The recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has once again shined a spotlight on the role translation plays when disaster strikes a linguistically isolated population.
Unless crisis victims can get access to information in a language and a format they can easily understand, it isn’t information at all. In fact, in a highly contagious medical crisis, the need to get information to the right people in the right language at the right time can literally make the difference between life and death. Failure to do so can also cause the crisis to escalate.
On this week’s episode of Globally Speaking, Renato Beninatto interviews Ellie Kemp, who heads crisis response at Translators without Borders.
- The challenge of finding qualified translators in Bwa and Ligenza, the two biggest languages in the stricken zone
- How to communicate with a largely illiterate population
- How to address local customs that contribute to contagion
- How a small group of translators can impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people
- How you can help by supporting Translators without Borders
- How Translators without Borders continues to build awareness of the importance of language issues in international humanitarian programs
About Ellie Kemp
Ellie worked as a professional translator (French, German and Russian into English) before moving into humanitarian and development work during the Kosovo crisis in 1999. She came to Translators without Borders as Head of Crisis Response in January 2017 with a 12-year track record of leading programs, teams and advocacy campaigns in Africa, Central Asia and the Balkans for international NGOs, and five years’ experience as a freelance consultant on humanitarian policy, advocacy and protection.
To learn more about this program, go to www.globallyspeakingradio.com, where you can listen to and also download a full transcript of all episodes.