Who We Are
The Voice of Love is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (a registered charity) based in the United States in Maryland, near Washington, DC. It is the only nonprofit in the world whose mission exclusively supports the development of training and resources about interpreting for survivors of torture, war trauma and sexual violence.
We are the U.S. specialists of trauma-informed interpreting. We also address “extreme interpreting.”
- Understand the impact of trauma on survivors and interpreters.
- Support survivor safety, choice, control and empowerment.
- Share power with survivors and providers.
- Protect themselves from vicarious trauma.
VOL’s group of more than 100 volunteers across the U.S. and abroad urgently seek to give a voice to survivors of torture, trauma and sexual violence through quality interpreting and language access.
Many of our volunteers are renowned experts. They include clinicians and torture treatment specialists, interpreters, researchers, language agencies, trainers, social workers, refugee staff and more.
What We Do
Interpreters give survivors the ability to communicate clearly in vital services like health care, mental health and legal assistance. Without them, many survivors cannot heal and rebuild their lives; yet without guidance and support, interpreters who face “extreme interpreting” burn out. They need support.
VOL provides training, resources and support for trauma-informed interpreting. Recognized subject-matter experts for VOL have developed resources and training for this field of “extreme interpreting,” for example:
- A needs assessment report (based on 15 focus groups held across the U.S. and two national online surveys): Click here to download
- Two guides for interpreters and providers (to be published in 2015)
- A five-day training program called Healing Voices: Interpreting for Survivors of Torture, War Trauma and Sexual Violence, which has been presented in Maryland, Chicago and San Francisco.
- A training manual that supports the Healing Voices program, of more than 300 pages, authored by 14 respected specialists (to be published in 2015)
- A half-day workshop for refugee mental health providers about working with interpreters (debuted in 2013)
- A five-day Training of Trainers program on how to deliver Healing Voices: Interpreting for Survivors of Torture, War Trauma and Sexual Violence (to be piloted in 2015)
Marjory A. Bancroft, MA | BIO
(Executive Director, ex officio)
Molly Corbett, MA | BIO
Nora Goodfriend-Koven, MPH | BIO
Alejandro González, MA | BIO
Carola Green | BIO
Our Volunteer Staff
Marjory A. Bancroft, MA, Executive Director
Liliya Robinson, MA Program Director
Nevine Ibrahim, MA, Program Coordinator
Our vision is a world where linguistically diverse survivors of torture, war trauma and sexual violence have access to trauma-informed interpreters.
To accomplish this, VOL needs to make trauma-informed interpreting a recognized specialization and one that requires specialized training. We are working hard on this goal.
VOL’s long-term dream and commitment is to build a database of trauma-informed interpreters who will volunteer to interpret for survivors. They would interpret in person or remotely (via telephone or video) for any survivor of torture, war trauma or sexual violence in the world, including conflict zones, where cell phones can provide an interpreter in seconds, even at times of danger.
If the survivor seeks medical, social or legal services, VOL would ideally help to connect both the survivor and interpreter to the nearest treatment or legal center. This is our vision and our goal: a world where every survivor who cannot speak the language of service has a voice thanks to a trauma-informed interpreter.
THE VOICE OF LOVE (VOL) project launched in January 2010 as a national U.S.-based association of volunteers. The plan was to develop and disseminate training and resources about interpreting for survivors of torture, trauma and sexual violence.
In 2011, VOL incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (a registered charity) under the direction of Marjory Bancroft, MA, serving as the Executive Director, Karen Hanscom, PhD, co-founder, and a Board of Directors.
- Developed the curriculum for a four-day training program called Healing Voices: Interpreting for Survivors of Torture, War Trauma and Sexual Violence (later expanded to five days).
- Authored the first draft of a training manual (now 300 pages) for Healing Voices, with 14 distinguished authors and two contributing authors, both attorneys.
- Planned and began drafting two guides, more than 40 pages each one for service providers and one for interpreters in this field
- Piloted Healing Voices in Maryland and Chicago.
- Made revisions to the curriculum and training manual.
- Developed long-term plans for training and the organization
- Produced an in-depth needs assessment report, Interpreting Compassion, based on two national online surveys and 15 focus groups held across the U.S. (mental health providers, torture treatment program staff, interpreters and two survivor focus groups): Click here for the report.
- Completed the third and final pilot of Healing Voices in San Francisco.
- Provided webinars, distance learning, preconference workshops and presentations about VOL and interpreting for trauma, including a half-day workshop by invitation from Critical Link (the largest international conference for community interpreting).
- Continued revisions to the Healing Voices curriculum and manual.
- Created and piloted a half-day workshop on how to work with interpreters in refugee mental health.
- Held a successful Board Strategic Planning Retreat to determine future directions for The Voice of Love.
- Made plans to license trainers to deliver Healing Voices across the U.S. and around the world.
- Held an Author’s retreat in Atlanta to flesh out a basic curriculum for Training of Trainers for Healing Voices.
- Provided preconference workshops and two keynote presentations for conferences in Alcalá, Spain (April) and Vigo, Spain (September) about interpreting for refugees and gender-based violence.
- Delivered the first non-pilot session of Healing Voices for open registration and full pay (with a number of scholarships provided) in June.
- Made plans to deliver private, contract sessions of Healing Voices on request.
- Established a bimonthly newsletter connecting us to thousands of interpreters around the world.
- Launched in-depth development of the first Training of Trainers for Healing Voices, to be delivered in 2015.
2015: Stay tuned!
What We Need
We need your support! It can take many forms. Most urgently we need:
- Individual and corporate donations (tax deductible in the U.S.)
- Publicity: please spread the word!
- In-kind support
- Graphic design
- Volunteer interpreters for our long-term goals
- Resources: please forward any relevant articles, studies, websites, book titles, manuals, etc. to us via email.