We recently spoke with Hannah Ovaisi, one of our amazing translation volunteers from our corporate partners, Clifford Chance LLP.
Translation volunteers offer a valuable service to our Practitioners. Many of the families that our Practitioners work with speak English as an additional language and can miss out on the vital help they need if there is no translation available.
Volunteers like Hannah, attend and translate during meetings between Practitioners and parents and provide written translations of helpful documents. We have volunteers who speak a variety of languages including Farsi, Urdu, Romanian and Polish.
Without these volunteers offering their valuable translation skills and time, many families would not be able to access the support that we can provide.
Hannah Ovaisi, Farsi Translation Volunteer, Clifford Chance
1) A little bit about you – who are you? Where do you work? What’s your role?
I am a lawyer in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution team at Clifford Chance LLP with a particular focus on commercial litigation and contentious regulatory investigations. I have been at the firm for eight years and I thoroughly enjoy my job.
2) How did you hear about volunteering for School-Home Support?
I was notified about this volunteering opportunity through our firm’s community and outreach team. The team posted an advertisement on our firm’s UK Race Equality and Celebrating Heritage (REACH) network Yammer page seeking a Farsi speaker to assist with School-Home Support sessions.
3) Why did you volunteer?
I volunteered because it is always good to give back to the community. The ability to speak Farsi is a gift that my parents gave me and I enjoy using that gift to help others too.
4) What did you learn doing it?
I learnt that even short sessions of volunteering – just one hour – can make a huge difference to a family’s everyday life. Usually, I take on big pro bono cases at work that last many months or even years, but smaller volunteering sessions can be just as impactful.
5) Do you have any anecdotes of things people said that made you feel like you’d made a real impact?
Yes, at one particular session, I assisted an Iranian mother who spoke no English. I translated her requests to the School-Home Support team from Farsi to English and I translated the team’s responses from English to Farsi.
The mother asked me to ask the School-Home Support team if they could please arrange for her son, a five-year-old boy who also spoke no English, to be provided with a school PE kit and a small table and chair to complete his schoolwork at home. The team were very happy to assist. I felt I’d made a real impact by translating the mother’s requests into English so that School-Home Support could understand her needs and help make a positive change to her son’s life.
6) What would you say to others who consider volunteering?
Definitely put your hand up to help out. It is a very rewarding experience for all involved.
Interested in finding out more about School-Home Support’s work with corporate partners? Visit our Corporates page here.