Empowering voices: a message for World Refugee Day

For World Refugee Day 2024, Lilav, a law graduate and TWB community member living in UAE reflects on her role in ensuring all refugee voices are heard.

Image of a bird on a dark blue background with the text world refugee day written in English

Written by Lilav Mohammad Alarashi, TWB Community member and Arabic speaker. 

As we approach World Refugee Day, a time dedicated to standing in solidarity with refugees, I am reminded of the profound impact of our collective efforts. This year’s theme emphasizes unity and support for people who have been displaced, and it resonates deeply with me. For us, this solidarity means ensuring that refugees have access to information in their language, enabling them to make informed decisions. I know that many of you share this commitment. As TWB Community members, you dedicate your time and skills to breaking down language barriers.

Why become a humanitarian translator? Read all about it, plus, free courses on the TWB Learning Center!

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As a humanitarian translator and lawyer dedicated to humanitarian causes, I believe in bridging gaps and upholding people’s rights by creating strong protective legal frameworks. 

I strongly believe in law as a tool of change, as well as justice, and language is a powerful communication tool at all times. It conveys not only information but also validates people’s experiences and connects them. As a lawyer, humanitarian translator, and verified reviser at Translators without Borders, my role is to ensure that all human voices are heard and understood. As language volunteers, we ensure marginalized language communities can access vital information about their rights, healthcare, education, and opportunities for a better future. Through accurate and compassionate translation, we can build trust, foster understanding, and empower vulnerable people to tell their stories, advocate for their needs, and help navigate complex situations. 

Learn how language offers inclusion and solutions for refugees around the world: examples from Ukraine, Bangladesh, Türkiye, Syria, and Central and South America.

As TWB language volunteers, we empower voices through translation and other language services. I also champion justice through legal advocacy, where I uphold the principles of humanity and justice, making a difference in the lives of refugees worldwide.

Translating humanitarian information plays a pivotal role in empowering communities. Take, for example, a mother, forced to flee her home country. As a primary caregiver, educator, and role model, a mother uniquely shapes their children’s futures. Enabling refugees to get vital information and be heard empowers whole communities to participate in decisions that affect their lives, not to mention the economic and social benefits. Education and financial literacy mean refugees can provide better for their future, leading to improved health outcomes, higher educational attainment for their children, and increased household stability.

A fairer future starts with a conversation everyone can join. Discover how. 

In humanitarian contexts, translated documents have proven crucial. During health crises, for example, providing people with translated guidelines on COVID-19 prevention and care has been instrumental in controlling the spread. Language barriers can prevent people from accessing critical information and services. Investing in education and vocational training for refugees, implementing supportive policies that promote human equality, and enhancing healthcare and shelter access are essential steps. Furthermore, leveraging technology to provide information in local languages can bridge communication gaps and ensure no human is left behind. 

Explore some of the life-changing language services supported by TWB Community members, such as glossaries to help prevent sexual exploitation and abuse in crisis contexts. 

I know that understanding and addressing the rights of refugees through humanitarian translation is essential for ensuring everyone’s safety and dignity, and overcoming practical challenges.

I extend my deepest gratitude to TWB and CLEAR Global, an organization that firmly establishes the principles I truly believe in.

Every language is a human.

Every right is a human. 

And I am only a human.

Blog written by Lilav Mohammad Alarashi, TWB Community member. 

What motivates and connects us? Hear from TWB Community members on the blog.

Want to join the TWB Community? Become a language volunteer today. 

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