ICVolunteers for the humanitarian world

Sophie, the translator and Tay, the logistician
Sophie Colesse (middle) during the 2007 Geneva Music Festival, photo: J. Garbino
Sophie Colesse (middle) during the 2007 Geneva Music Festival, photo: J. Garbino
Sophie Colesse & Tay Blyth-Kubota, Irene Amodei, traducción española Miguel Ortiz
10 October 2007

Sophie and Tay are two ICV volunteers. While the first one just finished her translation internship within our Federation, the second recently started his internship at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), a new partner of ICVolunteers.

Here are the accounts of precious experiences which will certainly open other doors and a promising beginning.

Sophie Colesse, a summer intern in translation at ICVolunteers, wanted to share with us what she has gained from the experience.

"This internship allowed me to discover not only the domain of translation, but more importantly, the associative and humanitarian world. I have discovered that even linguistic work can be very enriching, because it is not only a question of mechanic translation of documents but the significance of what we translate really needs to be understood. We have a duty toward people who will read our work."

Highly motivated and brave -- every day she dealt with a trip of 185 kilometers to reach our office in Ferney-Voltaire -- in 3 months Sophie translated, from English and Spanish to French, a wide range of documents: newsletters, presentations, manuals for publishing documents, articles and interviews. She also worked on the travel guides for volunteers, conference reports and legal texts.

"After the translating, I also collaborated with Rabah Tounsi, ICVolunteers employee, on putting together a project of European scale. We presented the project and established the budget. I observed first-hand what the role of a project manager consists of and how to properly create a file that is adapted and likely to be accepted.

While studying ICV's current projects, in particular those related to Africa, I understood that the humanitarian field is where I want to evolve in. I became aware of the needs in this field and which path I would choose to be able to apply myself in the most efficient and effective manner."

Having been brought up in Geneva, Tay Blyth-Kubota is a graduate of social anthropology. He wished to work in a field, where his efforts would have a direct bearing and useful impact to the world.

"I was drawn to ICV due to the accessible, open and friendly nature of the organisation, committed to helping projects from a vast array of subjects and interests," explained Tay.

"When the ICV internship, in collaboration with the IFRC was advertised, I applied for it immediately, since it encapsulated my sincere wish to gain employment with an organization of this stature. Due to its effectiveness in humanitarian aid response and because, it corresponded to my skills and knowledge."

His internship work includes coordinating and organizing the 11th International Colloquium on the Recruitment of Voluntary, Non-Remunerated Blood Donors, to be held in January 2008 in Egypt.

"The work placement has provided me with the opportunity to see how a Forum of this magnitude is created, with the interesting work of the International Federation for Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Egyptian Red Crescent, ICVolunteeers and the World Health Organization (WHO). It has given me a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of the efforts and inner workings of an international organization such as the IFRC and to get a grasp of the concrete efficiency and reality of its work."

"While my work is directly concerned with the need to increase the education and transparency of the blood donation agenda, I too have had to learn about the specific and incredible importance of blood donation, especially of the non-remunerated kind which is statistically more likely to be uncontaminated."

And eventually, Tay's hopes.

"With this internship, I hope to increase my language skills in French, and there might even be an opportunity to go on a mission to Egypt to help with the coordination of the colloquium there. Already, I have been given a full internship for the next couple of months working on the agenda of Harm prevention and drug use concerning HIV, within the Health and Care sector of the IFRC. For such a great opportunity, I am very grateful to ICV for their help and assistance."

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