project leader
Damian H
Statue of Liberty
(New York )
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Fall Fundraiser this Monday!

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.

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 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. 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

The fundraising goal is to expand the fund to pay for the translation of asylum statements and supporting documents. The project already produces translations for Turkish-speaking refugees. We have raised an initial fund of $4500 and are already providing free translation services. With the $10010 summer fundraising goal, we plan to continue our work and through the end of the year, making connections and forging new relationships with people and groups working with refugees in NYC. During this phase we will evaluate the areas of need and expand the languages and organizations we work with. 

The costs of translations depend of on the word count and original language. Asylum statements typically range from 2200 – 4000 words, costing $220 to $440 to translate. Naturally some are longer and some are shorter. The hourly rate for live interpretation is approximately $50 per hour.

An amount of less than $200 will go towards our upcoming website, which will help connect us to both potential donors and clients in need of our services.

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 (10.5.17):

RAISED = $5,141.00
less ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
less ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $236.39
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $141.83

Updated budget (9.27.17):

SUBTOTAL = 5,500
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $275
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $165

Original budget:

The fundraising goal is to create a fund to pay the translation fees for asylum statements and supporting documents for court cases, and live emergency interpretation at airports. The translation fees are based on word count and a standard translation rate of $.10 per word for Turkish and $.11 per word for Arabic. Most asylum statements range from 2,200 to 4,000 words. The fee for live interpreters is approximately $50 per hour. A small amount of $200 or less will go towards the domain name and hosting fee for our website. 


Project Subtotal =  $10,010
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $501
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $300
Total to Raise on ioby = $10,846



Fall Fundraiser this Monday!

Over the last few months we've grown our panel of translators and helped over 50 people with their immigration documents. We have to keep up our work, capacity and momentum.

This Monday, September 25, come honor our big summer, enjoy a special drinks menu created by the wonderful people at Bar Nice, take a chance on a raffle with crazy cool stuff, and help the Refugee Translation Project make its GIANT GOAL of $10,000!!! 

$5 suggested donation at the door. Order from the benefit menu and Bar Nice will donate $2 a drink to the project!

Monday, September 25, 5-8pm, Bar Nice (Downtown Brooklyn's newest destination for quality hangs) at 140 Lawrence Street between Fulton Street and Willoughby, steps from almost every subway.

40 Families and Individuals Served!

So far we have provided free translation services to 40 families and individuals. 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. All of them deserve to live in peace and safety.

We have helped more people than we expected with the funds we raised in our first two campaigns, but those funds are nearly depleted. Our current campaign ends this month. Please help us raise our goal of $10000.

Ways you can help:

1) You can make a tax-deductible donation

2) Share this project with your friends, family, colleagues and other community members to solicit donations through the website,

3) Host an evening mixer/fundraiser and invite people you would believe would be interested in the Refugee Translation Project,

4) Let us now about grants and foundations that could provide us with funding, and

4) Introduce us to other people who might be interested in supporting the project. These people could be lawyers, successful immigrants concerned for current immigrants, or general philanthropists/potential philanthropists hoping to help newcomers to the metropolitan area.




It's been a busy summer!

Hello and happy August!

It’s been a busy summer here at the Refugee Translation Project! As word got out about our services, we have been able to help clients through the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) and a local immigration attorney.

I’ve continued to translate the majority of Turkish to English documents while another Turkish translator picks up the overflow, as well as translates all of the English to Turkish documents. We have one Arabic translator working on a case right now.

Since the beginning the Refugee Translation Project we have provided  free translations for 11 families! Translations have included personal statements, medical records, identification documents, court affidavits, newspaper articles, and other supporting documents that are being used to support their asylum cases.

In three months we have spent just over half of the $4500 we raised during our initial fundraising campaigns. Demand is picking up and we want to continue our work. I ask you now to consider supporting our Summer Fundraising Campaign. We have a big goal, $10,000 and we have already raised $2,075. We know we can make it and guess what! When we get to $5,000 ioby will give us another $500.

One VERY fun way to support the project is to host a party. This could be a bar night, a dance party, an afternoon tea or even a bake sale! Let Damian or Jen ( know if you are down for an end of summer fundraising soiree.

Again, we are so proud of what we have achieved with you. Thank you for making it happen.

In solidarity,

Damian and the Refugee Translation Project


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Dalia Chaudhri
  • Dorothy Suchkova
  • Hannah Roth
  • Jean and Jerry Harris
  • AW
  • Edith H.
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  • Phil Weinberger
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  • Cash from Sofia's fall fundraiser
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