Rock Stars You Should Know: Kiva’s Review & Translation Volunteers of the Summer!
Kiva’s loans come in all shapes, sizes and languages. Lucky for us, there’s a team of hard working multilingual volunteers on Kiva’s Review and Translation (RTP) team who make it possible for us to get these loans onto the site!
Kiva partners operate in five languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian) and we rely on an enormous network of volunteers to help review and translate loans so they can be published to our site in English while preserving the original author’s voice and emotion.
Nearly 400 volunteers help edit and translate about 14,000 loans each month, contributing to a total 8.1 million words translated per year. Not only are these volunteers language masters, but they’re pretty interesting and, not surprisingly, very global people. Many view translating and editing loans as a creative re-interpretation of their day-to-day work. Mariana Sanchis, May's RTP Volunteer of the Month, is a court interpreter who squeezes in translating Kiva loans between court cases. She sees a connection between the loans she translates, particularly ones from Central and South America, and the immigrants she works with in court. Both are trying to provide a decent life for their families in challenging environments.
Others, like Nancy Kreml, August's RTP Volunteer of the Month, choose to volunteer with RTP because it's a convenient way to help out while not at their day jobs. Nancy enjoys the convenience of volunteering online through Kiva while she travels. Having travelled to many countries where Kiva has Field Partners, she was affected by the living conditions she witnessed and wanted to help in a meaningful way.
All of Kiva's volunteers are stalwarts who make it possible for us to touch millions of lives around the world. Some, however, go above and beyond in the most extraordinary ways. Eric Saltmarsh, the RTP Volunteer of the month for June, has translated a whopping 5,000 loans in his eighteen months as an RTP volunteer. That amounts to more than 270 loans per month! We can hardly think of anything we do 270 times a month.
Likewise, Iain Gaw, RTP Volunteer of the Month for July, has consistently been named one of Kiva’s top 10 translators and continues to pitch in when needed the most. Iain’s interest in microfinance was sparked when living in Peru and working for an NGO. In preparation for Kiva and HP’s partnership, Iain helped out with translating extra spanish loans. He mostly translates loans from Latin America so it’s no surprise that’s his favorite place to travel!
As you can see, RTP volunteers include an eclectic group of travelers who are passionate about global development and poverty alleviation. They play a critical role in posting loans and furthering Kiva’s mission and we’re incredibly grateful for their hard work. If you’re interested in volunteering with our RTP team you can learn more about the program here.