Guiding our clients across different cultures
At Vandu Languages, our fully trained bilingual advocates are equipped to support non- English speaking clients to make informed decisions to access the support services they need. This service is essential as it empowers individuals to take control of their own healthcare decisions and make informed choices. Our fully trained bilingual advocates not only act as interpreters but as representatives. They act on behalf of our clients in confidence and transparency to represent and articulate their concerns, communicate their needs and express their sentiment to the service providers or support services.
Through our bilingual advocacy service, we’ll also lead our clients to other support services they may need – providing additional value. This can be anything from relevant charities to English language classes or other essential and useful services. Our advocates have specialist knowledge and experience that will help vulnerable individuals, ethnic minorities or foreigners get on their feet and become independent. Our advocates are expertly trained, fluent in the language they represent but most importantly, compassionate and passionate about what they do. Benefits of bilingual advocacy services include:
- A network of highly trained, specialist interpreters and translators – seamlessly fluent in both the source and target language. We represent over 100 languages from Russian, Spanish, Chinese Mandarin to Tigrinya or Arabic.
- An accurate interpretation that clears the language barrier, helping migrant individuals gain access to health services, dental care, practical advice and information to other services.
- Skilled and experienced linguists who instinctively understand the cultural and social norms, the linguistic idioms and cultural etiquette of the individual client or patient.
- In-depth knowledge of local and national support services available to individuals and their families.
What is the difference between an advocate and an interpreter?
An interpreter’s focus is on literally translating what their client is saying into the relevant target language. A bilingual advocate is more than an interpreter as they also act as a representative, expressing their best interests. They focus on deeply understanding their clients’ needs and voicing them to ensure their needs are well understood by all parties in the relevant target language.
How can advocacy services prevent discrimination?
At Vandu Language Services we have 20 years of experience making sure our services are inclusive by:
- Ensuring the service-provider fully understands the needs of the client, so no assumptions are made based on their ethnicity, culture or religion for example.
- Representing our client in a professional manner, avoiding offence being caused by either party due to cultural differences or the language barrier between them.
- Providing additional information for vulnerable people who aren’t equipped with the skills or knowledge to make informed choices in a particular situation.
How can advocacy impact the community?
Advocacy can help in building communities by bringing vulnerable individuals together to form small communities or larger groups with similar interest and needs. Community groups can bring together unity, establish self-support and often lead to institutional changes being made when communities stand together. Vandu has first-hand experience on the impact that community support has made internationally and locally to bring about permanent change. We have teamed up with Community Support Organisation, Diversity Resource International (DRI) to support communities in and around Sussex on issues such as Institutional racism, discrimination in the workplace and fair access to training and development.
Advocacy during COVID-19
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, the need for bilingual advocacy services has become essential. In response to COVID-19, there has been an unprecedented amount of rapidly changing information including government guidelines and restrictions, healthcare information and financial advice. Our clients need access to this information but also clear, personal guidance and advice on options available. This might include discussing COVID-19 vaccination information with someone they can trust and confidently relay their concerns to without judgement.
If you are in need of advocacy services or know someone that may require this service please Contact Us now to find out how we can help.
Below are some examples of how our advocacy work and have helped others in the past.