Interpreters to help direct new Swedes into social activities
The interpreters are part of the ”Frivillig i Göinge” (Volunteers in Göinge) network. Integration administrator Frida Olsson is their Contact person.
– We have five interpreters to start with. Altogether they speak seven languages, so I’m pleased with that. They have had training in how to deal with people, and they are covered by the rules of professional secrecy, she says.
Musa Naji, 24, is one of the interpreters. He has lived in Sweden for five years. Musa Naji is studying basic Swedish and wants to be a computer engineer.
Musa Naji speaks English, Arabic, Swedish and a bit of German – and has always loved football.
– I want to help people. When I came here it was very difficult for me to understand how the community functioned and what was going on around me, to understand the rules, he says.
There are more than a hundred social activities in the municipality. They act as meeting-places.
– We want to guide new Swedes into different types of activity. Football is a big sport, and lots of people come to the football pitches, so that’s where we’ll start. But we work on a broad front, says Frida Olsson.
A lot of clubs and associations have got in touch with them and would like the help of an interpreter.
– When the trainer has something to say to the parents, they don’t always understand everything he says, and the children must often interpret. It can be easier to speak to someone in your own language than to read information from a piece of paper, say Frida Olsson.
IFK Knislinge has 300 members.
– We’re the biggest club in the municipality, says Philip Isaksson, trainer and member of IFK Knislinge’s youth section.
The club would like to have more children and young people from other countries as members.
– Everyone is welcome, no matter who they are or where they come from. But in a club everyone must do their bit so that we don’t have to raise our prices. For example everyone helps by taking their turn in the kiosk and selling lottery tickets, he says.
It can be difficult when a player doesn’t speak much Swedish.
– It’s hard when they don’t understand instructions. You can show them what you mean, but it’s even better if someone can demonstrate and explain, says Micke Olsson, trainer and member of the youth section.
– And we must make the same demands on everyone, he says.
One of the players is Hamza. His father, Basem Al Sabbagh, is beside the pitch too.
– I don’t know everything about the club, but I know quite a lot. I always come to training sessions and to matches, but I don’t know what I can help with, he says. He was a basket-ball trainer in Syria.
More interpreters are needed
Frivillig i Göinge have interpreters in Arabic, Tigrinya, Amharic, Dari/ Persian/ Pashto and English. Many more interpreters are needed, and more will be trained in the autumn.
If you would like to be a volunteer interpreter, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The ”Frivillig i Göinge” network has also volunteers who visit the elderly and they have ”language friends”.