GALA urges continued support for Ukraine from localization community

The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) has released the results of a survey on support to Ukraine, conducted with 40 respondents of its community. This represents about 10% of the organizational members. 

We are fortunate to work in an industry that is culturally interconnected. We get to form bonds with people from around the world — from our geographical neighbors to those in places very distant from us,” the report states.

GALA executive director Allison Ferch said that the industry is an international community that aims to enable communication and connection across languages and cultures.

“That attracts a certain type of person and being a part of this industry means that we actually ‘know’ people around the globe. We form personal connections and even friendships through doing business. That’s unique and I haven’t seen anything quite like it in other industries,” she said.

According to the results, 68% of the survey respondents have supported Ukraine personally, and 78% have said their respective organization has provided means of support. Of those organizations, 66% have measures in place for ongoing aid.

The most popular way of support (60%) has been donating funds, followed by providing humanitarian supplies or volunteering  (50%), sharing credible information (48%), providing free or discounted services or technologies to organizations supporting Ukrainians (35%), donating funds to support the Ukrainian government or army (33%), protesting (30%), hiring Ukrainians at their company (20%), and hosting Ukrainians at their home (8%).

GALA urges its community members to do what they can, within and outside of their organization, “not just now, but with future contributions in mind.” The association’s members had the opportunity to discuss ways to help at their annual conference in San Diego. 

This survey was born from that meet-up. Ferch said that they also heard from members in the region who are impacted by the war and have described specific needs.

“The GALA board and staff believe it is important to keep the topic in the spotlight so that people are reminded that help is still needed and can be delivered in many ways,” she said.

GALA has summarized the survey responses in three ways of helping Ukraine:

  • Working with language teams to translate freely available educational content into Ukrainian, paying Ukrainian vendors and contractors more than they ask for, and through quick, convenient payment channels
  • Donating to an over-the-phone interpretation line: a toll-free line to access immediate interpretation services
  • Placing sanctions on Russian-based companies

Regarding the sanctions, Ferch observes that laws concerning sanctions and other business restrictions are country specific.

“Since GALA is international, we will not take a position on this. Rather, we are focusing on actions that are not governed by national laws,” she said.

She recommends reading the article “How Sanctions Work,” written by Balázs Kis, GALA Global Board Member.

Additionally, GALA’s report contains a crowd-sourced list of resources:

GALA has also suggested actions any person or organization can take to show their support:

  • Share truthful information from reputable sources about what’s happening in Ukraine and about Ukrainian culture and history. Always check your source!
  • Help refugee organizations. Many Ukrainians left their homes with nothing and need the resources to build a new life.
  • Raise awareness about the importance of using Ukraine-based partners. Many Ukrainians have been forced to emigrate to various countries abroad where the living costs are much higher.
  • Choose Ukrainian language companies. Shift requests for translations into Russian by assigning them to Ukrainian LSPs or translators.
  • Provide free or heavily discounted translation support for Ukraine humanitarian, refugee, and educational causes, or for any organizations helping Ukrainians.
  • Utilize SE Ranking, a great SEO tool from a Ukrainian company.
  • Boycott businesses paying taxes to the Russian government and shift it to other countries.
  • Vote! Urge your government to provide funding and artillery to the Ukrainian army.
  • Donate to the Ukrainian army.

GALA plans to revisit this topic quarterly through content dedicated to the challenges being experienced by Ukrainian colleagues as well as the solutions being delivered by the community. They acknowledge that “news and compassion fatigue are real,” and consider professional daily responsibilities. Ferch affirms that the association is also keen to collaborate with industry partners to amplify one another’s support efforts.

“We won’t forget that our community needs us during this time,” GALA leaders wrote. 

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