Wikimedia Belgium

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Wikimedia Belgium logo.svg
One of the activities organised in 2011

Wikimedia Belgium is a local chapter in creation phase. The first discussions started in 2005, and the local community has been doing projects (the pilot program as described in the chapter creation guide) since that date. The main activities were the organisation of WikiLovesMonuments Belgium & Luxembourg in 2011, 2012 en 2013.

These activities enabled the growth of the proposed chapter. This culminated in 2012 when the decision was taken to start the "chapter creation process". Statutes were made, people had the chance to show their support for the organisation, candidate founders and board members were sought, the bank account was opened.

The application was filed with the AffCom in August 2013. The statutes were under review for several months, but end of 2013 the AffCom decided to put the application "on hold" for reasons outside of our reach (source). This application was finally rejected in February 2014.

Activities and community efforts are underway to discuss this with the AffCom and the WMF board itself. The chapter candidate founders sent an open letter to the WMF Board. They also increased their involvement in the community by planning Wikimedia events in the coming months.

What is a chapter?[edit]

A local chapter is a local organization to promote Wikimedia projects and empower knowledge, educative content creation and share, in a geographical area, in this case, in Belgium. It can represent the Wikimedia projects to the press, give conferences and presentation in public events, …

The working language of Wikimedia Belgium is English, with translation efforts to French and Dutch.

Communication means[edit]

communications are centralized on be.wikimedia.org.

There's also a mailing list. It is the best way to get up to date on the projects and activities. Don't forget to subscribe: To subscribe or see list info. To send a message, send it to WikimediaBE-l at lists.wikimedia.org. You can consult the archives on Archives.

We also have a Twitter account: Wikimedia_BE.

Outdated[edit]

The information below is outdated as of March 2014. It will be updated in due course.

Some projects[edit]

They support the Wikimedia Belgium creation[edit]

Cf. Wikimedia Belgium/Members

If you're interested to become member of the chapter, please add yourself to the list.

FAQ[edit]

What about languages?[edit]

The Belgian contributors are mainly Dutch, French and English speaking people. The English-speakers community must be taken in consideration, by the huge rate of expats in Brussels, as the de facto capital of Europe and a full services dedicated city. [FACT: Expats/non-Belgian residents in the city of Brussels outnumber natives.]

To handle language issues, the best solution successfully applied in Belgian IT and chemical corporates) is to use English as default language for mail or IRC meeting exchanges and, as on Meta, work with a translator team to produce documents in three or four1 languages.

  • 1 The interest of the German speaking community should be investigated.

I don't speak English![edit]

We'll make a best effort to translate all documents in Dutch, French, perhaps German and English.

You can expect QUICKLY a translation in your language.

Feel free ask one or more volunteers for a translation.

People who don't speak English are free to talk in Dutch, French or German.

Can you give me some samples of concrete actions Wikimedia Belgium will make?[edit]

  • Support users willing to care of a Wikimedia stand at exhibition hall
  • Participate at the Foire du livre de Bruxelles...
  • Help Wikinews writers to get press accreditation for events
  • Help photographs to get press accreditation for events, so they can upload on Commons free pictures of personalities
  • Give Wikimedia presentations in universities, schools and explain a more correct usage of Wikipedia.
  • Donations to Wikimedia Belgium become tax deductible which may be more of use/interest to non-members.

There isn't really contact between Dutch and French speaking people in Belgium. Why not create a Dutch local chapter and a French one?[edit]

The advantages to have a unique local chapter instead of two are:

  1. We can promote collaboration. On Wikimedia projects, we work to share knowledge and collaborative work. We should show the way.
  2. We'll have a greater userbase.
  3. We'll have more credibility when dealing with press, institutions or authorities.
  4. We can take in consideration English-speaking people.
  5. The foundation have until now only accepted one chapter per country, according Anthere (but not according to Requirements_for_future_chapters#Geographical_base)
  6. We'll be able to offer trilingual presentations or conferences in Dutch, French or English.

What is the old proposal status?[edit]

The 2005 proposal hasn't been achieved, because of difficulties in finding interested users. You can read the archive here.

To avoid these problems, a communication effort about what a local chapter is and can do is one of our first goals.

What is the new proposal status?[edit]