Update from Kenya

The TWB Translator Training Center in Kenya has moved location from Upper Hill to a bit more downtown (see new address below). When you happen to be in town, come look us up. The team of Phoebe Maina and Paul Warambo will be happy to show the work we do there.

Since the start in 2012, the Center has provided basic translation training to over 250 people (I had to do the calculations for a recent presentation!) Most people attended our 1-week introductory translation training. Approximately 30 people continued with a 6-week advanced training course. Under special circumstances, such as a response to an emergency, we have also delivered short training sessions varying between a few hours of online training to 2 days training in our Center. This training was for crisis intervention translation teams that respond to a specific need, such as the Ebola crisis, the Burundi election riots, the Nepal earthquake, and more recently, for the European Refugee crisis.

Rapid Response Translation Teams for European refugee crisis

Paul Warambo, the translation manager at TWB Nairobi, Kenya, is managing part of the translation activities where translators work in shifts to provide translations from English into Arabic, Farsi, and Greek. Paul recruited 20 rapid response translators for each language combination and formed 2 teams per language.  Translation is also provided for Urdu, Dari, and Pashto. These languages are managed in the TWB Workspace, a web-based platform powered by www.proZ.com, that facilitates the work that thousands of professional volunteer translators do. The translators are located all around the world and include quite a few Syrians, Afghans, and Iraqi who live in Europe or in the US and support their compatriots this way. The Rapid Response Teams communicate primarily by using Skype groups.

All documents requiring translation are converted to Google Docs and translators receive a link to the article to translate. After the initial translation is completed, another member of the translation team reviews the text. After both translators agree, the customer receives a link to download the translation. Speed is key and sometimes the translation is available within the hour after receiving the source text. The work continues 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We partner with organizations such as: International Red Cross and Crescent, Internews, the Danish Refugee Council, Norwegian Refugee Council, the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Rescue Service, the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the Mercy Corps, and local partners.

We translate posters and flyers for use in the refugee camps, such as information on where to get food, where the toilets are, and where supplies are distributed. Ferry schedules and locations and updates on ferry strikes or accidents are translated for publication. Other topics include asylum rights, disease outbreaks, and more. We also translate daily weather reports for Internews, which is important for many people.

Training for Rapid Response Translation Teams

In the Kenya office, we recently revised our translator training materials used to train refugee crisis translators. TWB’s translation and training volunteer, Abdelah Lomri, took a few months off and is now presenting the training sessions in Greece. The main module of the program is “Introduction to translation for rapid response translation teams”. In addition, some basic medical modules will be given. Various topics like hypothermia, cholera, and tuberculosis health messages are vital to refugees.

In 2015 we focused on the Ebola crisis. Currently, our priority is the European refugee crisis. We have constant flow of  rising needs like the growing Zika virus crisis. The TWB Kenya Translation Center continues to play a vital role in many of TWB’s important projects worldwide.

Kenya office address: 1st Ngong Avenue, ACK Garden House, Nairobi.

Postal address : TWB Kenya, c/o RedR UK Kenya, P.O. Box 51645-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.







By Simon Andriesen

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