spotlight on Female Genital Cutting

Filed in Event News by on February 1, 2018

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Refugee Roundtable: Spotlight on Female Genital Cutting
San Diego State University
Tuesday, February 6
Public Welcome, Free of Charge

In observance of International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM» ( female genital mutilation ), Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) will host Refugee Roundtable: Spotlight on Female Genital Cutting ( FGC ), a discussion featuring Dr. Nina Smart, global activist against FGC. FGC and FGM are used interchangeably.

In 2004, Dr. Smart founded Servicing Wild Flowers ( SWF ), a Los-Angeles-based nonprofit organization that specializes in educating immigrant communities and eradicating the practice of female genital mutilation in Sierra Leone ( West Africa ). For her tireless advocacy, Dr. Smart was chosen as 2016 Woman of the Year» by California Senator Tony Mendoza ( District 32 ) and honored by the United States Congress.

Dr. Smart inspires others by sharing her story, Wild Flower», and she moves others to action by offering opportunities to collaborate on effective solutions to end FGM in a non-violent way.

Dr. Smart’s United Nations ( UN ) participation includes 2016 International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, at which Secretary General Ban Ki-moon coined the phrase “Education not Mutilation” to emphasize the importance of ending FGM worldwide. And, in 2018, Dr. Smart will be a member of and speaker for Soroptimist International at an event held in conjunction with sixty-second session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women» ( CSW62 ).

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February 6 is International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM 

Filed in Event News by on January 23, 2018

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February 6 is International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM. FGM is an abbreviation for female genital mutilation», also known as female genital cutting (FGC.) Although practiced for several thousand years in diverse regions of the world, FGC has generated little research, and the full extent of the short-and long-term health consequences is unclear. Today, the practice of FGC is considered to be a gross international infringement on the rights of women and constitutes child abuse against girls.

However, FGC awareness is increasing. In 2016, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health» (OWH) announced its efforts to address FGC in the United States and a practice known as “vacation cutting”, which entails travelling abroad for the purpose of FGC.

More than twenty years ago, California passed legislation» to address FGC in immigrant populations that traditionally adhere to the practice.

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Season’s Greetings from Nile Sisters Development Initiative

Filed in Recent Blog Posts by on November 29, 2017

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Dear friends, as I reflect on the close of 2017, the outpouring of love in support of courageous refugees and displaced populations around the world mesmerizes me. Whether you’ve stood #WithRefuges and welcomed new Americans for many years or whether you’re a new supporter and advocate, I am grateful for and indebted to you for contributing your portion of unwavering support that has sustained Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) and enabled the delivery of vital assistance to new Americans over the past 16 years.

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Nile Sisters Receives 2019 SANDAG Grant

Filed in Donor News by on November 3, 2017

San Diego Forward logo

NSDI ( Nile Sisters Development Initiative ) is a recipient of a SANDAG» ( San Diego Association of Governments ) community-based organization ( CBO ) partnership grant. As the lead CBO, NSDI works in partnership with SANDAG and other CBOs to provide input on the development of 2019 San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan» from the perspective of hard-to-reach populations. NSDI aims to ensure that newcomer communities have a voice in the decision-making process.

Three Successfully Complete Accelerated CNA Training Program

Filed in Employment Facilitation News by on October 31, 2017

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The CNA ( certified nursing assistant ) vocation offers tremendous growth opportunity in the San Diego region. In fact, CNA is considered an in-demand job by the local workforce development board. NSDI ( Nile Sisters Development Initiative ) facilitates accelerated 22-day CNA training for refugees, asylees / asylum seekers and other qualified individuals from underserved and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Between September and October 2017, three NSDI-sponsored trainees completed the CNA asset-building program. The participants hail from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of Haiti, and the United States. Their primary languages are Swahili, Haitian Creole, and Spanish. One additional student, originally from Jordan, is due to complete CNA training in November 2017.

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NSDI Leads State-Sponsored Refugee Mental Health Session

Filed in Event News, Health Program News, Recent Blog Posts by on October 28, 2017

On October 28, 2017, MHSOAC» the California ( Mental Health Services and Oversight Accountability Commission ) held a community forum» in Los Angeles to discuss the impact of Proposition 63, known as the Mental Health Services Act ( MHSA ).

The Client and Family Leadership Committee and the Cultural and Linguistic Competence Committee facilitated the forum, and NSDI ( Nile Sisters Development Initiative ) led a breakout session that covered the topic of refugee mental health, the first of its kind for the MHSOAC.

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Rebecca Paida, Senior Program Manager, Joins ACHE

Filed in Event News by on October 26, 2017

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Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) Senior Program Manager, Rebecca Paida, is a new member of ACHE ( American College of Healthcare Executives» ), an “international professional society of 40,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations.” The ACHE mission is to “advance its members and healthcare management.” ACHE also administers the board examination for the credential ACHE Fellow ( FACHE ).

Ms. Paida is a public-health practitioner with nearly a decade of expertise in health initiatives that support refugee and other unserved / underserved populations. She is also a CHES ( Certified Health Education Specialist ), credentialed by NCHEC ( National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Inc. ).

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World Mental Health Day, October 10

Filed in Event News by on October 4, 2017

Every October 10, the global community recognizes World Mental Health Day» as an opportunity to highlight international outreach, education, and advocacy efforts spent to reduce mental health stigma.

In 2016, Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) established MIND ( Matters Involving Neuro-Disorders ) to address mental and behavioral health disparities in refugee and ethnic populations. The new coalition is a community-driven effort that utilizes collective impact strategies to address refugee mental health concerns.

As of September 2017, MIND includes 57 individuals, representing 29 cross-sector entities  / organizations, spanning eight sectors.

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Spotlight on Humanitarian Emergencies in World’s Newest Country

Filed in Event News by on September 28, 2017

On September 28, Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) hosted Refugee Crisis: Spotlight on South Sudan» to highlight concerns over growing populations of refugees and internally displaced people in the world’s newest country, the Republic of South Sudan ( ROSS ). A distinguished panel consisting of subject-matter experts from international, national, and local entities discussed the founding of ROSS, the unfolding internal conflict, and responses by different stakeholders, as well as opportunities for San Diegans to affect positive change in the ROSS. A Facebook Live» feed of the event generated 160 local and national views.

Event Panelists
Bruce M. Abrams, Esq.
Chair, City of San Diego International Affairs Board

Governor Bangasi Joseph Bakasoro
Chair, South Sudan National Movement for Change ( SSNMC  )

Dr. David S. Bassiouni
Chair and Chief Executive Officer, The Bassiouni Group

Dr. John Chuol Kuek, MFTI
President, South Sudanese Community Council of San Diego

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September, National Workforce Development Month

Filed in Employment Facilitation News by on September 6, 2017

The month of September is recognized nationally as Workforce Development Month», a period in which to highlight the efforts of professionals who play a pivotal role in promoting workforce development to meet the needs of local employers, apprenticeship programs, and job seekers.

As a member of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals», Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) facilitates a healthcare workforce development program for economically and environmentally disadvantaged populations. The NSDI certified nursing assistant ( CNA ) program avails skill-building training to refugees and asylum seekers / asylees to generate a diverse, culturally and linguistically proficient healthcare workforce. Regarded as an in-demand job in the San Diego region, the CNA vocation serves as a pipeline to advanced healthcare careers. In 2016, of surveyed participants who completed the NSDI CNA program, 89% expressed interest in advancing their career in the healthcare field.

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