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During the interview stage, try to create a comfortable, informal environment.
Be mindful that, for people who do not speak English as their first language, how they were taught can impact whether they are better at speaking or writing.
If possible, make your advertisements bilingual to maximise the number of people who will understand them.
Bilingual advertisements will also show that the volunteer opportunities are targeted to specific culture.
It is also a good idea to train staff in how to use an interpreter.
It is not intuitive to stop speaking after every point for someone to translate.
Even before you begin recruiting people from different backgrounds, it is imperative to train paid staff and existing volunteers in cultural awareness and offer ongoing cross-cultural training.
Cultural awareness and cross-cultural training helps avoid misunderstandings between clients, staff and volunteers from diverse backgrounds.
Ask staff to share their experiences and invite community leaders from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to share their stories and perspective. There is a link to a list of accredited translators in the Tools and resources section of this page.
Speakers who do not have training in how to work with interpreters often speak without a break for too long and some of their information can be lost.
The concept of formal volunteering is foreign concept to most people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities and can have different connotations.
After identifying a community, involve community leaders in the initial planning and consultation stage.
Attend community consultations to get a feel of the needs of the community and general cultural practices – how men and women interact, for instance.