To help the world combat the Covid-19 pandemic, Alison launched the course Coronavirus – What you need to know. In order to make sure that no one was excluded from accessing possibly life-saving information, Alison committed to translating the course into as many languages as possible. To achieve this ambitious goal, Alison reached out to its community of Learners, seeking volunteers willing to use their language skills to help translate the course and spread important information on coronavirus. Ahmad Mohammad translated the course into Hausa and played his part in spreading free learning that has helped save lives.
Ahmad, tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Ahmad Mohammad. I live in Nigeria in a state called Borno State, where we currently have a crisis of Boko Haram. I came from a poor family and I used to hustle before I could pay my school fees to study. I finished secondary school and I have also gained a National Diploma. I am now doing my studies in university.
What was your experience of Alison before volunteering to translate? Had you studied with Alison before?
This is a time of crisis here in Borno State, Nigeria and as a result I have nothing to do. I searched online and found Alison. I took a diploma course online and graduated. So I started following Alison online. When I saw the call for translators, I wanted to engage because I’m interested in it and I have nothing to do for now.
Tell us a little about your method when translating.
For me it wasn’t difficult because, in primary school, I studied the Hausa language. I’ve also succeeded in many exams and competitions on the language so I didn’t face any difficulties when translating it. I also did English in school.
Why is free learning so important and why is it important to translate it into many languages?
Free learning is very important for times like now. There is no school for now because of this coronavirus and so we have nothing to do. We are sitting at home, no job, doing nothing. And so having our studies helps us. People here often don’t learn English in school and so they can’t read it. Hausa is the main language here in our country. Everybody knows the language so it will be simple for them to understand and know what the course is about.
Have you been learning through Alison during the pandemic? How has the lockdown been for you?
Yes I am so happy because I always rather being engaged in study than to sit, empty, doing nothing at home. I have learned many things on coronavirus and also other courses.
What would you say to people who might be interested in translating for Alison?
I have many people asking me about Alison. For example, last time, when you sent me my certificate, many people asked me how did I get the certificate? I told them about how I got it – how I found the website and engaged myself on it. I also told them that I even participated as a volunteer, and now many people have joined. This morning, I’ve told so many people that I have an interview with Alison and they have all asked me for the website. Many people have now engaged themselves online with diploma courses with Alison.
How has the lockdown been for you?
They’re now saying that the coronavirus rate has gotten lower but, due to this virus, we haven’t been going to school for months. We are just sitting at home with no work. We have many crises in our country and many of the governmental organisations are not helping us. I have a National Diploma but, right now, we have no jobs to engage ourselves, not even as volunteers. So I feel so happy to be a volunteer with Alison and to help needy people. It’s important everyone has access to the information and I shared the course through email. I’m happy that Alison chose me as a participant so I could gain some experience and also do something to help in this crisis.
If you’d like to play your part in overcoming the coronavirus pandemic by helping Alison give people access to the information necessary to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, please get in touch.