project leader
Damian H
Statue of Liberty
(New York)
latest update rss
Translations are Underway!

the project

The Refugee Translation Project provides free, professional translation services for refugees seeking asylum in the New York metro area. We offer English translations of asylum statements originally written in Turkish and in Arabic. As the project picks up momentum, we will add more languages to our services.

We serve refugees who have fled their countries under threat of imprisonment, torture, and even death. Those who make it to the New York area and wish to stay here must submit personal statements in English. One of the most important factors for asylum seekers is that they can fully convey their stories to their lawyers and to the courts. These statements are crucial to the refugees' success. Unfortunately, many of these people have lost almost everything they own and cannot afford to pay for the speedy translation of these important documents. To ease the burden, the Refugee Translation Project offers these professional translation services for free so that refugees can focus their limited resources on making a home here. 

the steps

The fundraising goal is to create a fund that will pay for the translation of asylum statements. The project already produces translations for Turkish-speaking refugees and is actively looking for an Arabic translator. Once we have our initial fund of $3500, we plan expand our offerings to more people and groups working with refugees in the New York area in order to connect with clients in need. After this first phase we will evaluate the areas of need, expand the languages and organizations we work with and continue fundraising to meet identified needs.  

The costs of translations depend of on the word count and original language. Asylum letters range from 1500 – 6000 words, costing $150 to $660 to translate.

why we're doing it

Refugees who have arrived in the New York area seeking asylum are oftentimes in extreme financial straits. As newly arrived immigrants, their community networks and access to resources are limited. The costs of translating the statements necessary to apply for asylum can be a huge financial burden. The Refugee Translation Project relieves this particular burden so that these people can concentrate their resources on planting roots in their new home. 


Disbursed budget (as of 4.13.17):

With these extra funds, we'll be able to offer more translation services and translate even more letters. Thank you!

RAISED = $4,106.00
less ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
less ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $188.47
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $113.08

Original budget:

The fundraising goal is to create a fund to pay the translation fees for asylum letters. The fees are based on word count and a standard translation rate of $.10 per word for Turkish and $.11 per word for Arabic. $3500 is moderate amount that will be able to pay for the translation of approximately 10 letters. There will be no other expenses besides the translation fees. 


Project Subtotal =  $3,500
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $175
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $105
Total to Raise on ioby = $3,815



Translations are Underway!

So far we have raised over $4500 together! Again, a great big thank you to each and every one of you who supported our project through our fundraising page, attending our benefits, or both. And a very special thank you to Inbar Kishoni for organizing our second fundraiser, the Dance-A-Thon, where we raised over $750.

The translations have begun! We have translated two short-length asylum letters, benefitting two families. We have also translated 17 supporting documents for one of the families, including bank statements, tax penalty notices, and newspaper articles that demonstrate that our clients were unjustly prosecuted by the Turkish government.

We are connecting with groups that serve Arabic-speaking asylum seekers including IRAP (International Refugee Assistance Program) and immigration attorneys. We have learned that these service providers are more in need of help interpreting at airports than translating documents. We are strategizing to expand our services to simultaneous interpretation.

Follow us on Facebook and stay tuned for our upcoming website!

We did it!

We have met our initial goal! We want to sincerely thank everyone who supported the Refugee Translation Project through donations to our fundraising page, attending our benefit, or both.

We made $735 at our benefit last Wednesday. A special thanks to Kyle Gebhart and Craig Baerwald for organizing the event, Anna Bergstresser for working the raffle, and to Bob Beardsley, Kathryn Lloyd, Gnarly Vines, and Recycle-A-Bicycle for donating the wonderful raffle items. 

This is the beginning of something bigger. We have experienced Arabic translators willing to work with us, and we are in the process of forging relationships with refugee support organizations.

Stay tuned for further updates.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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