AVISA at the University of Cadiz
In May 2019 The president of AVISA was invited to speak at the University of Cadiz to the class of students taking their master's degree in translation and Interpretation. The aim was to give them some insight into the practicalities of our work in the Spanish Health Service. The talk was well received and provoked some lively discussion. The session ended with the sudents taking part in a variety of role play situations, where they got a feel for the work by playing the part of hospital interpreters. In this section the president was ably assisted by his wife, Sheila, who gave lively and amusing representations of English-speaking patients - much to the entertainment of those present. We look forward to repeating the experience next year and wish all the students the best of luck with their future careers.
PAULINE KENNEDY DOES IT YET AGAIN
For the fourth year running, Pauline has organised a fund raising event for our benefit. This year she and her helpers have raised the staggering amount of 2635 euros for our association. The event, held in Nerja on January 12, was a total success - good food, brilliant entertainment and excellent company. Everyone clearly had a fantastic time. Many thanks to Pauline for her efforts on behalf of all the interpreters, as well as all the people who benefit from our voluntary service. Thanks also to all her helpers, the entertainers and all those who attended the event.
Tricia, Elizabeth and Anne Marie
STATISTICS FOR OUR WORK IN 2018
Once again Anthony, who works both at the hospital and in Nerja, has compiled the statistics of the work we do during the year based on the daily record that we keep and they show an increase of nearly a thousand "jobs" accomplished in the hospital compared with the previous year.
During 2018 we helped people on 11,327 occasions in the hospital (10,480 in 2017). Sometimes a "job" can consist of a short phone call to a patient, while on other occasions it may involve very much more time, where a patient or family member requires a lot of support in their dealings with hospital staff.
55% of our work was in English and 28% in German. The remainder is made up of other languages: French, Dutch, Italian, etc.
The volunteer interpreters also work in the health Centre in Nerja five days a week and there they carried out 2,153 "jobs" during the year. In Nerja the percentage of English used was 70%
On the link above you can hear the interview with the president of AVISA carried out by Howard Brereton on TALK RADIO EUROPE.
The interviw starts at minute 24:00 and lasts 15 minutes and it gives an insight into the work of the interpreters.
It is hard to come to terms with the fact that our much-loved colleague, Gianpietro Zampolli is no longer with us. He passed away on June 20 in the same hospital where he worked for 25 years as an interpreter of German and Italian. Gianpietro was a big man with a big heart: he carried out his duties efficiently, with empathy and always with good humour, smoothing the path of communication between patients, their families and the hospital staff. He was well known and liked by everyone who knew him - just about everyone in the hospital. He will be sadly and sorely missed by all, especially his fellow interpreters.
Spanish Television made a short film of us working at the hospital.
Isabel Diaz from the press agency EFE made an interesting video report about AVISA
El presidente de la asociación de voluntarios Avisa, Christopher Cluderay (d), ha explicado a Efe que realizan sus labores de traducción en el Área Sanitaria Este de Málaga-Axarquía "desde hace 20 años y con la asociación fundada desde hace 10, con un equipo de treinta intérpretes" para abarcar las lenguas de los extranjeros que requieren de sus servicios. EFE
New system in the A and E department of the Comarcal Hospital
This new system means that when you register at the admissions desk in A and E, you will be given a number (letter, number, letter) and an identification bracelet. This number is displayed on the various screens in the waiting areas to inform you of when and where you need to go. The aim is to achieve a better control of who goes where and when, and to provide greater privacy for the individual. It also reduces the numer of announcements made over the PA system. The director of the department, Coral Suero, explains (in Spanish) the new system here: www.facebook.com/saludaxarquia/videos/1734183380211449/
FUND RAISING EVENT ORGANISED BY PAULINE KENNEDY IN NERJA 2017
Once again Pauline has organised a fund raising event among the residents of Nerja on behalf of AVISA, (the association of voluntary health interpreters in the Axarquia). The event was a great success, with excellnte live music and food. We all had an absolutely brilliant time. Pauline (and her team of helpers) raised an amazing amount of 1,890 euros. This money will be used to cover our administrative costs and to make a contribution to the travel expenses of all the 32 voluntary interpreters. Once again we express our thanks to Pauline and her team for helping to support a service which many foreigners, both tourists and residents, are so grateful for.
Joan (Juana) won first prize in the raffle.
RESIDENTS' DAY IN NERJA APRIL 2 2017
Chris, Sheilah, Eufemia y Anthony at the AVISA stand
The AVISA lunch december 2016
The wednesday team.
Residents' day in Nerja.
Sunday April 17 2016 - Anthony, Tricia and Sheilah man the AVISA stand in Nerja where they inform people about our work at both the health centre in Nerja and the hospital.
Donation from Pauline Kennedy (Nerja) 2016
This year Pauline has organised yet another event with live music so as to raise funds for AVISA. Last year she donated a generouse amount but this year she has really surpassed herself - raising a total of 2,100 euros! Some 180 people attended - most of them British, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the live performances by The Jersey Boys and the delightful Jordana. This is the poster for the event: Pauline.pdf (877,7 kB)
Here we would like to repeat our most sincere thanks to Pauline and her team of helpers who worked so hard to achieve such a generous donation.
As can be seen in the photos below, several interpreters were in attendance.
As well as presenting Pauline with some beautiful orchids on behalf of AVISA, we took the opportunity to Present Tricia with a pretty metalic sculpture of a biznaga - the emblematic flower of Malaga - in recognition of the 18 years she has dedicated to helping others both in the health centre in Nerja and in the hospital. This is a truly great commitment and she assures us that it is one that she aims to continue for some time to come.
Carmen Lundberg - a dedicated volunteer interpreter (1938 - 2013)
Carmen was born in 1938 in Mexico City. She studied with a scholarship at a college in USA and worked in the travel industry. In 1960 she met her future husband, Peter, while travelling on the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth. In December they got married and moved to Denmark, where she learned to speak Danish. As well as bringing up her son and two daughters, Carmen worked at the Mexican embassy in Copenhagen and later for IBM in the library and information department. She loved working with computers, finding information and being a part of the computer revolution at that time. She had a lot of energy and 3 times a week she gave evening classes in Spanish. As Peter was a pilot with SAS, they had the opportunity to travel widely, especially to her native Mexico. When they retired they decided to move to Nerja in Spain where they bought a big house so that the family could always come and visit. After only 2 years in Spain Peter died in 2005 but Carmen decided to stay in Spain and make a new start. She began working as a voluntary interpreter at the ambulatorio in Nerja and at the hospital in Vélez-Málaga, where she helped a lot of people and made a lot of friends! Unfortunately she became very ill in 2013 and passed away in June. She is greatly missed by her many friends in and out of the volunteers of AVISA. Many ex patients frequently ask after her and we have to pass on the sad news of her demise.
Annual General Meeting and Lunch 2015
Waiting for the meeting to start
Manolo giving some technical advice
Claudia spoke to us about the Convenio (agreement)
Manolo gave an informative talk about health care for foreigners (EHIC etc.)
After 23 years working as a volunteer interpreter, Gianpietro receives well-deserved recognition.
Gianpietro said that never in his wildest dreams would he have imagined receiving this.
Gianpietro surrounded by his colleagues
Enjoying the annual meal - Barbara & Joan with Chris Lane's wife
Gianpietro, Fulvio & Chris
Con ganas de comer - Antonio, Vreni, Karen, su marido, Gregorio, Chris, Eufemia y Sunty
Juan, Josefina & Irene
Michelle, her husband & George
Michelle, Sunty, Katrina & Vreni - the Wednesday team
Signing of the agreement between Avisa and the district health authority:
Área de Gestión Sanitaria Este de Málaga – Axarquía
The agreement has finally been signed. It has involved work from a lot of people: the president, Chris; the former president, Antonio; Mª Teresa and Pura, social workers; Claudia, the head of customer service and several people from the legal department of the Junta de Andalucía. Essentially this is an agreement between AVISA and the district health authority of the Axarquía, which specifies what we do and how we do it, as well as the rights and responsibilities of the association of interpreters and the health authority. As the hospital director said on the day of the signing, "This formalises on paper what has been happening in practice for many years". In this way, the authority recognises officially the value that they place on the work done by all the interpreters in the hospital and in the health centre in Nerja.
In the photos are Sheilah Shearman, Claudia Caravaca, José Pinazo and Chris Cluderay at the signing of the agreement.
An interpreter with good connetions
Elizabeth, who has worked at the hospital on Thursdays since the beginning of 2014, has become the "First Lady" of the municipality of Alcaucín; although she insists that she is still the same old person she has always been, working on her vegetable patch and riding around on her bicycle.
Elixabeth's husband, Mario Blanke, is now the Mayor of Alcaucín. After four years as the councillor responsible for town planning, Mario stood for mayor, in the elections of May 2015, under the banner of the new party Ciudadanos, and is now in post in coalition with the PSOE party.
In the photo we see Elizabeth on the day of the investiture, standing proudly with her husband and two children.
More than just an interpreter