♦ Other WiRED Volunteers ♦



Sarah Dekker reviews completed training modules to make sure they operate as they should (i.e., that pop-ups function properly, that formatting is consistent and that content is error free). She proudly calls herself a baby boomer born and raised in East Los Angeles, who moved with husband Peter and children Laura, now 25, and Remmert, now 23, to Montara, California about 20 years ago. Upon learning about WiRED, "I jumped right in," since "helping the disadvantaged has always been important to me. I consider it an honor to be part of this extraordinary nonprofit group that is WiRED." Sarah is a legal secretary with extensive proofreading and editorial training. She loves the challenge but quips that her sisters tell her that work suits her as a bossy older sister who "[looks] for mistakes and [tells] people what to do!"


While volunteer translators converted the CHI modules to Spanish, two people contributed in a different way to this material. Jaime Ivan Banda, a native Spanish speaker from Peru, provided the voice overs for the modules. In other words, when people study the educational material, it's Ivan's voice they hear on the speakers. Recording Ivan's voice was Paul Moody, a Bay Area recording specialist with years of experience in professional music and voice recordings. Both men donated many hours of their time, and, as a result, along with all the other volunteers, they help many thousands of people get access to the health lessons.


Jaime Ivan Banda provides valuable narration in Spanish to the CHI modules. He was born in Lima, Peru, and immigrated to San Francisco to work as a high school teacher with youth at risk and in youth development. He briefly moved to New York City to work with affordable housing in the city, but continued to work with youth as a director of a youth development program before returning to San Francisco. He now acts as a consultant in issues of public transportation and youth development. It was when he traveled throughout the Amazonian basin that he recognized people's desperate needs for health, education and nutrition. He supports the module project saying, "It is a direct, simple way of organizing and delivering information that could save lives in that region of Peru."


Born and raised in the Bay Area, Paul Moody applies his audio expertise to increase efficiency in the CHI modules. He currently lives in Pacifica with his wife and daughter, and has worked in the audio industry for over 25 years. Paul works at Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco and operates a small recording studio out of his home, where he specializes in song demos, narration and audio restoration. Seeing his recording work as "more-or-less an overgrown hobby" and preferring to involve himself with different types of work to keep things interesting, he met WiRED's director, Gary Selnow, while assisting with a trail maintenance project at a California State Park. They exchanged information about each other's audio interests, and Paul accepted when Gary asked if he would get involved with the CHI project.

WiRED Volunteers Make Amazon Health Program Possible
by Stacy Trevenon



The success of WiRED International's second trip to the isolated Peruvian village of Galilea rests solidly on our team of 14 volunteer translators. These men and women translated 25 of WiRED's Community Health Information (CHI) program modules into Spanish, a task that took several months of dedicated, unpaid work.


WiRED Director Gary Selnow, Ph.D. led the journey to Galilea and organized the installation of the health training modules into three low-wattage computers operated by solar power, located in the village's small clinic. The material is designed to give villagers, with no health training, sufficient information to understand basic causes, diagnoses and treatments of illnesses common in the region. Because the area is so remote, prevention and healthy behaviors are especially important in heading off disease.


Volunteers translated modules focused on topics from nutrition to clean water to maternal and child health—the most important issues for the people of this region. WiRED Board Chair Anthony Hodge said, "Thanks to our volunteers, WiRED now can provide our valuable health information in Spanish directly to isolated areas in need. WiRED's teamwork strengthens our belief that community health starts with knowledge."


Dr. Selnow said he was proud of these volunteers for their efforts to assist people in developing regions. "I am particularly inspired by these volunteers because they have taken the time to assist people they don't know and will never meet. Their sense of global outreach is motivating."


A Sampling of WiRED's Volunteer Translators

Erin O'Brien contributed to the translating of the typhoid fever and child growth and development CHI modules into Spanish. Currently she is a doctoral student at Claremont Graduate University in social psychology with a focus on how culture affects health behavior and health behavior change. Erin says that "Many health problems can be avoided without having money or supplies—education is a resource that can change the health of a community," and adds that while providing funding and supplies to these communities is critical, educating community members is a first step and these modules help provide this community education.


Mario Navarro is a newcomer to helping with WiRED by translating CHI modules. He is pursuing a master's degree in applied social psychology at Claremont Graduate University. "I try to help in any way I can for worthy causes. I believe WiRED falls within this," he says. "The module project helps the problems of the Amazon in a culturally sensitive and adaptive way."


Caroline Morton translates CHI modules for WiRED, and is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She works in private practice in Half Moon Bay, Calif., where she has lived for 20 years. Caroline is the mother of two children, ages 5 and 9. A frequent volunteer "for causes I find important," Caroline recently learned about WiRED. A native of Peru where she saw the impact of poor resources and education, she believes that "the key is to educate and provide the necessary tools for self-empowerment." Believing that this is what WiRED provides, Caroline translated modules focusing on clean water and nutrition. She says that many children die annually from diarrhea caused by unclean water. With education these casualties can be prevented. Caroline sees the same need for education around nutrition and breastfeeding.


Maria Sanchez was born on a farm in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, into a home without electricity or running water. Now she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. About her translation work, Maria says, "I felt I was reaching out to my own community and making a favorable difference in someone's life."


John Knowles, a beginner with WiRED, made suggestions and edits for a translation of module on biosand filters. He is a professor of Spanish at Radford University in southwest Virginia, with multidisciplinary interests and background including two decades of nonprofit work in Mexico. He learned of WiRED through a colleague (WiRED board member Dr. Elizabeth Fine) who thought he "would be interested in the humanitarian labors in needy communities in developing nations. "It [volunteering] is certainly worth the time and effort for anyone involved," John says.


A native of Esteli, Nicaragua, Silvia Illescas is a lawyer in international human rights and international humanitarian law. She had worked in Nicaragua with the disabled and volunteered with water sanitation and health projects in needy communities, and with democracy and youth participation. Currently she is pursuing a master's degree in economic analysis and public policies in Salamanca, Spain. Silvia learned of WiRED through Santiago Castellon, who works on many WiRED projects in Central America. In addition to working on translations, Silvia has traveled to Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua establishing medical information centers to help the needy access medical information. "This was a great experience since I could travel to these remote communities and enjoy the chance to help a little bit," she says. Translating CHI modules means that Silvia will have a chance to help a community in El Amazonas, where she has never been but where she knows there is a lack of basic health information. "I am glad to be part of the WiRED team," she says.


Though just 21, Cindy Vargas has volunteered to translate for WiRED while working on a degree in Spanish literature with a minor in international affairs. A native of Nicaragua who came to the United States at age 8, she is interested in going into the field of translation and is seeking experience doing translations for nonprofit organizations. Believing that the module project brings valuable information that will help families live longer and healthier lives, she says that "Knowing that I am contributing to the well-being of others makes this project worth my time."


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