Online volunteers help humanitarian workers find the resources they need

Over the past month, PHAP has been joined by a group of dedicated volunteers working on new database, transcription, and translation projects. With diverse backgrounds, both in terms of geography and expertise, they are all working to help bring together relevant resources for humanitarian workers so that they can be easily accessed.

As part of its mission to help strengthen humanitarian response worldwide, PHAP aims to bring new information resources to its members and to the professional humanitarian community as a whole. By taking on the help of volunteers, it is possible to create resources that have a wider reach than would otherwise be the case.

Since our current volunteering projects can be carried out from anywhere using a computer with an Internet connection, people from all over the world have been able to join. Our current team includes volunteers from Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, as well as the Americas: Australia, Germany, Ghana, India, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, the Philippines, United Kingdom, and the United States!

The first database project is generating a lot of excitement among the volunteers. “I am very excited about joining this group - everyone seems ready to make a big difference, and I hope we do!” says Aswini Sivaraman, one of the volunteers from India. Even though the volunteering is conducted online, this is seen as an opportunity to make a concrete contribution to enhancing humanitarian response: “I want to translate what I have learned about making the world a better place into real, live action,” she continues.

Online volunteers are also contributing to another project that is going to significantly improve the accessibility of PHAP’s training resources. Felicity Pearce, a freelance translator and a member of the UK Chartered Institute of Linguists, is currently helping the Secretariat with preparing for translations of the online course on the Essentials of International Humanitarian Law by transcribing the course modules and preparing them for future translators.

We in the PHAP Secretariat are very excited to be working with all of these motivated and engaged volunteers, and look forward to bringing you more updates on their work!