Wondering who is annotating your data?

When you are hiring a company to help you with your annotation needs, you frequently never meet the workers who are labeling your data. We want to change this and present to you the inspiring stories of our annotators!

This article features 4 stories from our HITL Stars participants from the 2nd cohort of our newest Career Development program in Bulgaria. The first two cohorts of the program are women-only, as it has been funded by the Bulgarian Fund for Women, and consisted of English and Digital Skills trainings, priority access to work, and individual career counselling so that the participants can achieve their professional goals.

Lana's story

“Humans in the Loop offered me valuable opportunities and support at one of the hardest times in terms of my personal and professional development”, says Lana, one of our teaching assistants.

7 years ago, Lana came to Bulgaria from Syria with her family. From here she traveled to Germany in order to continue her university studies, and this is when she first heard of Humans in the Loop from her mother who was participating in our English lessons. When Lana returned to Bulgaria, she began working for Humans in the Loop on several annotation projects. 

At the end of 2020, Lana became part of the 1st cohort of the HITL Stars training course offered by the Humans in the Loop Foundation. She says that the two classes that were offered – in English and IT skills – were useful in enhancing her skills. Thanks to her hard work and dedication, Lana was selected by the Foundation to become a teaching assistant in the 2nd cohort of the course and to assist the trainers with translation to and from Arabic as well as trainee coordination – and she has done an amazing job.

Hiba's story

“Humans in the Loop offered me several opportunities from learning programs to job opportunities, which have helped me feel empowered”, says Hiba, one of our annotators.

Hiba came to Bulgaria from Iraq in 2010. She says that originally it had been very difficult for her to settle in Bulgaria due to the asylum procedures. She found it hard to find a job at first due to many barriers such as language and culture. 

After a short stint at a call center, she heard about Humans in the Loop through the Red Cross. She enrolled at an English language course for women refugees and after successfully completing it, she was offered a job as an annotator. For her, this opportunity was particularly convenient as it was flexible work that could be done from home. As a mother this was an ideal opportunity that would let her take care of her children and work at the same time. Since then, Hiba has participated in further courses such as the HITL Stars training and has further improved her English and IT Skills. We are especially proud of her because she is one of the most persistent and hard-working annotators and she is among the top earners in our entire workforce!

Lida's story

“For people who immigrate like me, it is crucial to have or learn English and IT skills in today’s world!”, says Lida from Lahijan, Iran.

Lida immigrated to Bulgaria with her husband with the hope of a better future for their children. Originally a science teacher back in Iran, she was not able to work in Bulgaria due to permit restrictions. However, she became an active volunteer at Caritas which is where she also learned about Humans in the Loop. 

She says that Humans in the Loop helped her in her time of need. When she started the HITL Stars training course two months ago, she found it difficult at first because she lacked the computer skills, and all the classes were online. However, she found the classes very useful in the end and has learned a lot, especially with regards to English. According to her, the experience at Humans in the Loop was very different from any other trainings or opportunities she had been offered previously. She says that Humans in the Loop is an important part of her life now and can see how it is changing other people’s lives as well!

Fatima's story

“Humans in the Loop welcomes all people from all ages and all backgrounds!”, says Fatima who has been in Bulgaria for 20 years.

Fatima came to Bulgaria from Syria and recently heard about Humans in the Loop through word of mouth. Her friends were telling her about an organization that was offering free language classes. Having struggled to find such programs when she first came to Bulgaria, she was very excited to enroll as she values education very highly. 

She has been very pleased with the professional standard and quality education in our HITL Stars course. She didn’t have a computer of her own but once the classes were switched to a remote format, she was one of the people who received a PC from our organization. However, at first she struggled a bit with the online format as she was not familiar with using her computer. She believes that the work done by Humans in the Loop is fundamental for the livelihood of many people like her in offering educational programs as well as work opportunities. She feels very much welcomed and well-treated despite the challenges she has faced elsewhere due to her age.

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