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Welcoming Airdrie seeking volunteer translators/interpreters to help newcomers

The Welcoming Airdrie organizing committee is seeking bilingual volunteers to help new Canadians adjust to life in Airdrie.
The Welcoming Airdrie organizing committee is looking for bilingual volunteers to help translate and interpret for new Airdronians who do not speak English.

The Welcoming Airdrie organizing committee is seeking bilingual volunteers to help new Canadians adjust to life in Airdrie.

“Any new immigrant or refugee coming here may not know how to speak in English or understand English,” explained committee member Nina Nath, who is also a co-founder of Volunteer Airdrie, which is working together with Welcoming Airdrie on this initiative. “So whatever their language is, we won’t know until we meet them. That’s when we need someone to translate from their language to English so we can understand them, and help them out.”

According to Nath, the benefits for volunteers are both personally rewarding and represent a wonderful form of public service to the community. 

“It gives satisfaction, first of all, to help people,” she said. “And secondly, they are serving citizens of the city they represent.”

Volunteering with Welcoming Airdrie also allows interpreters/translators to connect with people who share their language and perhaps their culture from the old country.

“It’s a good way of networking,” stated Nath. “We want to make Airdrie a welcoming and inclusive community for all residents with a focus on folks who have immigrated to Canada as newcomers.”

Nath said Welcoming Airdrie also works in conjunction with the Rocky View Local Immigration Partnership (RVLIP), and both organizations are seeking translators, not only in Airdrie but other local communities nearby as well.

RVLIP covers the region surrounding Calgary to the north, northeast, and northwest and includes Rocky View County as well as Airdrie, Chestermere, Cochrane, Irricana, Crossfield, and Beiseker.

Both RVLIP and Welcoming Airdrie help new immigrants interface and connect with vital programs and services they might need when they first move into a new community, such as local schools, social and community services, and others. According to Nath, volunteer translators/interpreters are a key part of that interface.

“What we want to do is offer them the services that Rocky View and Airdrie can offer them so they know where to go and who to contact to get to the right programs,” she said. “And we have to know what programs they require, first of all, and know their needs. If we know their needs, we can guide them to the right person, department or program.”

Nath said the two organizations are looking for anyone who can speak English and another language fluently to join their volunteer translator network. She added there is a particular need for volunteers who speak Afghani languages such as Pashto or Dari, or Ukrainian. 

“We need someone we can call on, if need be,” she said.

Those wanting to know more how they can volunteer their time to Welcoming Airdrie or RVLIP as translators can call or text 403-993-5034 or email [email protected] 

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