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New Education and Career Opportunities for Refugees and Asylees / Asylum Seekers in San Diego

Filed in Employment Facilitation News by on August 15, 2017


Current data from the County of San Diego indicate that unemployment rates for refugees remain high. Limited education and gainful career opportunities lead to short- and long-term disparities for such vulnerable communities.

Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) combats this challenge by availing asset-building programs, including training in careers projected to grow in the San Diego region and beyond. According to the San Diego Workforce Partnership», the number of health care jobs projected to be available in San Diego in five years is 19,105. The nursing-assistant vocation is one of the top five occupations in the healthcare industry. Refugees and asylees / asylum seekers who successfully complete the NSDI accelerated 22-day CNA ( certified nursing assistant ) program typically achieve employment within 60 days of program completion / certification.

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Nigerian Asylum Seeker Graduates Certified Nursing Assistant Program

Filed in Employment Facilitation News by on August 14, 2017

Julie O.* came to the United States from Nigeria in August 2015. A local attorney thought she would benefit from and recommended that Julie enroll in the accelerated 22-day CNA (certified nursing assistant) skill-building program that Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) facilitates.

Julie enjoys the nursing profession, has previously worked as a personal care giver, and has completed health care courses in addition to CNA classes. In July 2017, Julie successfully completed her CNA program and passed both portions of California State exam needed to earn her certification. She recently received a CNA job offer.

View entire story.»

Congresswoman Susan Davis Receives 2017 Refugee Champion Award

Filed in Event News by on August 14, 2017


On August 5, 2017, Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) hosted a community picnic» with support from the City of San Diego International Affairs Board» (IAB). The picnic provided an opportunity to share with the public the resilience and contributions of refugees and asylum seekers / asylees in the San Diego region. Since 2001, NSDI has supported refugees and immigrants in San Diego through essential services such as employment facilitation, family advocacy and education, and emergency relief.

Guests enjoyed a lively performance by Nigerian-born international performing artist, Buki Domingos». Bruce M. Abrams, Esq., IAB Chair and Dr. Kathleen Charla, PhD, IAB Vice Chair presented a special commendation» to NSDI in recognition of the organization’s contributions to diverse communities in the city of San Diego. IAB and Human Relations Commission (HRC) Executive Director, Joel Day, PhD, also described San Diego’s ongoing efforts to include refugee and newcomer communities in civic events and decision-making. And Assemblymember Todd Gloria» and Councilmember Georgette Gomez» recounted city efforts to foster an inclusive region for all San Diegans.

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Nile Sisters to Co-Sponsor National Health Conference

Filed in Event News by on August 10, 2017

Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) is pleased to co-sponsor the fifth annual United States Conference on African Immigrant Health» ( USCAIH ) in the Washington, DC area. The October 5–8 event will convene at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC–Crystal City to bring together more than 400 conference contributors from diverse backgrounds, including community organizations, academia, private businesses, and government agencies.

The conference theme will be Advancing the Health of African Immigrants Through Research, Advocacy, and Community Engagement. Oral presentations, exhibits, and workshop topics will include research and practice in African-immigrant communities; education, training, and workforce development; immigration, integration, and health.

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Invitation to Refugee and Ethnic Mental Health Coalition Strategic Planning Meeting

Filed in Event News, Health Program News by on August 10, 2017


On Friday, August 18, 2017, Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) will conduct a strategic planning meeting for the Refugee and Ethnic Mental Health Coalition». The meeting will run from 9:00am to noon at the CARE Community Center, located at 12 North Euclid Avenue, National City, CA 91950.

Coalition stakeholders and community participants must reserve their places at the meeting no later than Monday, August 14, 2017. Reserve your place by email:

Community Members and Stakeholders Convene to Discuss Refugee and Ethnic Health Concerns

Filed in Health Program News by on August 4, 2017

In July 2017, Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI), in partnership with the Office of Minority Health Resource Center, assembled a three-day Refugee and Ethnic Populations Health Convening» with sessions covering technical assistance and capacity building for board members and senior executives of health-oriented, ethnic community-based organizations (ECBOs).

The purpose of the convening was to provide evidence-based information to increase and strengthen the competence of ECBOs to provide culturally and linguistically proficient services to underserved minority populations as well as to build organizational capacity. A one-day training also benefited community health workers who work with recently arrived refugees and other ethnic minority populations, specifically related to the prevention and treatment of HIV / AIDS and hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

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Update: Panel Discussion on South Sudan Refugee Crisis in San Diego

Filed in Event News by on August 3, 2017

Photo of four young smiling South Sudanese boys

This updated post reflects new event date details.

Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) is planning to 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 IDP ( internally displaced people ), as well as the responses by international, national, and local entities. This event has a tentative date in September 2017.

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» by indigenous natives in southern Sudan and those in the Diaspora, overwhelmingly decided that southern Sudan would separate from Sudan and become an independent nation.

View entire story.»

New Cohort Enrolls in Employment Facilitation Program

Filed in Employment Facilitation News by on July 27, 2017

In July 2017, a new group of applicants from refugee and immigrant backgrounds participated in the Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) mandatory one-week orientation, which precedes an accelerated 22-day CNA ( certified nursing assistant ) training program. The CNA program allows newcomers and individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to partake in asset-building training in order to attain gainful employment in the healthcare field, one of San Diego County’s in-demand job sectors. A total of 15 individuals, representing six countries on three different continents, expressed interest in the CNA program during the July orientation cycle.

Candidates who successfully complete their orientation will begin their August / September CNA training at an accredited training institution in either San Diego or El Cajon.

Input Wanted for Regional Conference on Refugee / Ethnic Immigrant Health

Filed in Health Program News by on June 21, 2017

California is the largest refugee resettlement state in the United States. Since 1975, approximately 700,000 refugees have been resettled in California, excluding select individuals, such as Cuban / Haitian entrants and special immigration visa (SIV) holders. Many refugee and ethnic populations, especially newly arrived immigrants, are burdened with preventable health conditions that, often, impede successful integration into host communities and hamper the abilities of refugee and ethnic populations to thrive.

In 2018, Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI), in partnership with the US Office of Minority Health, will host the Western Regional Conference on Refugee and Ethnic Immigrant Health. This conference will be an extension of the US Conference on African Immigrant Health, held annually in different parts of the country.

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First Refugee Mental Health Coalition Meeting

Filed in Health Program News by on June 20, 2017

In 2016, NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative) began a community-driven project to improve the mental health and psychosocial well-being of San Diego’s refugee and ethnic populations. Between October and November 2016, a series of community conversations with community leaders and regional refugee-serving organizations took place. Of those who completed an evaluation distributed during the conversations, 100% valued the importance of meeting regularly, prompting the decision to meet on a quarterly basis thoughout 2017.

The new refugee mental health coalition first met on Friday, June 9, 2017, from 10:00am to 12:00pm at the Copley-Price Family YMCA, located at 4300 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92105. A total of 15 agencies and organizations gathered to discuss next steps. Guest speaker Senait Admassu, MSW, who serves as the executive director of the African Communities Public Health Coalition (ACPHC) covered the health promotion and outreach strategies employed to overcome shame and stigma associated with mental illness within refugee communities from the African diaspora. She also emphasized the importance of building trust and inspiring community engagement and leadership. Ms. Admassu brings more than eight years of in-community work experience with both nonprofit and public mental health programs. Her current employer, ACPHC, has spearheaded progress in the acknowledgement and delivery of culturally and linguistically sensitive mental health resources to the African refugee and immigrant communities in Los Angeles.

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