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Watch This Face

Watch This Face

Issue 17 February 2006

Soumaya Mauthoor is currently in her fourth year at University College London (UCL) studying for a MSc in physics. Getting onto such a prestigious course in such a diffi cult subject is quite an achievement, but not contented, she wanted to “do something interesting, completely different from the course and somehow make a difference.”
Being tri-lingual, Soumaya, 22, speaks English, French and Arabic. She was inspired to set up a volunteer translation agency for charities through her College. She sought funds through UCL and managed to recruit 16 student volunteers for her Language Skills Pool (LSP). The volunteers translate and interpret for charities as diverse as the National Trust and Age Concern. Soumaya is passionate about the project and also about the future expansion of the scheme, “LSP helps charities avoid the expensive costs of translation services by using the skills of multilingual volunteers. As a project it can be applied by other universities so that more charities can benefit.” 
In November 2005 the LSP won the Outstanding Project Award at the Higher Education Active Community Fund (HEACF). With the project stable and secure, Soumaya has recently resigned from her role as coordinator in order to move on to other areas. She is now a trustee of Student Volunteering in England, and she also volunteers at a supplementary school teaching chemistry and physics. Ever with one eye on the future, once Soumaya has completed her MScww she hopes to pursue a PhD in solar energy which entails researching novel methods to generate solar electricity, and of course she “would like to remain involved in volunteer projects which are interesting, completely different and somehow make a difference.”

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