FAQs: Volunteers Speaking Other Languages
Dear fellow Cal student/community member,
During Calapalooza and other events, we have gotten a lot of questions from people who are interested in healthcare interpretation, but who do not speak one of the languages we currently are actively recruiting for. VHIO currently does not have the infrastructure for languages besides the 5 that we have listed. What that really means is that a lot of work has been done and is ongoing in each of the five languages to outreach and set up opportunities for volunteers in those 5 languages, but we don’t have something equivalent for other languages.
What we want to impress upon everyone is that VHIO is a continually growing organization. Each of the 5 languages we have now have have been at point zero in the past, and previous volunteers have taken the time to set up each community partnership. VHIO is interested in expanding to more languages, but we will not be able to lead the initiative this semester, as our main focus will be with our new Spanish group. If you are interested in healthcare interpreting in your language, here are two ways you can get involved with VHIO:
1. Start your own project in your language. For this, send in a VHIO application so that we can get to know you and discuss what you plan to do with us. If the application process goes well, we will welcome you into VHIO to start your own project. This would entail first researching the demographics in this area and compiling lists of community organizations that you could reach out into. From here, if it looks promising, there is potential to move onto further recruitment. From our standpoint, we can help you get started by sharing our past experiences, our interpretation resources, and guide you through the semester, but the main initiative for setting up the project will come from you.
2. If you aren’t interested in starting a new language branch, you can also email us with your information. Sometimes community organizations ask for interpretation in languages that we do not currently have, so we can forward those requests to you directly.
Let us know if you have more questions.
VHIO Officer Board