project leader
Damian H
Statue of Liberty
(New York)
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See Live Music and Support Refugees!

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 and other supporting documents originally written in Turkish and in Arabic. We can also offer emergency interpretors at airports. As the project picks up momentum, we will add more languages to our services.

Our clients have fled war and persecution in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Turkey. Many of them are in need of medical attention, including small children. Those who make it to the New York area and wish to stay here must apply for asylum, which involves convincing the court that they are being persecuted in their home country and cannot be sent back for fear of further persecution, which includes the risk of imprisonment, torture or even death.

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 stories, written as statements, and the material evidence to back them up, are crucial to the refugees' success. Both the statements and the evidence, which could be anything from threatening letters, tax penalty notices, court documents, to bank statements and newspaper articles, need to be translated. 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

Our fundraising goal is to maintain a fund with which to cover the translation costs of asylum statements and supporting documents. So far we have helped over 90 families and individuals with less than $11,500 of funding.

The costs of translations depends on the word count and the source language. Turkish costs $.10 a word and Arabic $.11 a word. Asylum statements typically range from 1500 – 4000 words, costing $150 to $440 to translate. Naturally some are longer and some are shorter. Supporting documents, including medical reports, legal documents, and identification papers, typically range from $10 to $30 per document, depending on difficulty and word count. 

The cost per client varies depending on their translation needs. 

No money goes towards administrative and fundraising costs. 

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 and documents 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 (12.11.18):

Funds raised will go towards the original budget below.


RAISED = $1,965.00
less ioby Platform Fee $35.00
less ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $89.35
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $53.61


Updated Budget 10.12.18

Subtotal = $9,227
ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $461
Donation Processing Fee (3%) $277
Total to raise = $10,000


Original Budget

The fundraising goal is to create a fund that will pay for the translation of documents related to asylum cases, as to relieve refugees from financial burden of translation. The project produces translations for refugees who have documents in Turkish and Arabic. Once we have the $5000 we hope to raise, we will continue to offer our translation services to the people who need them, and also to network with groups working with refugees in the New York area in order to connect with clients in need. After this phase we will evaluate the areas of need, expand the languages we translate and the number of organizations we work with, and continue fundraising to meet identified needs.  

The costs of translations depend of on the word count and original language. At $.10 a word for Turkish and $.11 a word for Arabic, medical documents can cost anywhere from $10 to $60 each, whereas asylum letters range from 1500 – 6000 words, costing $150 to $660 to translate. All funds raised goes towards these translation costs. All administrative and fundraising work is done on a volunteer basis.

Subtotal = $4,597
ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $230
Donation Processing Fee (3%) $138
Total to raise = $5,000



See Live Music and Support Refugees!

We are thrilled to announce that this month, Thursdays for the Cause is raising money for the Refugee Translation Project. Starting tomorrow, September 6, door donations and 10% of the bar at Our Wicked Lady will go towards our organization. Check out live music while also supporting refugees.  

Tomorrow’s benefit show features Riverkeeper, The Rebel Set, Talking Dog, and Bat Kid. Doors open at 8pm.

On 9/13, come see Mount Sharp, Spritzer, and the Rainbows. Door open at 8pm.




This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Aisha
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • agidil
  • Anonymous
  • Emine Eroglu
  • Anonymous
  • Murat Omur
  • Anonymous
  • Okur
  • Oguzhan S.
  • Anonymous
  • IlyasT
  • Inbar
  • Anonymous
  • Jennifer Kaiser
  • Marisa Anne Day
  • Tim and Summer
  • AW
  • Our Wicked Lady LLC Zachary Glass