In this impactful seventy-sixth episode of The Gap Minders, we had the chance to converse with the thoughtful, incredible, Najla Ibrahim, who is the Director of Health & Wellness for Somali Family Service!Listen to “Episode 76 | Najla Ibrahim, Director, Health & Wellness, Somali Family Service” on Spreaker.
In yet another outstanding episode, Nancy and a guest co-host, Charles Parisi, enjoyed a broad conversation with Najla Ibrahim, the Director of Health & Wellness for Somali Family Service. Helping the many refugees from Somalia and other countries is embedded deeply in her soul, all inspired by her personal journey. Having to leave war-torn Somalia 30 years ago when she was a toddler, Najla, a graduate of both UCSD and SDSU, shares with listeners the story of the family walking to Kenya to escape the civil war, the painful separation from her Dad upon arriving in Kenya, the family reuniification in Nairobi, the stop in NYC, and then the final arrival at their first apartment in America in San Diego. A story of hope, home, and now help to the many families coming to San Diego.
From their two locations in City Heights and El Cajon City, Somali Family Service helps refugees integrate into the community with a focus on economic development, community engagement, youth programs, and health and wellness. Since 2000, thousands of families have been served, paving the path to bright futures, the creation of homes, the launching of businesses, and the education of children. Well done, we say!
You’ll also hear Najla discuss the “collectivist” mindset by which everyone helps everyone and gives San Diego good marks on being a collectivist city. A discussion also ensues as to how collectivism paid large dividends during the pandemic and continues to pay in the delivery of mental health services. On this note, Somali Family Service learned how to pivot and grow in order to meet the demand from their community.
An excellent episode on filling gaps in the community with Najla. Here are some other takeaways from the interview:
- Ther broad, comprehensive perspective on wellness and how it informs their programs
- A new program to address youth substance abuse involving youth ambassadors
- A program built with UCSD Extension to rapidly reskill community health workers
- The answers to the rapid-fire questions
An excellent interview from a passionate gap minder. Thank you, Najla for your contributions in San Diego, and for joining us on The Gap Minders.
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To learn more about the two social impact organizations making The Gap Minders possible, please visit www.TheGapMinders.org.