Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Featured Volunteer- Spanish Translator Linda Oxnard

By Kimberly Friedland, Review and Translation Program Intern

How did you find out about Kiva?
I read a book in 2009 that referenced Kiva. I made some loans and, as I speak Spanish and French, decided to see if I could help.

Why did you choose to volunteer your time with Kiva?
I have a PhD in Hispanic Studies but made the decision that I wanted to stay at home to look after our kids while they were still young. Now that my youngest is a preschooler, I have a couple of hours a day which I can spend on jobs other than preparing food, pretending to be a Jedi and building Lego. I can't think of a better way to spend this time than in using my skills to do some good and help other people.

What is your favorite partner or region?
From a lending perspective, I really like BRAC (Uganda and South Sudan). Most of the women in South Sudan are war refugees and I love that I can do something to help them after all they've been through. I also cannot ignore the young girls in Uganda who have been through BRAC's adolescent training program and need small amounts of money to get them started in a business. I love the thought that just a little help now might help shape their futures.

Tell us about a memorable profile you have translated.
I translated one loan request for an older gentleman in Chile who sold fruit and vegetables in his local market. He had been badly assaulted and lost his hearing. He also lost the little he owned in the 2010 earthquake and spent months living in the open air before his microfinance institution provided him with a temporary shelter. However, he still kept going. There simply aren't words to describe strength and resilience like that.

Where is your favorite place in the world to travel?
I guess, in my case, it's more 'my favorite place in the world to
live'. I've lived in a number of places over the years and have fond memories of most of them including different parts of my home country (the UK), Paris, Barcelona, Sydney, Pennsylvania, California and, right now, New Jersey. Having just had two feet of snow dropped on me over Christmas this year, I do particularly look back at my Christmases in Australia with some wistfulness.

Photo provided by Linda Oxnard.