Access to Knowledge Awards

This past year has been exceptional for Translators without Borders. We have accomplished so much this year, much of which you can read about in this newsletter. None of it would be possible without the generous support of our sponsors and our donors, and the dedication of our volunteers.

To celebrate and honor our volunteers and donors, the board of Translators without Borders has established a new annual award program. The Translators without Borders’ Access to Knowledge Awards recognize individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond with their commitment to or mission and vision.
The Translators without Borders’ Access to Knowledge Awards have been created within each of our ‘six pillars’, identified earlier this year in our strategic framework. These pillars—Organizational Excellence, Translator Community and Workspace, Training, Nonprofit Partnerships, Financial Sustainability, Awareness and Communications—are like the gears in an old clock: They must work together to accurately achieve our mission.

Choosing recipients for our six new awards was very difficult! We created criteria for each award–including the need for each recipient to be active since early this year—and disqualified all board members and staff members. Then we took nominations from board members. Finally, the executive committee member responsible for each pillar made the decision on recipient and honorable mentions, and the executive committee as a whole reviewed the final decisions.
The Translators without Borders’ Access to Knowledge recipients will receive a fashionable Translators without Borders T-Shirt, a lapel pin and a certificate of gratitude. Not much considering all they have done—but we are a low-budget operation!

Finally, before unveiling the awards, I’d like to say the real winners are the people who can better understand vital information because of the hard work of ALL of our volunteers and support from ALL of our donors. I wish we could recognize by name every single person who has contributed to Translators without Borders this year. 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
We just cannot say enough about Henry Dotterer, his company,, and the overall support provided to our mission. Henry not only enthusiastically offered to host and power the platform where the action happens (The Translators without Borders Translation Workspace), but also provides us with a full-time project manager and a developer who keeps improving the platform. Henry is also personally an advisor to Translators without Borders, and if that is not enough, he offered a funding match as part of #GivingTuesday in November, ultimately funding six new translators through our Fund-a-Translator program!

Honorable Mentions

Anne-Marie Colliander-Lind is key to our fundraising efforts, but she is so much more than that. She is a true cheerleader and champion of our cause.

Rocio Haskell, our volunteer coordinator who has helped us significantly improve our volunteer management system

Marla Schulman, our non-profit coordinator and a Silver sponsor who is instrumental in helping us attract more non-profits to our cause.

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
Ildikó is our language lead for Hungarian in the Wikipedia project. She has contributed 47,555 words. What makes Ildikó special is her proactive character and broad contributions that made Enrique Cavalitto appoint her this month as day-to-day coordinator for all mainstream languages in the Wikipedia project.

Honorable Mentions

The Content Rules Editors, creators of critical ‘translations’ into simplified English, especially for our Wikipedia project and HEAT healthcare project.

Marcia Miner, our top translator, contributing over 120K words since January 2011.

Ashutosh Mitra, our top non-European translator, over 50K words contributed, leader of the Wikipedia project into Hindi.

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 Iribe Mwangi
Iribe is Senior Lecturer at University of Nairobi’s Department of Linguistics and Languages. He is advisor and counselor for TWBs activities in Kenya, is member of the board of directors of TWB Kenya, and has been a supporter of our work since November 2011, when we started preparing to set up the TWB Health Translators’ Training Center in Nairobi.

Honorable Mention

Common Sense Advisory, which created a critical piece of research for Translators without Borders this year, entitled “The Need for Translation in Africa.”

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)
In the first year of our awards, we want to recognize our very first non-profit, Médecins Sans Frontières. It was their request, and willingness to put funds back into their field operations, that kick started Translators without Borders almost 20 years ago! The organization continues to be a major believer in information provided in the right language, and several of MSF’ regions are active users of our services, especially Switzerland.

Honorable mentions

The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust/Nand Wadhwani , a real humanitarian hero.

Wikimedia Foundation/James Heilman, leader of a program that should change the availability of critical medical information in many languages.

Zafèn/Griselda Garibay, a great micro-lending humanitarian non-profit active in Haiti.

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
Lionbridge is a long-term supporter of Translators without Borders. This year the company became a Platinum sponsor of our organization. The company’s culture of giving has contributed to many individual donations over the past two years, but just as important, the management has supported TWB with in-kind donations and significant staff time in Europe and North America.

Honorable Mentions

eLanex, our first Platinum sponsor with a very committed leader, Donald Plumley, at the helm

Rubric, our very first Gold sponsor and a truly dedicated supporter

Text Partner, a Fund-a-Translator donor who not only raised enough funds for two translators through their bike ride through Eastern Europe, but also created awareness for our cause.

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
Marina is our tireless social media maven. Through Marina’s efforts, our Twitter followers have grown to more than 4,400 and our Facebook fans have exceeded 5,000. While others certainly contribute to social media, Marina is always in the background, just chugging along, getting our name out there. She will often pull things from the website and get them on our networks in interesting ways. She has introduced us to Google+ and maintains communications through LinkedIn as well. She also communicates directly with people who post to our networks. And she does it all with a smile.

Honorable Mentions

Dominic Spurling, our chief web engineer without whom we would be lost!

Chily Vico-Gimena, our designer who created our website design, brochure design and much, much more

Markus Meisl, always there, communicating with our donors

Rebecca Petras