I believe that for the first time in human history we are capable of sharing knowledge with everyone on this planet, regardless of where they live and what language they speak.
I believe that everything we need to bridge the knowledge divide that separates rich and poor exists today. I believe that now is the time to start dismantling the barriers to build a world where everyone can access the knowledge they need to live healthy and productive lives.
I believe we can do this, and I believe we will do this.
Lest you think I’m starry-eyed and unrealistic, let me tell you how all the pieces are falling into place. Today’s technology is giving us the means to distribute knowledge to the four corners of the world.
Did you know that already in Africa more people have access to a cell phone than have access to a pair of shoes or a toilet? A sobering statistic, but also testament to how important it is to human beings to communicate.
In Africa more people have access to a cell phone than have access to a pair of shoes or a toilet
Think of technology like cell phones, tablets and other mobile devices that are capable of connecting to the Internet. These devices can and will bring all of human knowledge into the hands of every man, woman and child. Price barriers are falling every day, internet connectivity is expanding and off-grid solutions are becoming commonplace. Most importantly, as anyone who has been to the developing world will attest, people there have the will to learn, an absolute drive to learn that may be like nothing you have ever seen before.
The will is there, and barriers are coming down. I believe we can dismantle the last and final barrier: language.
Because knowledge that is in the wrong language is just squiggles on a page or on a screen.
That is why I believe that Translators with Borders can and must take down the barrier of the language last mile. And that is why I believe the time to do this is now.
To get there we need volunteers. We need funds. We need you.
By Lori Thicke, founder of Translators without Borders