AFEW International with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs implements a range of activities to empower Community Based Organisations (CBOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), activists, policy makers, stakeholders, researchers and clinicians from Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) region to take part in the XXII International AIDS Conference 2018 in Amsterdam (AIDS2018).
Eastern Europe and Central Asia is the only region in the world where the AIDS epidemic is on a steep rise. Whereas the whole world celebrates 50% decrease in the new cases of HIV, the EECA region has experienced almost 60% increase in annual new HIV infections between 2010 and 2015. In 2015, there were an estimated 1.5 million people living with HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The vast majority (85%) of people living with HIV in the region live in Russia and Ukraine.
Unfortunately, the EECA region has traditionally been underrepresented at the AIDS conferences. For instance, at the last International AIDS Conference in Durban, there were only 128 delegates from EECA region. Several barriers such as the costs of participation and language barrier led to a disproportionally lower presence of the delegates from EECA region at the AIDS conferences since its start.
As one of the means to tackle the language barrier AFEW International comes up with an initiative to build up a pool of language buddies – a group of enthusiastic people residing in the Netherlands, speaking English and Russian (the common language for the EECA region) who are willing to support delegates from EECA at the Conference.
- You are available for volunteer work during the whole duration of the AIDS 2018 Conference, from 23 till 27 July 2018, and, if interested, available for preparatory work a week in advance prior to the conference.
- You are available for three and a half days of up to four hours a day to volunteer on general tasks at the AIDS 2018 under coordination of the Volunteer Programme of the International AIDS Society, the conference Organizer.
- Apart from the general tasks you are willing to be involved with language support to individuals and groups of delegates from the EECA region at the AIDS 2018 sessions, workshops, exhibition, Global Village, and other activities of the conference. Language support can take form of providing support in communication between delegates from EECA with other delegates – for instance in the Global Village area; whisper translation for small groups in some sessions; helping to find directions in the conference venue; etc.
- The total amount of working time will not exceed 6 hours per day. The shift can start as early as 7 am and finish as late as 9:30 pm.
Language buddy qualification requirements:
- You are older than 18 years old.
- You have a good command of English and Russian. Dutch is an asset.
- You are disciplined and responsible.
- You are outgoing and interested in people from different background and cultures.
- It is an asset if you have experience in dealing with sensitive issues when it comes to working with key groups such as gays, lesbians, bisexuals, people living with HIV, people using drugs, and any other specific features in people.
What you get as a volunteer:
- As an AIDS 2018 volunteer, you will be able to attend the full conference programme outside of your volunteer shifts. This means you will have access to the full conference, such as the exhibition, satellite programme, plenaries and regular session as well as the workshops and other events and the possibility to network with higher officials from the international organisations.
- Food vouchers will be provided for all the days you are volunteering at AIDS 2018.
- A free crash course on language sensitivity will be provided a few weeks before the conference which will give you the advantage to freshen up your Russians skills, will help to feel confident with the specific vocabulary of the AIDS 2018 and provide opportunities to interact with peers.
- There is no travel compensation, all commute costs to the Conference venue will be your responsibility.
Attention! Dealine extended! If you are ready to support as language buddy volunteer, please fill in this google form before 10 April 2018, and we will get in touch with you with further details.
The AIDS 2018 Conference will take place at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre. Address: Europaplein 2-22, 1078 GZ Amsterdam.