CEE/Newsletter/December 2018/Contents/Georgia report

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Georgia report: Georgian WikiConference 2018[edit]

By Mehman Ibragimov
Georgian WikiConference 2018 in Tbilisi
Opening of the conference by Mehman Ibragimov

December 22, 2018, Wikimedia Community User Group Georgia for the first time in the history of the organization, which was officially recognized as the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) in February 2015, and also in the entire history of the Georgian Wikipedia, held a conference. The conference was devoted to the popularization of Wikimedia projects and to the development of the Wikimedia movement in Georgia. The conference was very important for us, since this is the first large-scale event in Georgia, which we hold and serves to popularize Wikimedia projects. The conference was attended by both experienced Wikipedians and new Wikipedians, as well as Wikimedians. The conference was attended by representatives of various non-governmental organizations and celebrities.

The conference on Saturday, December 22, in the hotel of the Gallery Palace Tbilisi with a small lunch began. After lunch, the participants and guests of the conference moved to the conference hall. The conference began with a greeting from the guests, which was carried out by a Member of the Board of the Wikimedia UG Georgia and one of the organizers of the conference, Mehman Ibragimov. He also presented a report on the activities of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) and also provided the audience information about Wikimedia Foundation, in which the structure and operation of the WMF was provided. Stakeholders asked questions about the WMF, to which specific answers were submitted.

After the report on the work of the Wikimedia Foundation, Mehman Ibragimov, together with another Board Member of the Wikimedia UG Georgia, with David Asriashvili, presented a report on the activities of the Wikimedia UG Georgia, as well as the work of the organization for three years. Representatives of the Wikimedia UG Georgia presented in detail the guests at the conference about all the Wikimedia projects that exist in the Georgian language, as well as about all the projects that Wikimedia UG Georgia conducts in Georgia. All the contests presented by Wikimedia UG Georgia in the Georgian Wikipedia and in other projects of the WMF were presented. Projects that conducted by the UG Georgia, aroused great interest among people attending the conference, stakeholders have asked questions and the representatives of the UG Georgia responded in detail to them.

Nino Turmanidze & Anastasia Jgharkava during the report

After the report of the Members of Board UG Georgia on the work of the Wikimedia UG Georgia, the new members of the organization, Nino Turmanidze & Anastasia Jgharkava, stood before the public with their report. Anastasia Jgharkava and Nino Turmanidze presented a report on the conference, which was the main topic of the cooperation between Georgian Wikipedia (and UG Georgia) and Georgian Association of History Teachers. They talked about how the 100 students of the Association were involved in Georgian Wiki-movement, how they got interested in the work of Wikipedia and how they wrote hundreds of articles on the cultural heritage of Abkhazia and Samachablo in Georgian Wikipedia, during Tskneti WikiCamps. The second part of their report was devoted to participating in the international camps of Armenia and the participants clearly demonstrated how the development of Georgian Wikipedia with similar projects.

After the report of the new members of Wikimedia UG Georgia, a Member of the Board of Wikimedia UG Georgia and one of the very first Georgia's Wikipedians, who has been involved in the Wiki-movement for more than 10 years, appeared his report to the guests. This is Jaba Labadze. The main topic of Jaba Labadze's report was "Wikipedia in Education", he spoke about the importance of informal education and educational projects implemented in this regard. Namely how to set up a WikiClub in their own school and also in two library of its municipality. Also highlighted how the students learned history using Wikipedia. She talked about the success of her schoolchildren in international and local competitions. Finally, he noted that his success of the "Teacher's National Award" was largely based on the use of WikiTechnology in school. Following this success, he is conducting WikiLessons in various schools of Georgia and teaches students to Wikipedia.

Jaba Labadze during the report

At the end of the conference, Mehman Ibragimov again appeared before the guests, who informed the guests about the existing problem in the Georgian Wiki projects, that is related to human resources. Wikimedia Community User Group Georgia, as part of the Wiki-movement, is very small but also active for its size. Our main problem is that we have a serious shortage of human resources, for this reason we are faced with big problems, such as a lack of people in carrying out large projects. We also have the problem of relations with GOV structures, which unfortunately do not really cooperate with us, but at the same time declare readiness to help, but this does not happen in practice. But despite the difficulties, we have minimal opportunities and a minimum number of interested persons to carry out successful projects and popularize Wikimedia projects in Georgia, since Wikimedia Community User Group Georgia is the only organization that operates on the territory of Georgia on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), and this is very important. The above problems for us remain the main challenges for the development of the organization and projects.

At the end of the conference, the President of the Association of Georgian History Teachers spoke and promised us assistance in the development of Wikimedia projects.

Images from the conference[edit]