Did you know that Africa is home to about 2,000 languages? More interestingly is that around 3,500 of TWB’s volunteer linguists are from approximately 50 African countries who speak over 200 languages, from Acholi to Zulu.
Many of our linguists speak Swahili, a Bantu language primarily spoken in East Africa, with approximately 15 dialects and many local language influences. This makes delivering information in Swahili a difficult task for organizations trying to reach local people.
Thankfully, our TWB community of Swahili speakers works hard to improve communication between humanitarians and the communities they support.
We interviewed two of our Swahili volunteers, Jeff from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ursuline from Tanzania,to capture what is their motivation and how their experience as volunteers has been.
My biggest motivation for volunteering with TWB is helping people access vital information in their own language by breaking language barriers. I also want to get more experience and grow professionally to be able to better support my family. Jeff
Jeff and Ursuline together with all our Swahili volunteers’ support is vital to improve two-way communication in their countries’ varieties of Swahili and even more impactful in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic that the world is facing.
As a health educator, I wish people could understand and follow the recommended basic preventive measures of COVID-19, such as handwashing, social distancing, and getting vaccinated. Ursuline
Working as a TWB translator has changed Jeff and Ursuline’s perspectives.
It has opened many doors for me. As a TWB volunteer, I have met many people and learned a lot of things helpful for my career. Jeff
As a translator, I feel I have been useful to my country. I have learned a lot by translating many documents about health, education, development, and humanitarian issues…Translating with TWB has changed the way I see language, going beyond mere words. Ursuline
Jeff and Ursuline’s TWB journeys are very personal and purposeful. Despite their individual challenges, they have both invested themselves so much to help their communities and benefited greatly in return. For that, we are incredibly grateful.