Wycliffe Bible Translators Provide Coronavirus Health Warnings to Vulnerable Language Groups

Poster created in the Jur Modo language of South Sudan

People serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators are helping communities in marginalised language groups to receive clear health messages relating to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The charity says they are using their language and translation skills and knowledge to create posters, videos, social media posts and other materials to ensure that people fully understand what they need to do to stop the spread of the virus.

The materials are assisting efforts to minimise the effects of the coronavirus outbreak in some of the poorest regions of the world. Luke Garvey, Director of Global Communications for Wycliffe’s partner organisation SIL, says: ‘Based on an analysis of decades of research, our estimate is that close to 1 in 3 people worldwide do not have the basic health information they need to protect their communities from Covid-19 in the language they understand best. If you can’t understand these types of messages because they are not in your language, the risk of the spread of the virus and heightened death count increases significantly.’

The efforts in this initiative are worldwide. So, in South Sudan, Tanya Spronk, SIL’s Literacy and Education Coordinator, worked with current and former Bible translation team members, plus experienced translators of local languages, to translate a government-approved Covid-19 prevention poster into 26 local languages that had no such materials. These have now been distributed widely via cell phones and other social media by various healthcare non-governmental organisations.

Wes Ringer, who serves with Wycliffe in South Sudan, says: ‘Because our team members know these marginalised language groups – and sometimes it’s their own heart language – they understand the problems in ways that others don’t. It has been tremendous to see the team respond in this way and make a really practical life-and-death difference in these communities.’

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SOURCE: Assist News