How it started: project history
Thread poster: Marion Schimmelpfennig

Marion Schimmelpfennig  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:36
Member (2003)
English to German
Dec 11, 2004

For those of you who are new and / or haven't heard of this project before, here's a history of what happened so far: On December 7, 2004 I made a post at, suggesting we create a multi-language book with works from kids who need help – thus generating money to help those kids. Many fellow translators were willing and eager to help: not only with translating the poems and stories of these children, but also to make this project real. On December 9, 2004 I started an online discussion on, but we soon realized that this was not the ideal place to collaborate. When I told owner Henry what we are up to, he immediately created this special forum for us and he will also give us a helping hand in other things, which is of course very much appreciated!

Below my preliminary strategy which was posted on and to which many people have already replied in very helpful ways. I used the posts of to create the structure of this forum.

"Here are my thoughts so far: In order to make this book a success, we need to think BIG. And I mean really big. We won't be able to help many children if we only sell a couple of thousand books.

One colleague asked if I was currently gathering texts from children. No. This is far too early. I believe we need a good strategy first before we contact any organization, sponsor or publisher.

Here is an approach that might work (critical comments and questions welcome!):

- I would like to gather poems, stories and drawings from children all over the world. From as many countries as possible. Hence, collaboration with only one (or two, or three) charities will not work. It will also most probably be one-sided. In my mind, the book will contain works from many different children of many different charities. And it should be a large book, of course

- To invite charities (and sponsors) from all over the world, we could

a) find colleagues in those countries who then do a search for suitable (i.e. trustworthy) charities and contact them (we could write a template letter which the fellow translators could translate into their respective language)

b) create our own web site and introduce our project there (in as many languages as possible). This is probably less expensive and time consuming than approach a) because I and Andrea di Marco for example have free web space with no cost at all, and I am quite savvy when it comes to create HTML files. Of course, we would need world-wide traffic. For this, we would need the free support of companies like Google or Yahoo. Of course, would be a perfect place to start with…

Once we have charities eager to participate, the process of gathering stories and drawings could begin.

- Financing the whole thing: Good question, many possible answers. I think it's possible we can provide the works, the translations, forewords etc with little or no costs. I also believe it's possible we can find BIG sponsors who are willing to promote this book. BBC, CNN, France Telecom, you name it. Publishing and printing this book will probably be the biggest challenge, because no publisher will do it for free. Maybe the sponsors can help. Maybe this problem will eventually solve itself when we have talked to those BIG guys. I'm totally open to any comments.

We should not rush this thing. Let's take our time so that we can make it work."

[Edited at 2004-12-11 13:25]

[Edited at 2004-12-19 12:41]

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How it started: project history

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