TWB awarded grant from Indigo Trust to support medical translation project for Wikipedia into Swahili

Indigo Trust is a grant making foundation that funds technology-driven projects to bring about social change, largely in African countries. Translators without Borders (TWB) has been awarded a grant of $14,500 by Indigo towards the costs of the medical translation project for Wikipedia – the 80 x 100 Project. The grant will help train and fund translators at the TWB Translator Centre in Kenya to translate healthcare articles into Swahili.

The aim of the 80 x 100 Project is to make the most popular Wikipedia medical articles, on issues like HIV and polio, available in as many languages as possible,” said TWB Program Director, Rebecca Petras. “Existing English language medical content is constantly proofed and improved by Wikipedia’s medical team. The content is translated into multiple languages, mainly by TWB’s vast community of volunteer translators.”

The Indigo Trust is backing the translation of articles into Swahili, by supporting the TWB Translator Training Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Matthew O’Reilly, Program Manager at The Indigo Trust, based in London, said, “The job of translating the English Wikipedia content into Swahili will be done by the translators at the new TWB Centre in Nairobi. 10 translators and 2 editors will work on the Wikipedia translations, using the Centre’s computing facilities and memory translation software. Not only does this make life-saving medical information more understandable, but it also improves the employability of the trainee translators. The finished translations will be proofed and uploaded onto the Swahili version of Wikipedia, which currently has approximately 25,000 articles. Once on Wikipedia, the content will then be marketed to NGOs, community health workers and others. This will help African communities have more access to knowledge and information, in a language they understand, that could save lives.”

Check out the Indigo Trust Blog here.

440 km in 4 days to raise $2,000 for the Fund-a-Translator program

Translators without Borders (TWB) frequently announces donations received from various companies, but what about the huge amount of help that we get from dedicated individuals who do incredible things to raise money through their creativity and hard work? What can you do as an individual to raise money and support us, and what could that amount achieve? This part of the newsletter provides a space for our innovative fundraisers to showcase their fundraising projects, and highlights the ways in which other people can get involved in creative and fun ways to raise money to really make a difference.

One of the main ways that individuals can support us is by raising money for the Fund-a-Translator program, whereby $1,000 will provide a translator’s training, equipment and Internet connection for a period of one year. This single translator’s work may then help save hundreds of lives.

Supporters from Text Partner in Poland did just that. Marek Gawrysiak and Lucjan Szreter cycled 440 kilometers in four days, from their branch office in Katowice, Poland, to the ELIA conference in Budapest to raise money to fund the training of two Kenyan translators. The ways in which the public could help support the bike ride were either through sponsoring as many kilometers as possible, or by spreading the word about the charity.

The company created a dedicated webpage through which donations could be made directly, and also encouraged people to raise awareness of the ride and the charity through social media, providing links to the TWB Twitter page. There was also the functionality to share the bike ride story directly on Facebook and Twitter. The page was complete with a sponsorship progress bar where the amount raised could be tracked, and companies and individuals were able to leave comments of encouragement.

What worked so well about this idea was that a goal was set of raising enough to sponsor two Kenyan trainee translators for a year, and it seemed to help people understand the importance of donating to this cause. The donation process was made incredibly straight forward, and the company linked the donations to a set amount of kilometers. Obviously, this also encouraged the riders to keep on going.

Gawrysiak and his team did indeed reach their goal of raising the $2,000 target, which demonstrates how every penny really does add up. Gawrysiak would like to underline that they owe special thanks to Raymund Prins from Global Textware, the Netherlands, who was one of the “masterminds” of the ride but, unfortunately, could not take part in it himself. His company was also one of the sponsors. Owing to the success of the first bike ride and the public’s growing interest in their initiative, Gawrysiak and his team are embarking on another fundraising ride across five countries, starting May 30 2013, and finishing on June 2, covering a total of 600 kilometers. Throughout the journey they will be talking to local media about the Fund-a-Translator program, and they are encouraging others to join in the ride or to provide support vehicles.

Gawrysiak commented that “I am more than happy to see that so many people are willing to engage in our initiative. It is great fun after all! And I really hope our next ride is going to be even more successful than the first, turning the ‘biking idea’ into a regular, fund-raising event.”

For more information on the bike ride, to sign up to their newsletter, or to bite the bullet and join in part of the next bike ride, go to www.onourbikes.info.

The Text Partner bike ride is just one of the creative ways people in our industry are helping us reach our goal of more humanitarian content available in more languages.  Several individuals have run matching campaigns on Twitter, supporters in Argentina collected funds at an event, GeoGlobal in North America donates every time a customer returns a feedback survey, Moravia donates every time the company’s fun video is watched, and SDL offers funds when the company’s holiday card is opened.  And so many more! Next time we will highlight the creative social hour set up by the Nordic Translation Industry Forum in honor of Translators without Borders.

By Lucy Williams

The fast-track path into Translators without Borders

Volunteer translators form the very core of Translators without Borders. They donate their time, efforts and expertise to help doctors, nurses and other volunteers working in humanitarian organizations to make the world a better place.

Since translations related to humanitarian emergencies leave no time for reviews or mistakes, there is a strict procedure in place to ensure that all members of our team are experienced and solid translators, able to do it right the first time. Applications from potential volunteers are reviewed and, if approved, a sample translation is requested and then evaluated by at least two editors before a new translator is welcomed onto the team.

There is a second way, called the fast track, opened back in early 2011 when Translators without Borders was contacted by the organization GoodPlanet with the request of translating their new website into as many languages as possible. Since at that time the pool of volunteers was concentrated in the pairs of English to and from French, a decision was made to contact members of ProZ.com’s Certified PRO Network.

With over 3,400 members, the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network is an initiative of the ProZ.com community to provide qualified translators and translation companies with an opportunity to network and collaborate in an environment consisting entirely of screened professionals.

To enter the Certified PRO Network, ProZ.com members must complete an online application and submit it for review to prove they meet or exceed minimum professional standards based on the EN15038 standard for quality in translation and in three screening areas: translation ability, business reliability and online citizenship.

Since the screening of translation ability is essentially the same in both programs (and in both cases done on a platform powered by ProZ.com), a fast track was created whereby any translator who is part of the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network is automatically accepted as a Translator without Borders without the need of any further testing.

The fast track proved very powerful, and currently some 40% of the professionals approved by Translators without Borders were accepted because of their ProZ.com Certified PRO Network status.

The experience led to the decision to extend this approach to other industry certifications that involve active testing of translation abilities. In particular, the fast track benefits are also available to all ATA-certified translators—an opportunity that we would like to advertise better. We are working on identifying similar certification programs and announciProz logong those fast track opportunities to potential volunteers.

There is good room for growth here. Feedback and advice will be very welcome.

blog authorBy Enrique Cavalitto from ProZ.com

Rocio Haskell – Translators without Borders Volunteer Hero

For our last issue of this year, we interviewed Rocio Haskell, a Paris lover and a yoga teacher, who has a varied professional background, and is in charge of coordinating non-translator volunteers for Translators without Borders (TWB). Rocio has helped to bring some structure and centralize information about volunteers, so as to meet Translators without Borders’ current needs with the right volunteers for the tasks ahead.

Q: If you were to write a brief wiki article about yourself, what facts and personal characteristics would you include?

A: I am dedicated to many diverse activities; I have never planned anything, but things just sorted themselves out! I studied Management at Northwestern University, and later my experience in different jobs has taken me to many places all in the world, including almost every country in Latin America. I have been living in Geneva for a year now since my husband took a position here.

Q: What is your role at Translators without Borders?

A: My main role involves coordinating non-translator volunteers. I met Rebecca and Lori in Paris, and told them I had signed up for volunteering 6 months earlier, and no one had contacted me! So I told them, “You need somebody to coordinate the rest of the tasks, such as social media, the website…” There was nobody looking for help with non-translation tasks like accounting. Now, we have added some pages to the website, and we recruit people who are not translators as well since we also need other types of volunteers. Basically, I deal with issues that do not have direct relation with translation itself, but with screening translators, reframing the processes, putting in place the structure, the network, and the organizational framework. I also address questions such as, “What are our needs? Do we have the right people with the right skills to fulfill those needs?”

Q: What has motivated you to help TWB?

A: Translators without Borders crosses over many non-profits since it supports other organizations and it helps them to communicate better. I have engaged with TwB’s message and goals, and I think I have found my own niche within the organization: I identified the need of recruiting non-translators and I volunteered to be in charge of this task.

Q: How do you squeeze in time for your volunteer tasks?

A: Every day I devote a couple of hours to working with volunteers; I feel productive and useful spending my time with TwB’s tasks. I really enjoy talking and working with Lori and Rebecca; they are so different from each other, but their individual voices project so much enthusiasm – they are inspiring!

Q: What do you consider are the challenges ahead for your role and for TWB?

A: As Translators without Borders is an entirely volunteer-based organization, the main challenge is expanding the network to find translators and other necessary roles; that is, finding the right people with the adequate set of skills (in relation to fund raising, for instance) and having the channels to find dedicated people for sustained periods of time. We need to keep volunteers engaged with our cause.

Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining a cause like TWB?

A: Well, to someone who is not a translator, but would like to join Translators without Borders, I would say that we definitely need supporting roles and supporting players in order for translation to occur. Join in, try it and see if it is for you! All roles are important, and sustained volunteering is paramount; every ten volunteers, one sticks – that makes it worthwhile.

Q: To what extent do your professional and personal goals come together with your volunteer work?

A: Very early on in my career I noticed that I can help people out with the business side of things. For example, when I served as a Localization Manager with Wells Fargo, I collaborated with La Cocina, a small business initiative, where women knew a lot about the core of the business – cooking – but needed help with bookkeeping. So I select causes that are part of my world, i.e., which involve multicultural communication.

Q: What do you feel is your greatest achievement within Translators without Borders and beyond, and what is your biggest dream in life?

A: I think that some great achievements in my area include building a database for volunteers who are non translators, allowing the board to support their higher up activities, setting up a process, identifying needs – since when you need volunteers, you also need marketing and a means to communicate with them, through social media, for instance. Now, everything is in one place, and all applicants go there. We have centralized the information, which makes it easier and more efficient for everybody – and most importantly, we all share the same information now!

Target shooting…

In paper: Classic French novelists

On the web: New York Times and all sites about Paris!

Open-air activity: Bike-riding

With friends: A cup of coffee and some pastry

Family gathering: Thanksgiving

Blog AuthorBy Lorena Baudo, Translators without Borders volunteer 

TWB honors volunteers, donors and non-profit partners with first Access to Knowledge Awards

Global translation charity, Translators without Borders (TWB) announced the launch of its annual Translators withoutBorders Access to Knowledge Awards. The awards, honoring six individuals or organizations who exemplify the mission to translate for humanity, are chosen and given by the non-profit’s board of directors.

 

We have had an exceptional year of progress and success,” said Lori Thicke, president and founder of Translators without Borders. “Reaching 6.5 million words translated through our workspace, opening our first training center in Nairobi, working with Wikipedia on critical health information—none of this would be possible without the generous support of our donors, the dedication of our volunteers, and the commitment of our non-profit partners.”

The organization created the Access to Knowledge Awards to honor volunteers, donors, and non-profit partners. The awards are given within each of the Translators without Borders’ six ‘pillars’, identified earlier this year as part of the organization’s strategic framework. These pillars—Organizational Excellence, Translator Community and Workspace, Training, Nonprofit Partnerships, Financial Sustainability, Awareness and Communications—work together to deliver the mission.

The organization’s executive committee, the management body of board members and the program director, created criteria for each award. Board members and staff members were not eligible. Board members nominated recipients and the executive committee made final decisions on the winners. In addition to six winners, a number of honorable mentions were also awarded.

The Translators without Borders’ Access to Knowledge recipients will receive a Translators without Borders T-Shirt, a lapel pen and a certificate of gratitude.

I wish we could recognize by name every single person who has contributed to Translators without Borders this year –there are so very many people who make it work,” said Rebecca Petras, program director. “And the real winners are the people who can better understand vital information because of the hard work of ALL our volunteers and support from ALL our donors. Thank you very much to everyone!

The Excellence Award Awarded to an individual who has gone above and beyond the call-of-duty in helping Translators without Borders meet its mission.

Awarded to Henry Dotterer

Honorable Mentions:

• Anne-Marie Colliander-Lind
• Rocio Haskell
• Marla Schulman

The Right to Knowledge Award awarded to an individual (or company contributor) who has made a difference through his or her ongoing commitment to translation of humanitarian information.

Awarded to Ildikó Santana

Honorable Mentions:

• The Content Rules Editors
• Marcia Miner
• Ashutosh Mitra

The Empowerment Award awarded to an individual whose work has allowed us to significantly move the barometer in increasing language capacity within a critical region of the world.

Awarded to Dr. Iribe Mwangi

Honorable Mention:

• Common Sense Advisory

The Humanitarian Communicator Award awarded to a non-profit who understands the critical link between language/translation and access to critical knowledge.

Awarded to Médecins Sans Frontières (all regions)

Honorable mentions:

• The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust / Nand Wadhwani
• Wikimedia Foundation/James Heilman
• Zafèn / Griselda Garibay

The Donor Award awarded to the individual or company or foundation/trust that has made a significant financial contribution to aid TWB in meeting its mission.

Awarded to Lionbridge

Honorable Mentions:

• eLanex
• Rubric
• Text Partner

The Communicator of the Year awarded to the person who has creatively used marketing and public relations to build awareness of the organization and the need to provide content in the right language.

Awarded to Marina Sayfulina

Honorable Mentions:

• Dominic Spurling
• Chily Vico-Gimena
• Markus Meisl

How TextPartner Got On Their Bikes To Fund-a-Translator!

Translation vendor, TextPartner has raised $2,000 for Translator’s without Borders (TWB) Fund-a-Translator Program. TextPartner is the first organization to raise money for this exciting new TWB program.

The team at TextPartner cycled a total of 440kms from their branch office inKatowice,Polandto the recent ELIA conference inBudapest.

The journey took 4 days, through some of the most beautiful scenery inEurope.” Said Marek Gawrysiak, Cyclist and Operations Manager at TextPartner. “Through people sponsoring us, we raised $2,000 for TWB’s Fund-a-Translator Program. This is enough to sponsor two Kenyan Trainee translators. As well as raising money, we had a great time and hope to repeat this next year.”

TWB’s Fund-a-Translator Program is part of the TWB Healthcare Training Center in Nairobi, Kenya. The Program invests funds and resources in local professionals to train as translators, building local language and translation skill.

This bike ride was an awesome effort!” saidLori Thicke, President and co-founder of TWB, “The team at TextPartner did a great job and we now have the funds to start training 2 translators at the TWB center inNairobi. To train local translators, we need to maintain a physical location, hire local instructors and manage technology and Internet access for the trainees. This all needs funds and TextPartner has really kick-started the effort.”

Click here to see a slideshow from the bike ride!

For more information about the next TextPartner charity bike ride, simply visit: http://www.onourbikes.info/next/index.php

About TextPartner

TextPartner is a regional language vendor with two offices in Poland. The company was founded in 1997 to satisfy the specific demands of international agencies concerning their Polish language assignments. Since then, the company has unceasingly supported its clients in their endeavours to build the image they seek in all their translated, typeset and printed materials. To carry out this mission, TextPartner employs expert individuals who work in competency teams covering as many as seventeen areas of expertise. TextPartner is a member of the European Language Industry Association and is proud to support Translators without Borders. To contact TextPartner, email [email protected], call  +48 68 329 01 40 or visit www.textpartner.com

Solving Stubborn Health Issues Worldwide – Translation is a Key Ingredient

The office of the United Nations in Kenya is focused on healthcare issues in East Africa. A tweet this week from the Twitter handle of the office’s director, Aeneas C. Chuma, lamented ongoing health issues among mothers in Kenya: “Maternal health has not improved in Kenya over the last decades. Time to leverage the private sector for results on MDG5 (Millennium Development Goal 5, Maternal Health)!

Meanwhile, CNN is discussing another lingering issue in Kenya and East Africa: childhood stunting. More than 2 million children in Kenya alone suffer from stunting; 180 million worldwide. A recent episode of Christine Amapour’s show on the network featured the head of UNICEF, Anthony Lake, who explained that the problem can easily be dealt with better nutrition and education.

These are just two recent examples of major non-governmental organizations talking about the stubborn problems of East Africa that continue to hold the region back despite strong growth outlooks. While journalists like to talk about the African Century and the incredible economic opportunities on the continent, we are still hearing about health issues that need to be fixed for that growth to reach its true potential. And, most frustratingly, these are issues that can be fixed with simple communication of critical information.

But that simple health information on nutrition, maternal health and other issues, such as cholera prevention, diarrhea treatment and infant care, must be provided in the language of the people who need it. In East Africa, that language is Swahili. Anyone who has been there knows that while English is taught in secondary school and can be heard in major urban centers such as Nairobi, KiSwahili is the lingua franca. In fact, it is the primary language for more than 60 million people in East Africa. It is the language of communication and must be the language for health information.

Translators without Borders believes that the information gap is in large part due to non-governmental organizations not providing the critical information in the language of the people who need it. But many NGOs are not getting that message. When I communicated with the Amapour program about the fact that language is key to addressing the issue of childhood stunting, they fully agreed and engaged in a discussion about it with us. We need to continue to spread that word. We also are working on some very exciting projects in Kenya through our Healthcare Translators’ Training Center in Nairobi. With our newly trained Swahili translators, we are translating a mass of general healthcare content from the Open University which will eventually go on the feature mobile phones of healthcare workers in the region. We also are transcribing maternal and infant care videos into Swahili. Those videos, developed by HealthPhone, will also be available pre-loaded on mobile phones at no cost to mothers.

The information gap is still wide, but through humanitarian translations we can narrow it significantly. Now we just need more non-governmental organizations and humanitarian leaders to acknowledge the issue and help us with the solution.

Rebecca PetrasBy Rebecca Petras, Translators without Borders Deputy Director and Head of Innovation

 

Translators without Borders changing the world

Sometimes I get really discouraged about all the stuff that’s wrong with the human race… the arguing, the senseless violence, the control-freak posturing and the corruption in every direction. Why don’t people see how stupid all of that is? Why don’t they listen more, put themselves in the shoes of their fellow human beings, try to do better?

Well, the thing is, they do. For every act of senseless violence, there is an act of selfless love. You know, the mom who gets up to take care of her crying baby — not because she has to, but because she wants to. The man who stops to change a stranger’s tire. The couple who offers hospitality to a foreigner. Naturally, the larger and more public any of these acts get, the more likely it is that corruption will find them, too; that they will be done for show rather than for mercy. And perhaps it’s impossible to really and truly do anything selfless. As they say, virtue is its own reward, and that great feeling you get when you’ve done something good is a measurable emotional return on investment.

But I’ll take it. And this fills me with hope. I’ve been tracking an organization called Translators without Borders since before its inception — it was a French company before it became a US-based nonprofit. For a long time, it ran in the background, without any contributions other than the time of translators and project managers. Over the years, it donated about $1,000,000 worth of translations to nonprofits such as Doctors Without Borders, and then the Haiti crises happened. Because I’m the managing editor for the industry magazine, I got carbon copied on a whole lot of e-mails that suddenly surged between CEOs of translation service providers, translation tool vendors, web-based translation platforms. And it was like, overnight, almost, the thing blew up. The industry coordinated itself with zero outside donations; it set up a web-based platform where translators around the globe could log on and use what they were good at to help out. This seemed incredible to me. And the momentum continued; using the same (improved) web platform, translators can still log on and find life-changing texts to translate. It’s almost like a dating site for NGOs and translators.

But here’s the thing: this only works with languages for which there are established translators, and for which there is a mode of dissemination in place. You can make health posters, for example, in English or French, but what about the first languages of the diverse people groups of rural Africa or Southeast Asia? As it happens, they often have health materials available, but they’re typically not in minority languages. Given just how understaffed most of these regions are in terms of health care professionals, this means that people may have no way of knowing what to do when they get sick. And this means that up to 90% of childhood deaths in these regions are totally preventable.

Yeah, that’s right. 90%. The most common killer of children in certain regions of Africa is diarrhea. A high percentage of mothers in these areas think you’re actually supposed to withhold liquid when your child has diarrhea. And their babies die with everything they need to survive — water, sugar, salt — in the same room.

Once Translators without Borders figured this out, they started a translator training program in Kenya. And, in conjunction, they collaborated on what they call the 80 x 80 project: simplify the 80 most accessed medical articles into easy-to-understand English, and translate them into 80 languages. I hosted a session last Thursday at Localization World where Val Swisher of Content Rules described how her content-creation company has been re-crafting the articles, which are vetted by physicians and then uploaded onto Simple English Wikipedia. Already, translators are transferring these to crucial minority languages. But, of course, this would be pointless unless minority language speakers have some way of accessing the articles. And here’s another interesting thing: most of the developing world has access to mobile phones, so the 80 x 80 project has convinced mobile phone companies to allow individuals in the developing world to log on to Wikipedia free of charge via mobile.

Right now, Translators without Borders has one paid employee, and is funding translator training. Everything else has been done by volunteers. I’m one of them — and I’m not a translator. I’m an editor. So I edit their newsletter, which is something of a work in progress. And if you want to volunteer as well, you probably can — from wherever you are in the world.

BKatie Botkin, Translators without Borders volunteer

Our New Swahili Translators

In this issue we introduce two of our translator trainees from our new Healthcare Translators’ Training Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Our hard-working team in Kenya, led by Paul Warambo and Simon Andriesen, is translating vital health information and subtitling videos while also learning how to become professional translators. This is an important step in building a professional translation network in Swahili and beyond.

Matthias K. Kathuke

My name is Matthias K. Kathuke. I am 27. I was born and raised in Mananja village, Machakos County in Eastern province of Kenya, about 100km northeast of the capital Nairobi. I was also educated in the local primary and secondary schools and sadly, not much was expected of my education since the schools were low profile. For instance, my secondary school had never sent a student to university in over 40 years of its existence. Paradoxically, I was expected, especially by my father, to make it through with first-class performance. As destiny would have it, I did not disappoint, as I set a record by becoming the first ever to enter university from a village covering about 1000sq. km.

My family is naturally a huge credit for the victories I have achieved so far. My mother is an elementary school teacher, my father an ex-marine. This combination of parentage ‘resource’ has propelled me towards intellectual excellence and operative discipline from my mother and father respectively. Being the firstborn (of 4 sisters and 1 brother), I have had a lot of modeling to do because my siblings look up to me for emulation and inspiration. This has in turn compelled me to become a natural leader.

My family is almost dependent on my mother’s earnings (and now mine) since my father no longer has a formal income. Our eldest sister is volunteering in our local secondary school while the rest are still pursuing their education. Just for the record, we are a very warm team, so I always miss them when I am away (well, almost everyone with a loving family does!).

As implied earlier, I was educated at Mananja Primary and Secondary Schools (both public schools). I look back to those days and feel grateful for coming this far. The experience was scrappy as learning resources (including teachers) were insufficient, and the learning a little harsh for conducive learning. How did I make through? A combination of fortune and determination. So, I qualified for government sponsorship to the University of Nairobi where I pursued a degree in Education: Linguistics major and Literature minor. I graduated with Second Class Honors in 2009 and have been teaching since then until August 2012, when I committed my entire working time to TWB.

Before committing all my working hours to translation, I consulted with Simon Andriesen and Paul Warambo. The implication of my choice was made clear from the onset so that I would make an informed decision. Eventually, I did commit all my time to translation. Well, so far so good, though there is still much ground to cover.

I am motivated by 3 things on my journey to becoming a translator: my love of linguistics (my childhood dream), desire to serve humanity and (frankly) the need to make a living out of my efforts!

The second reason is more significant, which is inspired by two touching examples from Simon Andriesen and Sue Pearson (of Summer Institute of Linguistics). Sue narrates about a French-speaking mother in Chad who administers to her child a drug meant to induce production of breast milk on her dry breasts; while Simon tells of a mother who stops giving her sick child water since it would immediately come out through the other end. Sadly in both cases, the children end up dying, not because of lack of doctors or treatment, but lack of (correct) medical information. Paul Warambo’s story almost sends me to tears when he narrates how his kid sister was to undergo an unsafe abortion – an exercise that would have denied Paul an opportunity to have a brilliant nephew (Levis Otieno). I came to interact with these moving stories during our translation training that was facilitated by Simon and Paul (these two gentlemen, truth be told, make up a perfect team for TWB).

I am in total agreement with the philosophy of Translators without Borders: that never again should people die of lack of information whilst there is something we could do to avert the situation. I therefore would love to become a professional translator in order to help avail information to the average, less privileged population, which cannot access important medical information because it is encoded in a foreign language (quite literally).

The process of becoming a translator is very demanding – I have found it more mentally exhausting than teaching, especially at the initial stages.

Besides, translation is a new profession in Africa, which is both a merit and a demerit in that we reserve exclusive skills, but also the market does not recognize the need for translators as professionals. Companies may not easily embrace the idea of hiring a professional translator whilst a lay person would take up the job. (And did I just overhear Simon say that translation doesn’t make millionaires?)

I hope to run a non-profit translation agency to serve my village with information on the key aspects of society namely health, education, law and agriculture. I would like to translate the available information from English to Swahili and vernacular. I would also link with other like-minded individuals to run a network of similar agencies so as to avail the same information in diverse vernaculars in Kenya and hopefully East Africa.

I am a soccer fan, specifically FC Barcelona much more because of their philosophy than the football. They train their players from a young age to become humble, respectful and able to function more as a team despite their individual talent. I also love music: I play the guitar, participate and watch live concerts and dash to the studio occasionally to record.

Appreciation:
It would be an almost unforgivable sin not to express my sincere gratitude to Translators without Borders for the opportunity to become a health translator. I thank the TWB board members for coming up with this great idea. I whole heartedly thank Simon Andriesen for his insightful lectures during our training. I must also thank Paul Warambo for giving us instructions with his Swahili knowledge – Paul is always with us, guiding us and helping us with Swahili terminologies and grammar. Indeed we don’t know what we would do without Paul and Simon in this training. Thanks a million!

Anne Njeri Mwangi

My name is Anne Njeri Mwangi, aged 38 years, born and brought up in Kenya in a town called Nyeri and working in the capital city, Nairobi.

I am the fourth born in a family of seven siblings: five girls and two boys. All my siblings are adults with families; my parents are alive and well. I am married to Simon, and we have a lovely son, Victor, who is 11 years old.

I received my primary and secondary education from the nearby schools in the village. After secondary school, I joined medical training college in Mombasa where I pursued a diploma in community health nursing for 3½ years (1993-1997). Later, I pursued a course in reproductive health for six months in 2007. In 2011/2012, I went back to Kenya Medical Training College in Nairobi and pursued a Higher National Diploma in Health Education and Promotion, which I completed in July this year.

After qualifying in 1997, I was employed by the government of Kenya and have worked as a Nursing Officer in various hospitals. In the course of that time, I have practiced offering curative services and came to realize that many of the patients I was attending to were suffering due to lack of information. I consequently felt the need to promote health by educating and giving the correct information to people, thus deciding to take a course in health education and promotion to get the relevant skills. Translators without Borders came in handy at a time when I had just completed my training and ripe for health promotion, and as a Health Promoter, I felt it would be quite prudent to give information in a language that is well understood by the majority in my country. Therefore when I got the chance to be part of the translators at the Translators without Borders Healthcare Translators’ Training Center, I totally embraced it because it is a positive engagement that would enable me to promote health through a language that the majority would understand.

In all these I wish to thank Simon Andriesen – the director of the Healthcare Translators’ Training Center for being available to give me the much needed translation skills. I would also like to thank Paul Warambo who has been our course instructor during the course; his incredible brilliance in Swahili language and translation skills has made us see the light in the field of translation. I also extend my gratitude to the translation team for their spirit of unity.

Being a translator will enable me to ensure that society receives information in a language that people understand best. I am glad to have become a translator, especially of healthcare materials, because I will be promoting health when people receive and understand information. Health promotion is my passion.
Becoming a translator requires a lot of dedication, determination and commitment. It’s hard to be a translator if one does not have these qualities.

Once I gain experience in translation which is currently from English to Swahili, I would like to move my translation skills into another level of translating the healthcare materials to my native language (Kikuyu) so that those who understand neither English nor Swahili may also get access to information.

My interests are traveling, walking and traversing social media.


If you would like to help support the effort to increase language capacity into Swahili and other critical languages, please consider sponsoring a translator this holiday season through our Fund-a-Translator program. Details by emailing [email protected]