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Want to End Poverty and Save Lives? Translate!

Want to End Poverty and Save Lives? Translate!

During all those years I spent “almost giving” I imagined myself serving food in a refugee camp, or teaching children in an orphanage. I never dreamed that my own métier- translation – could actually be a key to ending poverty and saving lives. The thing is, knowledge is incredibly powerful. Knowledge ensures better health and [...]

Everyone in Africa speaks English. Or do they?

Everyone in Africa speaks English. Or do they?

English Africa, French Africa, Portuguese Africa. We are accustomed to using these terms to designate different countries of Africa. Kenya is considered an anglophone country while Mali is universally regarded as francophone. But do these terms accurately describe the reality? In fact, these terms are misnomers according to Sozinho Francisco Matsinhe, the Executive Secretary of [...]

Call for Translation in Kenya’s Kibera Slum

We’ve been invited to Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum, to talk about – of all things – translation. “We” refers to a delegation from Translators without Borders consisting of Paula Shannon, Simon and Harriet Andriesen, and myself. Kibera is a place we never expected to find ourselves in. The second largest slum in Africa after Soweto, [...]

The Elephant in the Access to Information Room

It’s exciting to see a roomful of smart, cosmopolitan people talking about saving lives by making knowledge more accessible. That’s what happened last week in London at the HIFA2015 conference, hosted by the British Medical Association. I travelled there with Simon Andriesen, fellow Board Member of Translators without Borders, and Joe Mairura, a Kenyan mental [...]

Google’s Mission in Africa

I love that Google wants to make money in Africa. This may be a contentious thing to say, but I do love that Google wants more African content on the Internet so that they can monetize it. Why? Because as more locally-relevant content becomes available, the African web will become more vibrant. And that vibrancy [...]

Wanted: Kiswahili Translators

The former executive director of Unicef once said that 80% of the children who die every day in Africa are dying for lack of knowledge. I would sadly concur with his statement. It broke my heart to see what difficulty rural Kenyans had in understanding the healthcare information that was available to them. Excellent health [...]

When the desperately poor help the less fortunate

As our van stopped on the red soil sandy road, the women came out in their colourful headscarves, singing an African song. Each one pressed our hands as we walked with them up to see their garden plots and their tree nursery. The school children who had been bathing in the river hid in the [...]

What do Kenyans Need Most?

Given the range of needs in this country that people are struggling to address, we’ve asked community after community the same question: “What is your top priority?” The ABC development department is working on a variety of initiatives to address the many needs: weirs and wells, food security, school fees and uniforms, microcredit, farming, shelter, [...]