"COLLECTING STORIES" make children feel special
Thread poster: Andrea Appel

Andrea Appel
Canada
Local time: 11:26
English to German
+ ...
Jan 11, 2008

We have to make absolutely sure people understand that T4K is a trustworthy organization, dedicated to helping children in need. Therefore, we have created a document you can read out, hand out, email or fax to anyone (T4K_Presentation_English.pdf). Other languages as well just email Andrea and ask for your language pair at collection@translators4kids.com


In this phase, you will help identify unfortunate children (as described above) who might be able to contribute to the book. There are no limits to your research tools: (local) newspapers, coverage on TV/radio, the Internet, and personal contacts: you name it. You may find children in hospitals, orphanages, on the street, in shelters, red light districts, ghettoes or even in your neighborhood. Or you may go deliberately searching for organizations that deal with specific kinds of unfortunate children – abused, disabled, war victims etc. The more ideas and data we have, the better!



 pre-existing material: this will probably vary widely in topic and length
 material created especially for the book: we will encourage and assist children (without limiting their scope of expression, of course).

Some children may not be able to give us anything in writing at all because they may be too young, illiterate, or too disabled to write. In these cases, we will encourage the children either to draw a picture or tell us about what they care about.

We believe it is important to give the children as much leeway as possible in creating or giving us something for the book. This is the only way to make sure that their pieces are original and authentic, and that the material reflects their own feelings and opinions. We may receive:

 Letters that were mailed to someone at some point
 Letters that were never been mailed
 Diaries or excerpts from diaries
 Short stories
 Poems
 Drawings and sketches etc.

Although we would like children to tell us about their hopes, fears, and wishes, etc, it is possible that we may receive material that says nothing about a child’s current situation or condition. For example, we might get a beautiful poem from a terminally ill ten-year-old that – at least on the surface – does not seem to relate directly to their illness at all. Yet the poem would still relate to the child's situation because the child was able to create such a poem despite his or her condition. This is one reason why we plan to pair each child’s piece with a few explanatory words from the translator.

We do not want to cover just one specific country, one specific ailment, or one specific group of children, as this might well limit our target audience. Instead, we want the book to be as varied and diverse as possible, so that everyone can find something within its covers that they can identify or empathize with. Therefore, we:

 plan to give a voice to children from as many different countries as possible
 will ask children up to 16 years of age to submit material
 want to show a wide variety of different living conditions and economic situations
 do not want to concentrate on only sad stories; we know from experience that even unfortunate children can nevertheless find beauty and hope in their lives
 would like to accompany each child's writing with their photo
 plan to pair each story with words from the respective translator about the general situation in this area or illness, for example. The added words will also serve to promote the unique position of translators as local ambassadors. Alternatively, the accompanying words can be written by an experienced author who is knowledgeable about the specific subject or region
 plan to have two pages per child (one page for the child's work – the original work as an image - along with the child's photo, and the translated material, plus another page for the accompanying text). Where necessary, we will allot four pages to some of the children's material, for up to 50% of the book's contents.
We want to give a voice to as many different children as possible, including, but not limited to:

 critically or terminally ill children
 disabled children
 orphans
 street kids / homeless children
 abused children
 enslaved children
 starving or malnourished children
 children who do not have the opportunity for an education
 war victims
 child soldiers
 child sex workers
 child workers
 victims of natural disasters, etc.



I will post again once people have asked me for their presentation sheet. Please be patient ..I will send i to you for sure. If you have any qestions in the meanwhile please feel free to post it here or e-mail me at Andrea at collection@translators4kids.com

Thanks so much again
Andrea


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Krzysztof Raczkowiak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:26
English to Polish
+ ...
Thanks Jan 11, 2008

Dear Andrea,
many thanks to you for this clear and coherent account of what steps we need to take now. It should be made clear by now that what we need at this stage of the project is not translation service, but something quite different
However, a number of practical isssues arise:

1. What are we going to tell those kids: that their stories/drawings will be published? Or that they may be published, depending on our choice and means? The sense of these questions is that we should be very careful not to let any of our storytellers/artists down. I believe it is the last thing they need.
What I would suggest is giving our contributors a gratification of some sort - it may for instance be a certificate, or alike, so that they could already feel appreciated.

2. What are we going to do with the material if it turns out that we have too much of it? Certainly, the corpus will have to undergo a process of selection, if the interest in the project remains hat lively. In this case, I think it could be a good idea to publish the remaining stories online. However, I am not very adept at www issues and I probably don't imagine all problems related to that.

3. If we want to make the organisation more credible in non-English speaking countries, localisation of the web page seems a good idea. To do that, we could create language teams (you have the database of the volunteers). Again, I
don't know the ropes (or rather links) of the internet business, and it may prove impossible for technical reasons.

4. At the initial stage, before we actually got to collecting stories, I would like to suggest that it may prove quite useful to give a child a prompt, e.g. 'Draw/Tell me/Write about your favourite toy, best friend, biggest wish, etc. We could in fact, have a brainstorm and come up with a number of ideas to inspire children. This would make the resultant book more coherent. Besides, it could give a powerful effect if the stories were not explicit about the condition of the child and 'objective' info was given on the adjacent page, or below the story/drawing. Anyway, tell me what you think of it.

That's it for now. I'll keep thinking about the project and report as soon as I've come up with something more.
BTW, could you please send the presentation in Polish?
Best regards,
Krzysztof


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Andrea Appel
Canada
Local time: 11:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great comeback dear Krzysztof Jan 12, 2008

I will respond shortly. In the meanwhile thanks for those valuable thoughts on this project.

Andrea


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Andrea Appel
Canada
Local time: 11:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What are we going to tell those kids: Jan 12, 2008

Your question Nr. 1
Yes, we do have to be careful that none of the children feel left out. The certificate is one good idea. The other idea would be that after the stories have been going through the book and concept team for evaluation, that the stories who haven’t made it, will still be published on a website which I could open on my own part and I heard also from someone that there is a site where you can publish your own book (which were we could use those stories who haven’t made it) and than even sell it to Amazon or sell in a website with all proceeds going back to those children. There are some options and we will find one. BUT yes it is important that all children feel special.

The proceeds of the T4K book is going to organization were help is needed most.

2. What are we going to do with the material if it turns out that we have too much of it?

Andrea wrote: I am not sure if I understood you right.
Krzysztof wrote:
“However, I am not very adept at www issues and I probably don't imagine all problems related to that.”

The least problem is that we would have to many stories.
Right now T4K is operating I think since 2004 and the problem is that there are not enough stories.

3. If we want to make the organisation more credible in non-English speaking countries, localisation of the web page seems a good idea.

Andrea wrote. Yes this is already underway. The website is being localized and Translators4Kids consists already of a Language Team, Editorial Team, Management Team, and Book Project Team.

4. Well, hm this is a bit of a difficult question. I think the child should be inspired to write a story of their current situation or how they feel about it. This does not mean that the story should be sad it can be an insightful or even happy story. Yes your suggestion about your biggest wish would be one of them. But I will go into more detail about this.

I am one of the Collection Team Leaders and I would love to have more help. The best thing would be if we would have a Collection Team Leaders from more countries to assist me with collection stories and guiding people to do so.

Thanks for all your questions dear Krzystof.







Krzysztof Raczkowiak wrote:

Dear Andrea,
many thanks to you for this clear and coherent account of what steps we need to take now. It should be made clear by now that what we need at this stage of the project is not translation service, but something quite different
However, a number of practical isssues arise:

1. What are we going to tell those kids: that their stories/drawings will be published? Or that they may be published, depending on our choice and means? The sense of these questions is that we should be very careful not to let any of our storytellers/artists down. I believe it is the last thing they need.
What I would suggest is giving our contributors a gratification of some sort - it may for instance be a certificate, or alike, so that they could already feel appreciated.

2. What are we going to do with the material if it turns out that we have too much of it? Certainly, the corpus will have to undergo a process of selection, if the interest in the project remains hat lively. In this case, I think it could be a good idea to publish the remaining stories online. However, I am not very adept at www issues and I probably don't imagine all problems related to that.

3. If we want to make the organisation more credible in non-English speaking countries, localisation of the web page seems a good idea. To do that, we could create language teams (you have the database of the volunteers). Again, I
don't know the ropes (or rather links) of the internet business, and it may prove impossible for technical reasons.

4. At the initial stage, before we actually got to collecting stories, I would like to suggest that it may prove quite useful to give a child a prompt, e.g. 'Draw/Tell me/Write about your favourite toy, best friend, biggest wish, etc. We could in fact, have a brainstorm and come up with a number of ideas to inspire children. This would make the resultant book more coherent. Besides, it could give a powerful effect if the stories were not explicit about the condition of the child and 'objective' info was given on the adjacent page, or below the story/drawing. Anyway, tell me what you think of it.

That's it for now. I'll keep thinking about the project and report as soon as I've come up with something more.
BTW, could you please send the presentation in Polish?
Best regards,
Krzysztof


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Fabiana Papastefani-Pezzoni  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 18:26
Member (2003)
English to Albanian
+ ...
I like the idea Jan 12, 2008

Krzysztof Raczkowiak wrote:

4. At the initial stage, before we actually got to collecting stories, I would like to suggest that it may prove quite useful to give a child a prompt, e.g. 'Draw/Tell me/Write about your favourite toy, best friend, biggest wish, etc. We could in fact, have a brainstorm and come up with a number of ideas to inspire children. This would make the resultant book more coherent. Besides, it could give a powerful effect if the stories were not explicit about the condition of the child and 'objective' info was given on the adjacent page, or below the story/drawing. Anyway, tell me what you think of it.

Krzysztof


Hello Krzysztof and all,

I just wanted to comment a bit on the last point that Krzysztof raised here: I like the idea. Why not?

Thanks for giving thoughts, Krzysztof.

Regards to all,

Fabiana


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Krzysztof Raczkowiak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:26
English to Polish
+ ...
Thanks for support Jan 12, 2008

Thank you both, Andrea and Fabiana!
My point is that the effect of such concept-centred collection could be greater. More importantly, I imagine we should treat prospect children's input as literature/art rather than documentary of any sort; in other, words, I think readers would be more moved having read a seemingly white story only to get to know some factual info on the author (provided adjacently). It's only a suggestion, though, and I will conform to the will of the majority, of course:)
Regards,
Krzysztof Raczkowiak


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Andrea Appel
Canada
Local time: 11:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Your thoughts are very inspiring Jan 12, 2008

Dear Krzysztof

I will forward your post to our Concept Team who works closley with our Publishing Team.
Thanks for your patience. I keep you updated in here. (-;


Andrea


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