For this second issue of our newsletter, we have interviewed one of our volunteer heroines: Anne-Marie Colliander Lind, who helps to raise the money that makes Translators without Borders go round
Q: If you were to write a brief wiki article about yourself, what facts and personal characteristics would you include?
A: I was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, and I’ve spent most of my summers in Spain. Horseback riding was my first true passion and I’ve competed successfully in show jumping until only a few years ago. Since I was little, my dream was to be bilingual, so maybe that is why I accidentally ended up in the translation industry. I have no qualification or experience as a translator, but I have been involved in the translation industry as a businesswoman since 1989. I am an optimistic, outgoing person; I see opportunities rather than challenges.
Q: What is your role at Translators without Borders?
A: My role is to raise funds by bringing more corporate sponsors to the organization. Translators without Borders has grown as an organization and has all elements well in place, however it does need more financial contributions to get to the next level – to reach out to more NGOs.
Q: What has motivated you to help Translators without Borders?
A: Well, I heard about Translators without Borders some ten years ago and charity has always been present in my family, if even on a small scale. As I’m not qualified to be a volunteer translator, I’m happy I could take another role in supporting the cause.
Q: What is a day in your life like?
A: I am an independent business consultant so I travel a lot to meet clients onsite, which gives me the chance to visit new places and countries. It might be that one week I have to travel to Poland, and then I have to go to Spain. In contrast to my travelling I work a lot from home, which is good, since I am then really close to my family.When I work from home, most of my interactions are over the phone, Skype and via e-mail.
Q: How do you squeeze in time for your volunteer tasks?
A: It comes very naturally, for example, in conversations and interactions during industry conferences. I’m very proud of being a representative of Translators without Borders, so it’s easy for me to share my enthusiasm. Then I normally take a few hours a week to do some more active reach-outs.
Q: What do you consider are the challenges ahead for your role and for Translators without Borders?
A: The challenge is sustaining the contribution levels. It is one thing to convince a company to help our worthy cause, but it is harder to convince them to continue. For that reason, we need to share the good work that we do, so that donors are confident that we are making good use of the money. Another challenge is to make sure that we reach as many NGOs as possible with our free translations. Finally, Translators without Borders will eventually require some professional management and this requires funds. An all-volunteer global organization is not sustainable in the long run, in my opinion.
Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining a cause like Translators without Borders?
A: Much has been said about the translation industry being immature. But, for me, the fact that the industry has a charity organization is a sign of maturity. It is the right thing to give something back to the same industry that feeds you. Language is a necessity and it is also a human right – the right to communicate and the right to understand. It’s easier to support a cause that you are passionate about, in our case: languages and translation.
Q: To what extent do your professional and personal goals come together with your volunteer work?
A: They go well hand in hand; I feel passionate about the translation and interpretation industry – it’s what I do for a living – so it comes natural for me to help the organization.
Q: Could you tell us a bit about teamwork and personal relationships with other members of Translators without Borders?
A: To start with, talking to Lori [Translators without Borders founder, Lori Thicke] is a power of injection; she always has good feedback to offer to you and your tasks. She is also warm and thankful and our interactions are always very enriching. In addition to that, I work with Rebecca Petras, Ulrich Henes, Markus Meisl, Françoise Henderson and many others. And, at every new conference, I get to know new people engaged in Translators without Borders from whom I learn a lot. It’s a very enthusiastic and engaged team!
Q: What do you feel is your greatest achievement within Translators without Borders and beyond Translators without Borders so far and what is your biggest dream in life?
A: I’m very proud of having brought many corporate sponsors to Translators without Borders only by sharing my own passion for the cause. And they are equally proud of supporting us! I try to make as many personal contacts as possible, and manage to make them support Translators without Borders through annual donations, since this is one of the things Translators without Borders needs right now. And sponsors take a lot of pride in that; you can see it in conferences, when meeting in person, at their websites and with their testimonials.
Becoming a mother is my biggest personal achievement in life and therefore my biggest dream is to see my two daughters grow up and become responsible, successful and happy individuals. I also hope to be healthy enough to travel, once I retire, for pleasure and to see for myself the result of different charity activities. But I guess I’ll have to work hard for a few more years first…
In paper: Any book is good for me
On the web: Twitter
Open-air activity: downhill skiing, horseback riding
With friends: cooking, wining and dining
Family gathering: Swedish mid-summer festivities