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Services News

Our Journey Back to City Heights

Filed in Services News by on November 9, 2022

After proudly serving the San Diego region for over two decades, NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative) is excited to call City Heights home again.

When NSDI was founded in City Heights in 2001, our mission was simple: support refugees and immigrants to become self-sufficient. With generous donations from The Satterberg Foundation, The San Diego Foundation, Alliance Healthcare Foundation, The Conrad Prebys Foundation, and financial investments from Civic Communities, Pacific Western Bank, and Mission Driven Finance, NSDI acquired a property in the historic neighborhood of City Heights.

View entire story.»

COVID-19 Office Closures

Filed in Services News by on March 16, 2020

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, also known as coronavirus, NSDI will be taking precautionary measures for the overall health and wellness of our staff and the communities in which we serve. Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, NSDI will close our physical offices in San Diego and Los Angeles Counties temporarily. Our staff will continue to work remotely. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

NSDI San Diego County Inquiries:»
NSDI Los Angeles County Inquiries:»

Federal COVID-19 Information
US Health and Human Services»
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention»

State COVID-19 Information
California Department of Public Health»
California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services»

Los Angeles County COVID-19 Information
County of Los Angeles Public Health»

City of San Diego COVID-19 Information
City of San Diego»

FULSToP Youth CAB Members in Their Own Words

Filed in Services News by on February 26, 2019

In May 2018, FULSToP» ( Families Uniting Locally to Solve Tobacco Proliferation ) launched in San Diego and Orange counties. The program is a community-based initiative that aims to reduce tobacco-related health disparities among refugee, ethnic, and African-American / Black communities and to make gains toward health equity through collaborative, regional approaches directed toward policy change and community education.

View entire story.»

CalNEW Begins Outreach to School-Age Refugees

Filed in Services News by on February 18, 2019

The CalNEW» (California Newcomer Education and Well-Being) project, unveiled in late 2018, is a school-based initiative supported by the San Diego Unified School District» and authorized by Assembly Bill 99. The project aims to enhance social and academic performance by providing additional services for refugees and other eligible school-age students.

Program Services

  • Connecting students and families to culturally responsive resources including academic, behavioral, and social support
  • Facilitating educator and parent meetings
  • Conducting community outreach and engagement events
  • Building cross-sector partnerships to provide comprehensive direct service to newcomers

Program Contact

To participate or refer a student or family to CalNEW, contact a community outreach specialist at Nile Sisters Development Initiative. Submit an email inquiry:»

You Can Help

  • Adopt a family
  • Become a student or family advocate
  • Donate new or gently used K–12 school supplies
  • Donate new or gently used English reading books
  • Volunteer to tutor» a variety of subjects

Candidates seeking to provide direct services to students and their families are subject to a comprehensive criminal, physical, and medical background check.

To learn more, contact»

‘Tis the Season: President’s Annual Message

Filed in Services News by on November 13, 2018


Dear friends, around this time last year, I humbly shared our annual updates with you. I am happy to communicate that, in 2018, champions like you have persistently voiced support for refugees» and immigrants in San Diego and beyond. In response, NSDI ( Nile Sisters Development Initiative ) has unwaveringly assisted underserved populations in our region through the following programs:

View entire story.»

Refugee Online Publication Library Update

Filed in Services News by on September 5, 2017


In early 2017, Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) launched its online publications library» to offer free, reliable, and current information about refugees and other vulnerable foreign-born populations in San Diego County, home to the largest number of primary refugees to the state of California. Publications in the online library include NSDI-conducted community assessments to establish the qualitative and quantitative evidence for the most pressing of contemporary refugee and immigrant issues. Other library content includes evidence-based resources, best practices, policy briefs, and literature compiled by external entities, including university, governmental, and health and social services researchers, whose information could benefit our client community.

Request inclusion in our publication library by email:»

Adopt-a-Family Provides Relief for 93 Refugees and Asylees

Filed in Human Interest News, Services News by on January 10, 2017

Photo of a refugee mother and her two young sons.

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.

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Language Translation Expands Health Coverage to Hard-to-Reach Populations

Filed in Services News by on February 14, 2016

Hoping to build a better life in the United States, Grace* and her three children came to San Diego as refugees from Congo in October 2015. After they arrived, Grace was unable to enroll her family in a Covered California health insurance plan because she communicates in French only. The County of San Diego referred her to Nile Sisters Development Initiative.

As a Certified Enrollment Entity, Nile Sisters has Certified Application Counselors (CACs) who provide free in-person assistance to populations who are eligible for Covered California and Medi-Cal insurance. The CACs and staff provide culturally proficient services to consumers in a variety of languages, including Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Creole, French, Haitian, and Swahili. Funding from 2-1-1, Community Science, and the Cal Wellness Foundation has enabled Nile Sisters to develop linguistically appropriate materials for hard-to-reach populations, which has led to View entire story.»

Mother Escapes Torture and Leads Her Children Toward a Brighter Future

Filed in Services News by on February 13, 2016

Originally from Guerrero, Mexico, Rosalinda fled escalating violence in her home town in order to build a better life in the US. “I was picked up, kidnapped, and tortured by armed men,” Rosalinda recounts her traumatic experience. Some of her extended family members also fled Mexico after her cousin was killed. Fueled by fear, Rosalinda and her four children left everything behind and headed north. “I walked for three days to Tijuana, and I worried especially about the children,” she said. “But I reassured them that I was here for them, and that they didn’t have to worry.”

Photo of Erika Vargas, new Nile Sisters Initiative vocational training graduate

Photo Caption
Rosalinda Noguis

Upon their arrival, Rosalinda and her children were booked View entire story.»

2015 Achievement Highlights

Filed in Services News by on December 23, 2015

Thanks to our growing community of supporting friends, Nile Sisters Development Initiative grew in important ways that made 2015 one of the best in our fourteen-year history of serving refugee and immigrant populations. Following are the highlights of our achievements this year.

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