Vancouver groups do translations so marginalized workers and businesses can access government aid

May 28, 2020

By Vancouver Sun |

Mimi Nguyen is part of Bao Ve Collective, a Vancouver group she started with two friends that has been translating information about pandemic-related financial aid into Vietnamese.

It’s an effort that shows how gaps might be filled for marginalized workers and businesses, who are more likely to struggle to tap official help to keep the economy going.

Bao Ve’s step-by-step instructions in Vietnamese for applying for employment insurance and emergency response benefits are for “our aunties and uncles, our immigrant neighbours, and the kids who are helping their families navigate this time.”

Nguyen said she and friends Y Vy Truong and Kathy Thai “have a friendship rooted in our lived experience of what it means to be a second-generation Canadian.”

“We all have parents and relatives who work in manual labour,” said Nguyen, meaning jobs in factories, restaurants, salons, warehouses, grocery stores and in janitorial work. “It’s work that is labour intensive, physically, and are often low-wage jobs. They have been affected by COVID-19, whether that is layoffs or having to work in an environment, but not necessarily having proper information on how to conduct themselves in this new world.”

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