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

the project

We have met our initial fundraising goal, but my friend Inbar is throwing a Dance-A-Thon benefit DJ party for the project on April 29. So the new page will allow people to donate as well as contain updates of where the project is at. We have translators lined up and are currently in the process of forging relationships with various refugee support networks in the city.

About our 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 an initial fund that will pay for the translation of asylum statements. The project already produces translations for Turkish-speaking refugees and will soon provide Arabic translations. We have Arabic translators ready to work with us. We are currently in the process of establishing working relationships with refugee support groups in New York in order to connect with clients in need. 

So far we have raised $4,106, which will be used to offer free translation services. During Phase 2, as we connect with people and groups working with refugees in the New York area, there will be a Dance-A-Thon benefit DJ party to grow the fund.  

As the project picks up momentum, we hope to secure more permanent funding and expand the languages and organizations we work.

The costs of translations depends 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 (5.12.17):

RAISED = $811.00

less ioby Platform Fee 

less ioby Fiscal Sponsor Fee (5%)



less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $23.62

Original goal: 

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. There will be no other expenses besides the translation fees. 

The extra $800 will help us provide translation services for more asylum letters.

Project Subtotal =  $800
ioby Platform Fee  waived
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $40
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $24
Total to Raise on ioby = $864



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!

Thank you to our Phase 1 Donors!

Thank you to everyone who made a gift to our Phase 1 fundraising for The Refugee Project. Our goal was $3,500 and we raised more than $4000 with your generous support. 


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • cheryl L. kingan
  • Dance-A-Thon Fundraiser!
  • Anonymous