Rosa and Francesca, volunteers of Mumbai Smiles

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Rosa y Francesca Sonrisas de BombayToday we want you to meet Rosa and Francesca, friends and collaborators of Mumbai Smiles for years. Two volunteers with many things in common. Rosa and Francesca have been English teachers, and now that they have retired, they have decided to contribute their knowledge and become translators for the NGO Mumbai Smiles. Thanks to their great work you can enjoy many translated texts and we can reach more people. Do you want to know more about them? Let’s go there, but first: Thank you very much for your work!

¿How long have you been collaborating with Mumbai Smiles and what is your job?

Rosa: It’s been about 6 or 7 years, since I approximately retired, that I collaborate with different departments of Sonrisas de Bombay in the translation of documents from English to Spanish or Catalan and vice versa.

Francesca: Through a colleague and friend, Rosa Bernedo, I had the opportunity to contact the people in charge of the organization in Barcelona and I began to collaborate doing translations of documentation, reports, articles for dissemination…, from English into Catalan or Spanish. and vice versa.

¿What is it like to work together? Do you know each other personally? 

Rosa: What we normally do is divide the document or documents so that each one has to translate approximately half of the total length. Each one carries out their part individually to later meet and carry out a final review to review some of the doubts that have arisen and verify the lexical coherence of the final document.

Francesca: Usually we work together and try to make the texts as coherent as possible. Thus, we meet to review the parts that we have translated separately, to finish jointly.

¿How did you find out about the organization and what led you to become a volunteer? 

Rosa: I was immediately encouraged to collaborate with Sonrisas because, in addition to the book, I attended several informative talks by the people who work for the entity from Barcelona and it seemed clear to me that the foundation carries out an immense humanitarian task in the suburbs of the city and that Through this work, the lives of many people (especially women) come to change radically and they recover fundamental feelings such as dignity and illusion.

Francesca: Before retiring I spent seven months in India, specifically in the year 2016-2017 and in the Fundación Vicente Ferrer, where I worked as a volunteer in his project of the Professional School of Languages. Since then I have also had a link with the NGO.

Would you like to travel to Mumbai to learn about the projects of Mumbai Smiles?

Rosa: I got in touch with the entity a few years ago, when I started looking for organizations (on the Internet and through some travel agencies) that carried out volunteer work in India for a possible collaboration with them from Barcelona and that also offered the possibility of working with them in the field. By chance the book by Jaume Sanllorente fell into my hands:  “Sonrisas de Bombai, el viatge que va canviar el meu destí”  and I thought it was a beautiful story, very sincere and full of hope. Therefore, I would very much like to be able to go to Bombay and personally see the work that is being done.

Francesca: During my stay in Andra Pradesh, I traveled to Mumbai to visit the projects of the Mumbai Smiles Foundation. Jaume Sanllorente received us and gave us an exhaustive explanation of the objectives of the project that he leads, and the state of their development. Next, we visited a kindergarten and coincided with a parents’ meeting.

¡La experiencia es inolvidable!

A message for those people who have not yet decided to take the step of collaborating with Mumbai Smiles

Rosa: Perhaps I am not the best person to encourage other people to collaborate with Sonrisas as volunteers, because the contact I have with the reality of the people in Bombay is very scarce. However, I believe that any action that is in our hands to improve, directly or indirectly, the lives of people in need is of great value to them, while at the same time it gives us satisfaction.

Francesca: It is gratifying, through the documents, to be able to have a connection with the reality of the foundation in India, and to verify that the project is consolidating and facing important challenges of adaptation to the obstacles and conflicts that are appearing. I would love to be able to visit the Foundation again and, of course, I plan to continue collaborating. I encourage all people who feel solidarity to do volunteer work in general, and I recommend reading Jaume’s book, “Mumbai Smiles, The journey that changed my destination”, to consider the project that you carry out with your team as a collaboration objective. It moved me!

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