Quality representation begins by hearing the client’s story in their own words–in their own language. This is where Volunteer Interpreters and Translators (VITs) make Casa Cornelia’s mission a reality: by making the client-attorney communication possible.
VITs go through a comprehensive training consisting of ethical and technical elements to set up the clients (and our volunteers) for success. Artemisa Valle, who leads the VIT program, stresses the importance of VITs commitment: “Our VITs are expected to be independent. We do not have the resources to hold their hand, but we train them and share the emotional competence needed to bridge the language gap between the attorney and the client. Especially since often, our clients suffer from fear and trauma.”
It is because of generous individuals willing to share their language skills that Casa Cornelia is able to help those who come to us for help. In 2017 alone, Casa Cornelia served over 2,440 children, women and men in over 50 languages from all around the world. And during the recent Family Separation Crisis, Casa Cornelia’s VIT network was reliable and focused: “In six weeks alone, we worked with VITs who spoke less diffused indigenous languages from Central America and Southern Mexico, including Kanjobal and Mixteco. In addition, we saw an increased demand of languages from Somalia, Russia and Yemen.” said Artemisa.
For the first time, and through the support of new generous funders, Casa Cornelia was recently able to open a new position to support the VIT program. In her role, Alice Bendinelli, VIT Project Assistant, supports the high demand in translations and interpretations, and helps Artemisa assign language tasks for the legal team. Alice has two degrees in Translation and Interpreting, is fluent in Italian (native), English, and Spanish, is proficient in French and has familiarity in Russian and Portuguese. Welcome to Casa Cornelia, Alice!
If you would like to be considered for the VIT program, please send your cover letter and resume (be sure to indicate your language pair) to our VIT Coordinator, Artemisa Valle, between September 1 and October 15. If selected as a VIT for Casa Cornelia, you will be expected to attend a three-hour orientation session. The next session is on November 17, 2018.
Thank you for your interest, commitment, and support!