Interpreting At The Amel And Samusocial Conference


AMEL and SamuSocial are non-governmental organisations that support refugees, displaced persons and vulnerable groups in general. Their activities are multi-faceted, including medical assistance, organising education programmes and initiatives in various fields such as urban and rural development, protecting minors, preventing racism, combating social exclusion, promoting social integration of refugees and migrants, defending human rights, promoting democracy, supporting young people, and much else besides.


In December 2017 the two organisations in collaboration with local NGOs and the Municipality of Athens organised a two-day conference on innovative refugee reception solutions. The aim of the conference was to prepare a roadmap with measures and initiatives that could be put in place to more effectively manage the refugee crisis.

The conference was attended by:

  • representatives of many foreign and Greek NGOs who presented innovative programmes being implemented in their own areas of action and explained how these programmes contributed to solving specific problems faced by refugee communities.
  • representatives of legal NGOs, such as the Greek Refugee Council, who explained the legal difficulties and challenges of the asylum procedure and how it has been affected by the EU’s agreement with Turkey and other third countries.
  • academics who presented studies and research into human rights in areas with political unrest or wars.
  • journalists and activists who recorded and presented cases of human rights violations and inhuman treatment.
  • Politicians from the Municipality of Athens who talked about managing the refugee crisis at local level.


The preparation stage included:

  • Learning as much as possible about the identity, historical development and work of the two organisers, AMEL and SamuSocial
  • Learning about the work of other NGOs participating in the event
  • Examining the speakers’ CVs
  • Studying presentations and preparation materials made available beforehand by the organisers
  • Identifying the special terminology and preparing glossaries


I was commissioned to provide interpreting by Your Interpreter, an agency run by my colleague Zoe Resta. We worked as a team since it was a long discussion and two interpreters were needed. On the first day of the conference we worked at the Melina Cultural Centre in the Municipality of Athens and on the second day discussions and workshops were held at the French Institute of Athens.

Since this was a two-day conference, simultaneous interpreting was considered to be the most suitable method, since this would ensure a faster, more natural flow of work. We worked in one booth and interpreted talks from English and French into Greek.


Professional interpreting helps you achieve your conference aims better since thanks to the interpreter, everyone is fully understood, can actively participate and easily engage in constructive debate. In fact, when dealing with critical, sensitive issues relating to the human drama being experienced by vulnerable groups, which will affect what we do to effectively address such difficult situations, interpreting is essential.

As a professional interpreter and translator I can assist you by:

  • Providing interpreting services (simultaneous, whispered and consecutive depending on the circumstances)
  • Assembling a team of interpreters for longer seminars or to cover a wide range of languages
  • Offering translations of info-leaflets, presentations, awareness-raising campaigns, etc.
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