Welcome to the April issue of The Monthly View.

Spring is finally here, bringing with it the long Easter weekend and celebrations. This issue of The Monthly View looks at other religious festivals taking place in April: Vaisakhi, the Sikh new year celebration, and Lailat al Miraj, the Islamic observance remembering the Prophet’s ascension into heaven. We also look in detail at International Romani Day and European Immunisation Week.

If you would like to share news on upcoming religious or cultural celebrations or health campaigns with us, please get in touch with Amy Soutter at amy.soutter@newham.gov.uk or 020 3373 8771. We also welcome any feedback on this newsletter.
Save money and time with remote video interpreting
Did you know that TLS Ltd offers video interpreting for both foreign language and BSL interpreting appointments? We rolled out this technology last year and have had glowing feedback from customers.

Remote video interpreting is a very similar service to face to face interpreting, but participants talk over a video link instead of in person.

The service can save you money because there is only a 30-minute minimum booking (whereas with face to face interpreting it is one hour) and you don’t need to pay the interpreters’ travel costs, as they work from a high-speed video link at our offices. Video also offers all parties the ability to read visual cues and body language, building trust and increasing accuracy.

Interested in learning more? Please contact Amy Soutter at amy.soutter@newham.gov.uk or 020 3373 8771 to arrange a demonstration.
2/3 April: Lailat al-Miraj
The Islamic celebration of Lailat al-Miraj remembers the Prophet Mohammed’s night time ascension into heaven. According to scripture, one night the Prophet was visited by two archangels, who brought him a holy winged animal named Buraq. Buraq flew the Prophet from Mecca to Jerusalem, to a famous mosque named al-Aqsa, where he prayed with other prophets. He was then taken into heaven to meet former prophets and, eventually, God. It was here that God gave the Prophet the instruction that Muslims must perform salat (pray five times per day).

Muslims honour Lailat al-Miraj by attending special prayers at a mosque or reciting night time prayers with their family. In some parts of the world, the festival is also celebrated by lighting candles or electric lights.
Learn more about Lailat al-Miraj here.

There are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims living around the world, speaking many different languages. The Language Shop is proud to offer support in all the languages and dialects; please contact your account manager or 020 3373 4000 with any questions.
8 April: International Romani Day
Introduced in 1990 at the fourth World Romani Congress, this day serves a dual purpose: to celebrate Romani language and culture in all its various forms, and to raise awareness of the discrimination that Roma people, the largest ethnic minority in Europe, continue to face.

International Romani Day has no central organisation but appeals to political bodies to keep the progress of Roma rights high on their agendas. For example, on 8 April 2018, the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities wrote to all Mayors across Europe to sign a declaration against Anti-Gypsyism, to “express their will to reject all forms of discrimination, violence, harassment and incitement to hatred against Roma and Travellers in their municipalities or regions”. This year, Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland has written to European political representatives, asking them to work on increasing the political representation of Roma women.

Roma people continue to face discrimination in all areas of life, notably employment, living standards, education and healthcare. Read more about the International Romani Day here.
The Language Shop is committed to equality of access and opportunity. As such, we provide training opportunities for those wishing to work in Romani language support.

If you are interested in finding out more, or know someone who is, please contact us on 020 3373 4000.
14 April: Vaisakhi
14 April: Vaisakhi, sometimes known as Baisakhi, is an important Sikh and Hindu festival that combines three celebrations in one: new year, spring harvest and the birth of Sikhism.

The festival is celebrated all over India but is especially important in the north. Revellers decorate places of worship, attend ceremonies and hold processions and parties, dancing to Bhangra. Many towns host big fairs; it is a light hearted occasion.

A traditionally Hindu way to celebrate Vaisakhi is to bathe in rivers. Some Sikhs choose to be baptised into the Khalsa brotherhood on this day; a form of Sikhism that requires adherence to extra rules, prohibitions and a code of conduct. Read more about the Khalsa here and about the festival of Vaisakhi here.

According to the most recent census (2011), Punjabi is the third most widely spoken language in the UK. The Language Shop can offer support in all Indian languages and dialects.

Get in touch with your account manager for more information or call 020 3373 4000.
FOCUS ON… European Immunization Week
European Immunization Week (EIW) 2019, from 24-30 April, raises awareness of the important of vaccination to staying healthy, stopping the spread of diseases and protecting human lives. With a permanent slogan of ‘Prevent, protect, immunise’, the week’s promotion targets parents, care givers, health professionals, policy and decision makers and the press.

EIW is organised and run by the World Health Organization (WHO), with support from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

EIW 2019 will celebrate ‘vaccine heroes’; the people who make vaccination possible across the region, such as ‘health workers who administer vaccines, parents who choose vaccination for their children, and everyone who seeks evidence-based information and passes it on to empower others’. It aims to make vaccine-preventable diseases a thing of the past in Europe, increasing coverage so that no one misses out. This ties in with World Immunization Week, which runs during the same week.

After the week’s activities and promotion, each year the WHO produces an annual report, capturing the highlights. Read about last year’s work, what is planned for 2019 and the work that takes place all year round by visiting the WHO site. You can also download resources here, such as vaccine factsheets and the Global Vaccine Action Plan.
This Month's dates at a glance
All month: Stress Awareness Month; Bowel Cancer Awareness Month