DANBURY, CT, USA – 28 February 2017. Translators without Borders (TWB) has announced the winners of its fourth Translators without Borders Access to Knowledge Awards. The awards recognize individuals or organizations that have contributed outstanding work that exemplifies TWB’s mission to increase access to knowledge.
The Access to Knowledge Awards were created by the US-based non-profit in 2012 to honor volunteers, donors, and non-profit partners. The awards are given within six categories: Excellence Award for an individual who has volunteered ‘above and beyond’ in growing TWB; Empowerment Award for an individual or organization who has helped train new translators; Right to Knowledge Award for a translator or translation company that has worked closely with TWB; Humanitarian Communicator for a non-profit that exemplifies increased access to information in the right language; Donor Award for an individual or organization that has significantly contributed to the financial health of TWB; and, Communicator of the Year for an individual who builds awareness of the need to increase access to knowledge.
The Translators without Borders Board of Directors and staff nominate recipients and vote on the candidates. In addition to six winners, a number of honorable mentions were also chosen.
Among the winners were the large number of volunteers working on the refugee crisis in Europe. Additionally, other notable winners include: the mentors empowering new translators to interpret health information in Guinea, West Africa; Internews, the international non-profit that launched a news site for refugees, and; the Translators without Borders Cookbook team for their recipe-sharing platform celebrating cultural diversity.
TWB works to bridge the language gap for some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Among other projects, the organization connects on-the-ground NGOs with a community of professional translators who donate their services for free. With the help of these volunteers, life changing and often life saving information can be shared.
As an organization run almost entirely on in-kind donations – gifted in time and money – the awards represent a public acknowledgment of the commitment of some of its top contributors.
Aimee Ansari, Executive Director of Translators without Borders, said, “The individuals, companies, and projects we’ve honored in these awards are just a taste of the dedication we see every day from many of our contributors. We’re humbled by their support and unwavering commitment.”
“We’re very excited to announce these awards,” Aimee added, “and publicly acknowledge the continued behind the scenes efforts to get the right information to communities in a language they can understand.”
If you’re a professional translator or would like to make a donation in-kind to help bridge the language gap, visit translatorswithoutborders.org
Winners of the Access to Knowledge Awards 2017
Awarded to Edith Boehler
A former board member and treasurer, Edith provided outstanding support during an internal transitional phase at Translators without Borders in 2016 and, on a voluntary basis, helped considerably with the financial reporting.
Honorable mention: Asian Absolute
The global translation company, Asian Absolute, donates the expertise of its technical support team on a daily basis to help manage the content of the Translators without Borders website. Their technical and administrative staff provide consistent quality and a service that can be relied upon.
Right to Knowledge Award
Awarded to Narges Rasouli
Narges has donated over 100 hours of translation time through the Farsi Rapid Response Team. She has been awarded the Right to Knowledge because of her ongoing commitment and the quality and impact of her translations.
Honorable mentions: Gema Ramírez-Sánchez, CEO of Prompsit, and the Kurdish Machine Translation project team
Over a matter of weeks, Gema and the team of volunteers created an offline machine translation system to facilitate conversations between aid workers and Kurdish-speaking refugees. The app is available for free on Google Play and can be integrated into other systems.
Awarded to the Guinea Mentors Team: Sylviane Couturier, Maryvonne Dulac, Jacek Sierakowski and Corina Roe
The mentors have been an invaluable resource in empowering new translators in Guinea, West Africa, and preparing them for their future careers. As part of the Health Education & Training (HEAT) project, the new translators are improving access to health information for the local communities.
Honorable mention: Farideh Colthart
A regular visitor to the refugee camps in and around Athens, Farideh is a strong supporter of Translators without Borders. She volunteers her time as a translator on the Farsi Rapid Response Team and has been involved with training interpreters in Greece and speaking publicly to recruit more volunteers.
Humanitarian Communicator Award
Awarded to Internews
Internews has been a non-profit partner of Translators without Borders since the start of the response to the European refugee crisis. They understand the importance of communicating with communities in the right language and have established an essential and accurate resource for refugees in deciphering the facts from rumors. See more: newsthatmoves.org
Honorable mention: Save the Children
The international children’s charity, based in the UK, has been a continuing partner and donor on the European refugee response, particularly looking at how language barriers are impacting children in refugee camps.
Awarded to Sandberg Translation Partners (STP)
The Nordic translation company has been a long-term supporter and sponsor of Translators without Borders. In 2016 they donated a significant amount of in-house translation and project management time to a joint project with UNCHR, the UN Refugee Agency, and involved 35 of their freelancers in the work.
Honorable mention: KantanMT
A leading provider of custom machine translation systems, KantanMT is a sponsor of Translators without Borders. In 2016 they held a very successful Hike Challenge fundraiser in Dublin, raising over $6,500 and are also active in promoting TWB’s work through social media.
Communicator of the Year
Awarded to the Translators without Borders Cookbook team: Sophie Llewellyn Smith, Chris Thompson, and Pavel Gudoshnikov
The volunteer technical and design team launched the Translators without Borders Cookbook to celebrate cultural diversity by sharing locally loved recipes. The result has been a valuable fundraising tool for the organization and an excellent example of creative collaboration. See the Cookbook at cook.translatorswithoutborders.org
Honorable mentions: Jessica Lightfoot and Sheena Makhecha
Jessica played a crucial and central role within the team establishing connections with new NGO partners. She has been consistent and reliable in collecting, screening and cataloging important documents.
Sheena managed the project to subtitle and dub the renowned sexual abuse and rape awareness video, Tea Consent, into 11 languages. Partnering with Voicebox and DotSub on the technical elements, she was the driving force behind this highly impactful project.
About Translators without Borders
Translators without Borders envisions a world where knowledge knows no language barriers. The US-based non-profit provides people access to vital knowledge in their language by connecting non-profit organizations with a professional community of volunteer translators, building local language translation capacity, and raising awareness of language barriers. Originally founded in 1994 in France as Traducteurs sans Frontières (now its sister organization), Translators without Borders translates more than 10 million words per year.
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