When I think about the Syrian refugees who are coming to Canada, I am at once proud to be part of the welcoming committee and heartbroken for the difficulties that they have come through. I'm part of a sponsorship group, and while sitting in the early meetings, I realized that I wouldn't be able to contribute much financially, so I started thinking of ways that I could use my own gifts and talents to support these dear families.
As an English teacher and a linguist, I had the idea that flashcards or communication cards might be helpful to help aid communication between sponsor groups and the Syrian families. At first, I thought I would just create cards by hand for our own sponsorship group and family, but then I realized how valuable this might be for all of the 25,000 refugees that are coming in the next few months. So I worked with a former student and fellow linguist, Heidi Smith, to bump the project up to a new level. Her creativity and enthusiasm, as well as her incredible resourcefulness gave legs to the ideas that I wouldn't have been able to execute. A deep bow to her and to all of the consultants and designers who also volunteered their time to help this move forward.
Start up funds for this project will go toward:
- printing and design costs
- honorariums for linguistic and cultural consultants (volunteers)
- honorarium for volunteer logo designer (thank you, Tamara Robinson!)
- honorarium for volunteer illustrators
- website design and hosting fee
- administrative and set-up costs (computer design programs, business start up costs)
Risks and challenges
Some of the challenges we anticipate will include card errors due to linguistic or cultural misunderstanding of context. This is why we hope to do a beta test of the cards before the final draft. We will use the feedback from the beta test cards to help make the final drafts more useful.
We also anticipate that it will take some time for people to get used to the pronunciation cues for English and for Arabic. As we move forward, we hope to have audio recordings available for the cards on the website. (By the way, if anyone is skilled at helping to manage a website for this, please let us know! Part of the start up budget will be used to host a website through Square Space.)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (23 days)