An unexpected source of Spanish popped up in my inbox this week. It was a campaign video from Smile Train, a wonderful charity taking cleft lip and palate surgery and support around the world. The video featured the story of little Sebastián Álvarez and his parents, as they navigated the challenges of early life with a cleft.
Smile Train is an organisation very close to my heart, since I was one of those cleft babies – but lucky enough to grow up in a country where repairs are routine. It makes my heart sing to see the charity sharing that opportunity with those who might otherwise never get the support they need.
First and foremost, posts like these give us that heartwarming sense that there are good people doing good things in the world. We certainly need some of that lately. But it’s also a reminder of how powerful it can be to combine language learning with your passions for activism and goodwill. It cross-references your worlds, and paints another corner of it with your target language.
Plug In to Multilingual Charity Initiatives
Smile Train in Spanish found me this time. But many global charities, like Smile Train, Cancer Research or the WWF, have information sites catering for many different regions and languages. A quick Google, like WWF España, for instance, is a great place to start looking for them.
Most also offer newsletter signup in those languages. Newsletter campaigns tend more and more to be packed with rich media, serving short and snappy update videos direct to your inbox. Like hacking your socials to drip-feed target language effortlessly, this is another way to lock in language practice regularly and unthinkingly.
As well as show support for your favourite causes.
What’s not to like?
Lastly, remember that there’s more than one way to support your charity. If you’re not in a position to donate, just signing up and sharing on social media is still valuable awareness-raising.
And if you’re doing that in your language learning social channels, you’re helping fellow learners, too!
Where to Start?
Need some inspiration? Here is my unapologetically unimpartial list for some examples! But charity is personal – make it your own.
|Cancer Research Charities
|Institut Curie (France)