Alone We Can Do So Little, Together We Can Do So Much
We started with a goal, to build a community of support to help interpreters and their families in the time of need.
The following are one of the many tragic stories that inspired the idea of founding an organization that would advocate for the needs of interpreters and helps prevent such tragedies from reoccurring.
IFF co-founder Bahroz Momand (Blade) served as a Special Forces interpreter in Afghanistan for 9 years and was able to resettle with his family in California, USA in December 2012 through the Special Immigration Visa. In January 2013 he struggled to find a location to peacefully lay to rest his baby who had not survived childbirth. He did not know where to turn. Finding assistance was an impossible task. After numerous unanswered phone calls, dead-ends and finding little support from the government and other relief organizations.
Tragedies like these brought together a small group of interpreters who talked and shared countless stories of interpreters who are struggling to survive with very limited resources. In response, the group decided to take action. As a result, Interpreting Freedom Foundation was born.
The idea was to find a way to let interpreters know that they are not alone and they have somewhere to turn. The objective was to create a real, comprehensive community of support from those who have been there and experienced first-hand what they have been through. Since those early conversations, the founders have broadened their goals to include a provision of financial support, counseling services, employment resources, help with Special Immigrant Visa applications, and advocating for veteran’s benefits to help offset the daily burden experienced by interpreters who have relocated their families.
Strong People Stand Up For Themselves, But the Strongest People Stand Up For Each Other
The difference between the Interpreting Freedom Foundation and other organizations is that it is a grassroots movement created by highly decorated military interpreters who have all served directly in combat and successfully relocated to the United States. Their first-hand experience and knowledge of the situation make them uniquely qualified to understand the process and their united efforts are designed to help others who are in need.