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From Real Estate to Red T

Eugenia Silva-Beccari

Two years out of college, and under-challenged at a real-estate job, I reached out to Red T. By volunteering for an advocacy that raises awareness for translators and interpreters (T&Is) worldwide, I would be able to put my multi-lingual research and writing skills to good use, while also learning the non-profit ropes.

My activities at Red T thus far have included scouring the news for mentions of T&Is, conducting case research for the Open Letter Project on behalf of linguists who are unjustly imprisoned across the globe, and corresponding with potential volunteers to match their skills to Red T's needs.

I love that my work raises awareness for T&Is at risk. I feel privileged to be involved in this collective effort and find it extremely heartening to witness Red T gain momentum.

Prior to volunteering for Red T, I had a limited understanding of the true challenges T&Is face in conflict zones and other high-risk situations. Yes, I knew that locals working as T&Is in war zones often fall victim to attacks due to their proximity to foreign forces. Through Red T I discovered the near-total absence of media coverage of these issues. Indeed, while following the news on most of the major media outlets — The New York Times, The Guardian, BBC, etc. — I noticed that T&Is are rarely, if ever, mentioned in the titles of articles covering the casualties of battle. This is why Red T is so critical: to spread awareness of the invaluable work T&Is perform in dangerous settings, and the great cost they pay as a result.

To that end, Red T needs volunteers to write letters for the Open Letter Project, translate the Conflict Zone Field Guide into critical languages and distribute it as widely as possible, or send us T&I incidents for the research database. Lending a hand can be as simple as becoming a follower of Red T on Twitter (@TheRedT) or "liking" the Red T Facebook page and sharing/posting a topical article. If you'd like to know more about getting involved, please email me at esilvabeccari@red-t.org.

Posted on September 27th, 2012