How We Are Helping with the Refugee Crisis

September 21, 2015 |

By Sarah-Claire Jordan

refugeesAs you probably know, we are seeing a huge refugee crisis in various parts of the world lately, with people fleeing from the Middle East, parts of Africa, and Central/Southeastern Asia. Some are lucky enough to find places to stay in neighboring countries, but others have had to travel through many countries and still have not been able to find a place to even temporarily settle down. This has been called the worst refugee crisis since World War II, and those working directly with refugees would say it might even be worse.

Luckily, there are many humanitarian organizations and other NGOs that are ready to do whatever they can to help these people who had no choice but to leave their own homes. However, since the refugees are coming from very different areas, language boundaries are an issue, even among volunteers and the aid workers. This is where companies like Alpha Omega Translations get their chance to lend a hand by providing translation services for the different organizations trying to do their part.

The languages that Alpha Omega Translations is working with can be divided into three groups based on the region where they are spoken: Middle Eastern/Mediterranean languages (Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Pashtu, Greek, French, Spanish, Dari, etc.), North African languages (Tigrinya, Tigre, Somali, Kirundi, Swahili, and more), and Central/Southeast Asian languages (Bengali, Burmese, Chin, Karen, Nepali, etc.). Each NGO has different needs based on where they are working and what projects they have in place, but their needs are all met in a timely and precise manner.

There are many different types of things that need to be translated. Refugees in Europe, specifically Turkey, are being surveyed to find out where they are from and other information. The idea behind this is to figure out in which ways the organization can help each individual refugee or family. Members and clients of the organizations also need up-to-date information about the situation and projects in their language so they can understand exactly what the purpose of their participation is.

Aside from organizations that specialize in refugee relief, there are also some that focus more on reproductive and sexual health, something that is often overlooked when it comes to the needs of refugees. Alpha Omega has translated findings based on field work in Ethiopian refugee camps that specifically targeted young adolescents. There is also a push to make sure elderly and disabled refugees get the help they need. On top of that, field manuals need to be translated as well as surveys about the same field manuals to make sure they are effective and make sense to all aid workers, regardless of their native language.

There is still a lot of work ahead of us as a planet in terms of finding homes for the different refugees in need right now, but more and more countries are realizing they can do more to help. In the meantime, translation services are making the work of different humanitarian and relief organizations possible.

For an overview of our translation expertise, visit our medical and life science translation page.

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Category: Alpha Omega News

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