Our organization has been actively working to recruit more Spanish speaking volunteers as many of the children we serve have Spanish as their first language. Our challenge is that once we have successfully recruited these volunteers (many who also speak Spanish as their first language, but are not fluent with English), we don't have Spanish speaking staff to support their training and onboarding. One staff member has suggested that we create a volunteer position that is focused on Spanish/Bi-lingual volunteer support and recruit fluent Spanish speakers for this role.
Do any of you have a position like this in your organization? Can you share your experience?
Also, I'm feeling a little conflicted about this request from an equity standpoint. On the one hand, it would increase equity because it would allow us to engage and support more volunteers that aren’t fluent English speakers, but on the other hand, I feel like this is an inequitable ask for a volunteer position. I can't quite explain why this feels inequitable other than an uncomfortable gut feeling. Thoughts?
Hi Stacy, I'd trust your gut feeling. My first thought would be to advocate in the short term to contract with an interrupter and in the long-term hire Spanish-fluent staff. Good luck!