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Poll: Have you ever done voluntary work for a non-profit organization or charitable cause?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:57
SITE STAFF
Mar 12, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever done voluntary work for a non-profit organization or charitable cause?".

This poll was originally submitted by Aisha Maniar. View the poll results »



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Joanna Sobolewska-Kurpiel  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:57
Member
English to Polish
+ ...
Yes Mar 12, 2010

I used to do a lot of interpreting at Taize meetings.

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Caroline Lakey  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:57
French to English
Yes Mar 12, 2010

I live in an area of France where there is a large English-speaking population. I have interepreted at church services, and am currently translating documents for the English-speaking members of a metal-detecting association which my partner is setting up!

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Anne-Sophie Cardinal  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:57
Member (2007)
English to French
+ ...
yes! Mar 12, 2010

I currently live in Israel and there are approx. 18 000 African refugees living here. They literaly walked here, coming from South Sudan, Darfur, Eritrea, Mali, Congo, Ivory Coast, etc.
I volunteer with an NGO who assists them in many ways, offering help with the following pairs: FR>EN, EN>FR, HE>EN, HE>FR, FR>HE and EN>HE

-Interpreting services for refugees who need assistance (with employers -who often exploit them-, refugee status applications, visas, accompanying at the hospital, etc.)

-Interpreting services for Psychotherapy sessions for refugees (translating for the therapist and the patient)

-Translation of the NGO website

-Translation of meetings and business course for a Micro-Finance for Congolese women.

I always say that if one can't donate its MONEY, they can at least spare a bit of their TIME for a good cause, no matter the cause they choose.



[Edited at 2010-03-12 08:23 GMT]


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Anke Formann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:57
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
Yes Mar 12, 2010

I have just started helping savethedogs.eu to translate their news and parts of their website into German.
They are an Italian foundation with branches in Switzerland and Monaco, that helps the stray dogs in Romania, supports poor families, and raises awareness of the animals' suffering.

@Anne-Sophie: I completely second your statement! An hour a day of ones time may already make a difference.

[Bearbeitet am 2010-03-12 08:41 GMT]

[Bearbeitet am 2010-03-12 08:41 GMT]


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Eloïse Notet  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:57
Member (2005)
German to French
+ ...
"Healing Focus" Mar 12, 2010

a small charity for orphaned children in Uganda

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Estelle Demontrond-Box  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 11:57
English to French
+ ...
Translators without borders Mar 12, 2010

Yes I translate pro bono for Translators without borders http://tsf.eurotexte.fr/?lang=fr and for the International Children's Digital Liibrary http://en.childrenslibrary.org/

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Antonella Berardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:57
Member (2009)
French to Italian
+ ...
Yes! Mar 12, 2010

I am volunteer translator (EN>IT) for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and for La Brique (FR>IT), an NGO for poor children in Burkina Faso.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:57
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes Mar 12, 2010

I have been and still am translating for ONE Spirit, a non-profit organization which goal is to ease the impacts of poverty on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation located in southeastern South Dakota.

The conditions there are a constant reminder how important it is to help others solely for the sake of easing their hardships.

Regards

Thayenga


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 03:57
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes Mar 12, 2010

I have been doing translations free of charge for a child care organisation, UCC, a couple of years ago. I did it for 2-3 years whenever they had a newsletter or something to Danish sponsors or the like.

It has been years since I last heard from them, though.


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Madalena Ribeiro  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:57
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Mar 12, 2010

Translations for Amnesty International and for Animals Angels, when I had more time free.

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Mike (de Oliveira) Brady  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2008)
Portuguese to English
Yes Mar 12, 2010

Portuguese -> English for the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN):
http://www.ibfan.org/


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lillkakan
Local time: 03:57
English to Swedish
Yes, magazine articles Mar 12, 2010

I used to translate articles for a local street paper, affiliated with http://www.street-papers.org/. The magazines are actually very good reads and give the poor and homeless a chance to make some honest money. I enjoyed it a lot.

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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:57
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Yes Mar 12, 2010

About 3 years ago, I got in contact with Solidarités, a mid-size French NGO, who needed translations between English and French, both ways. I was quite sure that a lot of volunteers would gladly help them, so I offered a hand with organization. From the outset, I had a double aim in mind: to help the NGO (and through it, indirectly, those who are in the greatest need), and to help translators build a network.

I posted a job on ProZ, and offers started rolling in very quickly. This confirmed my hunch that it there was a lot of free capacity translators would be ready to. You just need to go out and ask for it. If you take a look at Wikipedia, you know what I am speaking about. Or take a look at this article from The Economist: a group of volunteers translating the articles of this prestigious newspaper into Mandarin, for the benefit of other readers. While a lot of professional translators would condemn this practice of a for-profit organization, there seems to be a consensus that helping NGOs on a pro bono basis is acceptable. So much so that many translators proudly put such experience on their resume – not fearing that it conveys an image of accepting abusive work conditions.

So, free capacity was available, and that is how the Solidarités team was set up on ProZ.com. ProZ.com's infrastructure – private forum, private KudoZ, team workspace with file upload options etc. – has facilitated a lot of things for us. Also, ProZ.com's declared policy of allowing pro bono job postings for not-for profit organizations (and for them alone) made it easy to reach translators. Thanks for all this, ProZ.com!

To date, about 80 people joined the team, and we translated almost 500,000 words for Solidarités (see a sample, the translation of Solidarités' brochure for the World Water Day 2009 here). This made a very big difference for them: due to their understandably low budget for communications, they would not have had a choice but have a part of the material translated by their own staff. With our help, they could have their whole website and intranet translated.

It has been quite a lot of work, but when there are 80 people who are ready to offer a hand when they have some free availability, team members did not have to refuse any paid jobs. Also, many of them expressed that the collaboration in the team was a valuable experience for them: quite different from their daily job where they work alone. Communicating with other translators, sharing a project, creating a glossary together brought them a team work experience that has proved useful for many of them.

Our collaboration took a new turn in September 2009, when Solidarités created two "internship" positions. Two team members, who are at the start of their translation career, could thus get an opportunity to get more involved in this project, and get a compensation. The situation was quite delicate, because the rest of the team continued to work pro bono. To make sure this would not cause frictions, I asked feedback from all team members before setting up the internship: I was truly delighted to see a unanimous support. The idea to help two team members start their career pleased everyone. To make sure the two interns get more than a chance to help, I provided them a series of webinar sessions, ranging from tools through translation techniques to business issues. The webinars were open and free to team members as well.

The internship has just been finished – and it has been a success. I plan to write a summary about it, with the input of the interns and other team members – as usual, the main constraint factor is time. I presented our collaboration at several ProZ.com conferences – e.g., in Ohrid; the ppt of the conference session is available here.

More details are available on my profile page, where you will also find link to join a free, open webinar (Translators for NGOs) on March 31, 2010. This not-for-profit event aims to share the best practices we have acquired during the past three years – which may encourage other translators to set up a similar structure. It is perfectly possible to help others – and learn and network at the same time. It requires relatively little extra effort to include this second component – but it makes a world of difference for translators. Feel free to contact me privately, too, if you have any questions.

Best regards,
Attila


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:57
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Language related, no translation Mar 12, 2010

Most of my voluntary work is not primarily language-related - it's hands-on voluntary work with shelter dogs.

As I am one of the few volunteers with a good internet connection at home I also take care of writing about the dogs (and some donkeys) on web pages, fora, blogs, etc. in Dutch, Spanish and English. Can't help it!

A German organisation helps us with adoptions in Germany so I prepare detailed information about every dog we think might have possibilities in Germany for them - in English, which is then translated into German. Just as well a colleague helps me out with those translations!

After working all day I prefer to write or edit a video if I have to but please no translation...
I also enjoy actually "doing" something instead of spending more time doing the same.

www.animalesdeoriente.com
http://animalesdeoriente.blogspot.com/

[Edited at 2010-03-12 12:40 GMT]


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