Grants:APG/Funds Dissemination Committee/Members/2012-2013 round2/Comments
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WMHK's official statement regarding the recent decision of FDC
Wikimedia Hong Kong (WMHK) opposes the recent decision of the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) of Wikimedia Foundation. The FDC has rejected the proposal submitted by WMHK.
Wikimedia Hong Kong, the Hong Kong local chapter of Wikimedia Foundation, has the mission to promote Wikimedia projects and free cultures among local community in Hong Kong. WMHK achieves the mission through several outreach projects, which are funded by the grants from Wikimedia Foundation. The rejection of funding from the FDC makes WMHK having difficulties to continue achieving its mission.
We note that the FDC is concerned about WMHK’s internal governance, financial management capacity, and capacity of its volunteers to manage future projects. The FDC also mentioned that past activities do not sufficiently demonstrate a record of high impact. The problem is that WMHK is run by volunteers who have limited time. WMHK itself also has limited resources. To increase such capacities and impact mentioned by the FDC, WMHK has the necessity to recruit full-time staff in order to handle daily operation of WMHK as well as manage the projects. However, the recruitment cannot be done as WMHK lacks funding.
Another reason why FDC rejected WMHK’s proposal is that WMHK is out of compliance with its previous WMF grants. It is incorrect to say that as all the previous WMF grant projects were already submitted before the submission of the proposal to FDC. It is also incorrect to mention that WMHK mismanaging the previous funds, as there is no clear guideline on what to do if there is money left.
We believe the decision of the FDC is inappropriate. The decision is totally harmful for the development of WMHK, as well as the development of free culture in Hong Kong. The Wikimedia Foundation has the obligation to promote Wikimedia projects and free culture around the world. The rejection of funding makes the promotion of those projects in Hong Kong more difficult. The rejection of funding also makes the volunteers in WMHK think that their work is totally denied by the Wikimedia Foundation.