Tag Archives: translating humanitarian issues

#Chain 53 – The Olympics and the Risk of Mass Gatherings

Article source English

The news is abuzz with the eagerly awaited London 2012 Olympic Games – but what health challenges are organisers, participants & the expected 5 million visitors going to face?

Every mass gathering is a potential medical disaster waiting to happen.

The winter Olympics usually brings people together at a time when the annual flu season in the northern hemisphere often peaks.

The Haj attracts pilgrims from some of world’s poorest countries, many of them old or sick, but desperate to fulfil their religious duty before the end of their lives.

Other events such as pop & rock festivals also bring their own risks with festival goers giving little thought to personal hygiene.

The British medical journal, the Lancet, has published a special series of studies on mass gatherings and global health. The paper stresses the need for international collaboration and the need to provide information to organisers regarding where their participants will be coming from and how they will travel; combined with information on current global disease outbreak.

Although Lancet authors are excited about the new methods of controlling disease one problem still exists – national governments are often reluctant to admit outbreaks of infectious disease.

The Lancet report 

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#Chain 41– This body’s not mine!

Source language English


With many misconceptions flying around concerning transgender people it’s hardly surprising (although appalling) that they get tagged as weirdo, freak, pervert, and many other names almost too disgusting to put into print.

With the completely off-the – mark belief that transgender implies sexual-orientation, very often this fragile section of our society is left boxed into a life of permanent physical aggression, extensive bullying & constant jeers – sometimes leading to murder or tragically into making them believe that taking their own lives is the only solution left to them.

Only a few hours ago the family of transgender teenager Shelly Hilliard, were given the appalling and harrowing news that their loved one had been murdered, dismembered and dumped on a highway somewhere in Detroit.According to Trans Murder Monitoring, an alarming 116 transgender people were murdered globally in the first nine months of this year.

Of course recent moves have been made to get this subject out of the closet and into the homes of “ordinary” people, in the vain hope of bringing about better understanding and tolerance.

BBC three’s hard-hitting body image documentaries focused on the journeys of two transgender youngsters –  Lucy a male to female teenager and female to male Danny – both giving moving & frank insight into their tormented youths and the difficult times they are yet to face in their quest to feel like their real selves.

A slightly different and more controversial approach was taken by Channel 4’s docu-reality show “My Transsexual  Summer”  where seven brave and straight-talking individuals shared their experiences & attempted to make some firm choices regarding where they fit into an unaccepting and often cruel society.

I couldn’t help but be moved by each and every one of the stories, often told through choked sobs & it left me asking myself one soul-searching question; What gives anybody the right to tell another human-being  how they should live & worse still persecute them for their choices?

Personally I believe they should be commended for their bravery!

Written by Samantha Hanks – Cofounder of The Great Translation Chain

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