This evening, at monthly crisis support volunteer meeting, we held a test call with an interpreter to Farsi (Persian) to make sure we are all familiar with the process.
It’s been a long time in the making, but finally we have the pieces in place: a language service funded by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, technical problems resolved, volunteers and staff trained to use the service, and sleek new posters and cards in ten languages ready to go.
Please help us get the word out to folks who could better use our Support Line in languages other than English: we are now ready to serve them better.
Survivors of sexual violence, and their support persons, can now call the line – 905.525.4162 – and say their first name, phone number and which language (and dialect) they speak. They will get a call back within a few minutes with a trained SACHA support person and an interpreter, ready to provide emotional support and information in the language they are most comfortable in. We have access to interpreters in over 300 languages and dialects.
Our posters about the service are in just ten languages – how to chose, when every single survivor matters? We used a combination of stats on the largest language groups in Hamilton, information about currently arriving newcomers, and opportunity.
The posters include English, for the speakers of the other 300 languages or so which we haven’t covered, and for English speaking allies and service providers who can refer people to us. The one exception is French speakers, who will be referred by SACHA to the Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton/Niagara.
Our thanks to Allegra and the FootPRINT Fund for designing and printing our promotional materials in 11 languages, and to the Language Interpreter Service MCIS which did the translations and a lot of the layout. MCIS is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.