ORAM TOP VOLUNTEERS – MARGARITA ARTYUSHINA – ORAM REFUGEE
What attracted you to volunteer for ORAM? I guess just the very idea of ORAM attracted me to it. I come from a place where it’s hard to be different, I know people who have to survive every day by hiding their identities just to live an okay life. So, the mission behind ORAM attracted me and I thought it would be great if I could so something to contribute.
How long did you volunteer with ORAM? It’s been about six months and I started back in March. How I found out about ORAM was quite random! I saw a post on Facebook about ORAM that one of my friends shared, the post indicated ORAM was looking for a Russian-speaker who could translate for asylum seekers.
What did the basis of your volunteer work consist of? Basically, I’ve been involved with this one project. The person I was working with lived in a country where they neither spoke English or the country’s national language, so it was extremely difficult for them to communicate. As a part of my work, we were conducting interviews with them, translating documents, and, yea, I was basically participating in interviews.
What has been the most rewarding part about volunteering with ORAM? I think…the moment when this person I was translating for started thanking us for helping them or even for just talking to him. They said his life has been so hard and he’s been through so many hard things. They said they were so grateful for someone being so nice to them…it broke my heart, but it motivated me to do more. They spent so much time in the country they fled to without being able to talk to people, feeling lonely, and I guess they felt very relieved there was someone who could help them with communication.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to volunteer for ORAM? *Laughs*, what advice? Well just do it! It’s a great cause, it’s something well…this is something that needs a lot of development and this is also something a lot of people can get involved in this so I think it’s very important to offer your support.