The reactions and actions showed on the ProZ-forums, speak of a many qualities we (ProZians, translators in general) share and have in common: compassion, initiative, awareness, worldwide networking social relations .... and much more.
It’s the Tsunami-horror that gives impulse and energy to express these qualities, but also, in my perception, just another recent initiative shows the same ‘binding factor’. Heart-warming!
Qualities that feed a strong sense of community, the need to unite on more than just a professional level.
Suggestions f.i. were given by ProZians Csaba Ban and Marion Schimmelpfennig, E.LA, Balaban Cerit (regarding something like a Proz.com Tsunami Pledge Fund and aid for a Russian hospital).
To follow-up on this and - not in the least - on my drive I would like to suggest a few things (Bear with me please, these are just a few ideas).
1. We are ‘One’
I suggest to recognize that:
- we are part of one big human family sharing to same house and ‘living ground’
- we are (from time to time) in need of doing something good, sustainable, worthwhile and essential
- we have essential qualities in common - personal and professional - that makes us a specific community
- we have a very specific role: enabling communication & connection between people, cultures, countries, institutions, movements etc. - all across this world
- many of us are - considering our business & organisational resources) - too small to come up with a substantial (not-for-profit) contributions to society; that is, of course, besides our individual or personal actions.
2. We ‘too’
I suggest to recognize that - in case of specific situations or events that call for aid, relief actions etc.:
- many professional contributions (aid, food, medical care, coordination, logistics etc.) are best provided by other professional organisations
- but our specific contribution could have a right on its own: translation & interpretation services, using our network for fundraising
3. We ‘free’
I suggest to state that - for a certain period:
- we can donate a small percentage (f.i. a symbolic ONE percent) of our income to a certain fund
- we can offer free translation services
- we should be able to coordinate these services in terms of matching demand and supply
- we …. ?
4. We ‘for’
I suggest to state that:
- these funds can be used to donate to institutions or organisations like the IRC (Red Cross/Crescent), Unicef, Care etc.
- these funds could be used to pay for specific translation or interpreting services as relief aid
4. We ‘TranslAid’
“We” could be more than just the ProZ-community. Think about: freelancers, translation agencies, translation organisation (like ATA, FIT) ...
We are a working community - in a way a global networked virtual company.
Corporate Social Responsibility and alike are not just a fling.
It’s a bare necessity for sustainable development.
It’s also about us.
It’s about ‘one’, ‘too’, ‘free’ and ‘for’, so to speak.
..... hmmm, well, ... interesting thought ... yes, but ....
What action is needed, what action is possible?
a. I can’t give you a conclusive answer to that
b. I can offer some help, but - as you probably do - I have work to attend, a family to support, bills to pay and have to spend time with people I love, who I need and who are in need of me
c. we can poll these ideas, find out what is reasonable, come up with more tangible ideas,
d. we can think of many obstacles (how to arrange for a banking services, an accountant, settlements between parties, a website, organisation ...)
e. we can come up with specific expertise & contacts (many of which could well be used for little or no expense)
f. we can distribute ‘themes & issues’ amongst peers/people who know how to deal them
g. we can ask ‘the others’ to join in, to get organized, offer some time & other resources get this thing going
And we could call it TranslAid!
[Edited at 2005-01-02 13:55]
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