Paul Warambo has been a very important member of the Translators without Borders (TWB) team since 2012. He was our first trainer at Translators without Borders Kenya (TWBK), and as we built the center there, he became increasingly involved in overall management and training. Since spring of this year, he has been full time Translation and Training Manager for TWBK. Keen to integrate our TWBK team in all we do, we sent Paul to Europe in July to attend the annual CDAC-Network Forum in Geneva, and to Moravia headquarters in Brno, Czech Republic. It was his first trip beyond the Kenyan border. Below, he describes some of his experience there.
Attending the CDAC Network Forum was not only insightful and eye opening to the real need to have translation factored into the Communicating with Communities agenda. It was also a real testimony that TWB has gone further than most in making sure the global south is not left behind in accessing information relating to crisis and health. Among the issues that came up very strongly during the summit is that people from the global south and affected populations that need humanitarian assistance must be represented at the decision making level. Over the years, humanitarian organizations have neglected the translation component and assumed that delivering material aid was enough. But that is not the case anymore, as Rebecca Petras clearly illustrated in a thrilling evidence-based presentation on research arising from the Ebola crisis and Nepali earthquake.
Attending the summit made me appreciate the fact that translation can be a game-changer in a crisis situation. It brought out the fact that in a crisis, rapid response translation can be life-saving. For that reason, managing translation in such a circumstance has to be super efficient.
It is with that understanding that TWB saw the need for me to get more project management skills by taking up onsite training in the Czech Republic at Moravia. Moravia, being one of the top translation firms in Europe, has very sophisticated technology and highly experienced project managers who were very willing to teach me. My full-week training and interaction with staff at Moravia opened my eyes to a number of new ways to manage translation projects, and enhance project efficiency. In particular, I learned that quality in training can be enhanced by proper project management skills in the areas of managing terminology databases, glossaries and use of modern translation tools.
Other than achieving one of life’s dreams of stepping into a top translation firm in Europe, the skills I acquired have greatly changed and enhanced my project management skills. I will forever be grateful to TWB and Moravia for making the training possible.
Training and Translation Manager, TWB Kenya