Grants:Project/J. Patrick Fischer/Wikipedia Timor-Leste 2020

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statuswithdrawn due to pandemic-related event restrictions
Wikipédia Timor-Leste 2020
summaryCreation of an independently active Wikipedia community in East Timor (Timor-Leste) through workshops, discussions with officials and the media.
targetTetun Wikipedia (Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata)
amount11640 USD
this project needs...
created on22:59, 14 December 2019 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

What problem are you trying to solve by doing this project? This problem should be small enough that you expect it to be completely or mostly resolved by the end of this project. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

The Wikipedia in Tetun (tetWP), the most important national language of East Timor, is just messing around. At the moment it has 1474 articles. Despite several workshops that were organized locally, there are only a few authors who write sporadically and no local community.

What is your solution to this problem?[edit]

For the problem you identified in the previous section, briefly describe your how you would like to address this problem. We recognize that there are many ways to solve a problem. We’d like to understand why you chose this particular solution, and why you think it is worth pursuing. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

I (J. Patrick Fischer) was asked from the Southeast Asian Wikipedia community whether I could try to spark an initial spark locally in East Timor. I have been writing about East Timor on the German-language Wikipedia for 14 years. Even in East Timor it has been noticed several times that information about the country is available in German. Over 2600 articles related to East Timor are available in the deWP, including references in Portuguese, English and Tetum. The maps in Wikipedia come from the German-speaking map workshop and one of the three admins at tetWP is German. The maps themselves are used by government agencies for publication. I combine knowledge about East Timor with the necessary enthusiasm for Wikipedia.

I would like to advertise in the media, report on Wikipedia, make universities, archives & museums, NGOs and government agencies interesting Wikipedia and Wikidata and give workshops, both for organizations and publicly. I already have numerous contacts for this. The aim is to specifically look for people who can keep the activities going on site, for example by founding a monthly "round table". I had already founded a Facebook group in 2014 in order to be able to offer Wikipedians in Timor a contact point. Facebook is a very popular medium there. A quick follow-up would be possible via this.

Project goals[edit]

What are your goals for this project? Your goals should describe the top two or three benefits that will come out of your project. These should be benefits to the Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia communities. They should not be benefits to you individually. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

  1. The main goal is to create a permanently active Wikipedia scene in East Timor, both online and offline, through knowledge transfer.
  2. Gaining institutions of all kinds as active partners and content suppliers (pictures). Ideally, define the creation of an encyclopedia in the traditional national language as a "national task". The added value of Wikipedia for the East Timorese must be made aware.
  3. Gaining local supporters (business, NGOs, foreign representations, authorities, universities, church)
  4. Acquisition of permanent authors in the Tetun Wkipedia and possibly other Wikimedia projects

The main goal of the project is to create a permanent, online and offline active Wikipedia community in East Timor, which will continue to work on the Tetun Wikipedia after the visit. Interest and enthusiasm should be aroused both among the young generation, as well as among state employees and educational institutions, among the media and among politicians. Previous campaigns were limited to workshops on a small scale, without trying to arouse social interest in an encyclopedia in the national language. Ideally, institutions and independent volunteers work hand in hand as authors and photographers without further help from outside the country.

It is important to find as many multipliers as possible who are enthusiastic about Wikipedia. Not only among the young generation, who represent the vast majority of the population, but also in politics, authorities, the Catholic Church, NGOs, and possibly also at foreign cultural institutions on site. The institutions must recognize the benefits of a Tetun encyclopedia for the country and therefore have to promote them themselves, e.g. by Wikipedians in residence. To do this, it is necessary to contact as many multipliers as possible beforehand, which is already being worked on.

Project impact[edit]

How will you know if you have met your goals?[edit]

For each of your goals, we’d like you to answer the following questions:

  1. During your project, what will you do to achieve this goal? (These are your outputs.)
  2. Once your project is over, how will it continue to positively impact the Wikimedia community or projects? (These are your outcomes.)

For each of your answers, think about how you will capture this information. Will you capture it with a survey? With a story? Will you measure it with a number? Remember, if you plan to measure a number, you will need to set a numeric target in your proposal (i.e. 45 people, 10 articles, 100 scanned documents). Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

1. active Wikipedia scene in East Timor:

  • Advertise, advertise, advertise, arouse enthusiasm. In 2005, Wikipedia was an ongoing topic in the German media and in society. This was the start. In East Timor this has to be possible with the help of the media and various institutions. The implementation of offline activities should promote group dynamics. That means giving interviews, accompanying reporting through own posts in the important Facebook groups in East Timor.
  • Several people have to be found on site to continue the project. Further support is provided online via the Wikipedia pages and the existing Facebook group.
  • Goal: At least one television report, reports in at least three other local media

2 & 3. Institutions, social support:

  • I am already in personal contact with various (including high-ranking) people and institutions. I already have specific commitments to work together.
  • After the project, the community should be self-supporting and e.g. also ensure the media presence itself.
  • Target discussions with the Catholic Church, the National University, the Institute for Language, at least two NGOs and two government agencies.

4. Employee recruitment:

  • Workshops, also in institutions. They should recognize the added value of Wikipedia and care for young people even in the future. The community must then also want to take care of new employees on site.
  • At least four workshops for beginners, of which at least one is open to the public. A workshop that specifically focuses on community education.

Creating a long-term effect by giving support for the community with three tiers:

  • Individuals in Timor-Leste: creating public awareness, publicity, motivation. By prominent supporters: Mr. José Ramos-Horta, Mr. Fidelis Leite Magalhães, Mrs. Isabel da Costa Ferreira. By local Wikipedians, who are taking over organization of local activities
  • Institutional support by universities, museums & archives, governmental institutions, NGOs by providing informations and infrastructure
  • International Wiki-Community: Mentoring, providing Wiki kowledge, emotional support. Appeal to Wiki Community in South East Asia and lusophone countries, for female editors Women's Wiki Groups

Do you have any goals around participation or content?[edit]

Are any of your goals related to increasing participation within the Wikimedia movement, or increasing/improving the content on Wikimedia projects? If so, we ask that you look through these three metrics, and include any that are relevant to your project. Please set a numeric target against the metrics, if applicable.

At least 100 people should take part in the courses. At least 15 people should be involved in community building. The number of articles in the Tetun Wikipedia should increase significantly within one year and above all the content quality must improve. This means that existing stubs (e.g. in the geography area) must be expanded. In addition, articles on topics such as women, medicine, history and other locally important topics should be created.

If you consider the announced support, these goals are likely to be clearly exceeded.

Project plan[edit]


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing? What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?

  • Participation in Wikimania Bangkok by J. Patrick Fischer and MF-Warburg. Meeting with other Wikipedians from Southeast Asia to exchange experiences and final planning of the workshops in East Timor. Concept discussion with local activists. Recruiting of mentors.
  • Public workshops: The workshops should primarily be held in English, with the local helpers providing translation assistance. Saturdays or Sundays, three sections on one day:
    • First block: in the morning, introductory course Commons for photographers, then send them out onto the street.
    • Second block: authors (introduction, what is Wikipedia, how do I write articles, first attempts editing and creating example articles).
    • Third block: Photographers upload their “daily booty” to Commons. Integration of images in articles (possibly in the deWP) for the first sense of success. Problem: working data line
    • A final casual meeting, for example in a bar for all, who want to e active in the community for founding a monthly "Wikipedia round table". Participants from different courses could be brought together. The aim is to give a local community a real-life structure.
  1. Workshop with Knua Joventude, a project of the UNDP (request by Knua Joventude to BJ Snaga in the past)
  2. Workshop with the European Mission in Dili (requested)
  • Workshops for those interested in the National University UNTL (What is the Wikipedia, write articles, pictures, meta). Target: Creating Articles corresponding the departments for basic education in this subjects, usable for pupils and students
  1. Approval by Professor Zulmira da Costa.
  • Workshops with interested NGOs, clubs (e.g. soccer)
  1. Rede Feto, network of women's organizations. Approval by chairperson Judite Dias Ximenes. Target: Creating articles about women and for women, for example "Women's health" and "Women in Timorese history"
  2. Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste (Red Cross Timor-Leste). Target: Creating articles about Health for informing population and general raising of interet in Wikipedia project.
  3. Catholic Church as one of main education provider in East Timor. Target: Using Wikipedia as education support
  4. Liga Futebol Amadora. Target: Creating articles about national football events, teams and players.
  • Community foundation workshop (organization of regular meetings, offline meetings, excursions, workshops, reference to the internal organization of communities, reference to competitions, such as Wikipedia Asia Month)
  • Discussions with the National Institute for Linguistics (Instituto Nacional de Linguística) of the UNTL for help to check the correct spelling.
  • Discussions with government officials (Ministry of State Administration, Ministry of Education, State Department, Prime Minister and President offices): How can the state help local Wikipedians? How can he make data and images available in conformity with Commons, if necessary upload images himself; Publish reports and image descriptions again in English or Portuguese, so that international authors can make them available without obstacles, current map material.
  1. Letter of support from Fidelis Leite Magalhães, Minister for the Reform of the Legislature and Affairs
  2. Letter of support from Isabel da Costa Ferreira, wife of the Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, Chair of the Fundasaun Centro Quesadhip Ruak
  • Discussion with the statistical office, clarification of open question in reference to WikiDATA.
  • Discussion with AMRT, CAMSTL and Xanana Reading Room about the availability of historical images.
  • Talk to the Portuguese embassy about cooperation.
  • Interviews with local media
  • Facebook postings on relevant news sites, possibly with prominent support (promise of support from José Ramos-Horta)
  • Another appointment in a happy round (foundation of a "Wikipedia round table"). Here participants from different courses could be brought together. The aim is to give a local community a real-life structure.
  • Further support for the local community via the Internet from the project participants.
  • Three months after the trip, the workshop participants are contacted and asked if they are still active in Wikipedia.

The office of Isabel da Costa Ferreira has been offering to organize several television interviews. There will be talks with ministers, the director of the UNTL and the language institute and other officials. The whole should be accompanied by the media of the First Lady's office.


How you will use the funds you are requesting? List bullet points for each expense. (You can create a table later if needed.) Don’t forget to include a total amount, and update this amount in the Probox at the top of your page too!

  • As it is only possible to book in May / June 2020, the flight and hotel prices can deviate significantly from the estimates here. Therefore, higher costs are initially assumed here.
  • The flight to Dili must be via Bali, Singapore or Darwin. The cheapest is the connection via Bali. You can get there from Germany via Bangkok. This would also be the best choice if the Wikimania is not visited.
  • BJ Sinaga travels to Java from his place of study
  • Costs for information materials for workshops: information flyer (How to do), stickers. Manufacturing on site.
  • Special Give aways as little present to respondents: 20 Wikimedia Special Edition White Globe Pins
  • There are no costs for the use of the rooms and food & drinks as these are provided by the partners
  • If a Wikimania stipendia is granted, costs for flight to Bangkok and hotel there, are not part of the project budget
Matter of expense Costs
Round trip Germany – Bangkok for two persons 2,470 USD
Accommodation Bangkok for two persons (4 nights) 800 USD
Accommodation Bangkok for two people (1 night) 200 USD
subsistence costs Bangkok for two people (5 days) 340 USD
subsistence costs Bangkok for two people (1 days) 80 USD
Round trip Bangkok – Dili for two persons 1,730 USD
Java – Dili round trip for one person 850 USD
Accommodation Bali / Timor for two persons (21 nights) 3,400 USD
subsistence costs Bali / Timor for two people (21 days) 1,550 USD
Information Material 120 USD
Give aways 100 USD
Costs for Wikimania 3,610 USD
Further costs to travel to Dili, etc. 8,030 USD
Total 11,640 USD

Community engagement[edit]

How will you let others in your community know about your project? Why are you targeting a specific audience? How will you engage the community you’re aiming to serve at various points during your project? Community input and participation helps make projects successful.

Get involved[edit]


Please use this section to tell us more about who is working on this project. For each member of the team, please describe any project-related skills, experience, or other background you have that might help contribute to making this idea a success.

  • J. Patrick Fischer
    • Project manager of the East Timor wiki project, which won the Zedler Prize in 2013, at the German Wikipedia
    • Awarded with two WikiEulen
    • Over 2500 articles written about East Timor
    • Five-time ambassador for deWP at the Wikipedia Asian Month
    • Was in East Timor in 2002
    • Working level knowledge of Portuguese
    • Has numerous online contacts in East Timor
    • Founder of the Facebook group "Wikipedia Tetun"
    • Real Life: Consultant for quality and system management
    • Voluntary in WikiMUC, organizing workshops, presentations and events in Munich
  • MF Warburg
    • WMF administrator for the Tetum Wikipedia
    • Speaks Tetum.
  • BJ Sinaga, student in Bandung and East Timorese Wikipedian, for support in Dili. Self description: "I contribute on Wikipedia project since 2016, special in Wikipedia Tetun (tetWiki) to share free knowledge, start with high school students and university. In June 27/2016 is the first offline event that I made with my high school friends, from that I'm also creating articles and edited in Wikipedia Tetun. In the same year I organize to make ICT Expo for Wikipedia. In other side for international event I was Representative Wikipedia Tetun for ESEAP 2018 in Bali, Indonesia and 2019 for ESEAP Strategy Summit in Bangkok, Thailand."
  • Rofino Leandro Ferreira from Dili, helper. Translator and guide.
  • Silvestre Pires Castro from Dili, helper. Translator and guide.
  • Ludivica Pires from Dili, helper. Translator and guide.
  • Nísia Leite Magalhães from Dili, photographer and guide in Dili and for the trips to Venilale

Community notification[edit]

You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a Village Pump, talk page, mailing list, etc.--> Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?


  • Support Support I think this project should be selected for a Project Grant because the Timorese community is really in need of at trustable source of information in Tetum. I work as an University Teacher in Timor-Leste for 9 years and I know how big is this need. The majority of students from all levels communicate and think in Tetum, because their knowledge of other languages (Portuguese, English and Indonesian) are very Little. When they have to do some research, usually, they end up copying text in one of those other languages, but they don’t understand what is written, because they can’t find good sources in Tetum. --Geiza Marques d’Oliveira (Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa’e)
  • Support Support I, too, endorse this project. Timor-Leste is one of the world's newest independent countries. It is also one of the least developed countries in Asia, and has one of the highest percentages of its population living in poverty of any country in the world. Although its official languages include Portuguese, and although there is reasonable knowledge of English in Dili, the lingua franca of the country as a whole is Tetun, a language unique to Timor. When I visited Timor-Leste in October 2018, I noticed that there was very little printed material available in any language, and a high percentage of young people who need to be properly educated. Helping the people of Timor-Leste to develop a better Tetun Wikipedia would be a very worthy cause for the Wikimedia Foundation to support. As a Wikimedia user who has collaborated with J. Patrick Fischer and met BJ Sinaga at Wikimedia ESEAP meetings, I can also endorse both of them as excellent leaders of the project. Bahnfrend (talk) 05:48, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I endorse this project in principle. I met BJ Sinaga at the ESEAP Strategy Summit in Bangkok in 2019 and can vouch for his enthusiasm and passion for Wiki-projects. As mentioned in the project outline, it will be essential to locate and cultivate local enthusiasts for this project, and to provide ongoing support to them from a distance after the visitors have returned to Germany. A question about the visitors - the budget is for two people to travel Germany to Dili; assuming one is Fischer, who is the other person? Or has this person not been identified yet? MurielMary (talk) 10:11, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
    • The second person is MF Warburg, the currently only admin on tetWP. --J. Patrick Fischer (talk) 09:23, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
      • Ah, I see, I assumed that MF Warburg was based in Timor! Thanks for clarifying. MurielMary (talk) 11:33, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support this project. ··· 🌸 Rachmat04 · 02:20, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I support this project. Jan, if you need our help feel free to contact me or info(_AT_) Biyanto Rebin (WMID) (talk) 07:22, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support I endorse this project in my personal capacity. I believe having this project will boost chances of Timor Leste to earn a classification as an emerging Wikimedia community and eventually an affiliate in the future. Our current model makes countries with strong volunteer network but low offline outreach / Wikimedia penetration makes a prospective affiliate difficult, relying on local volunteers (specifically editors) to conduct the activity by themselves. Having an experienced Wikimedian travel to those countries would allow the locals strengthen their capacity building capabilities. I am also supporting this as Timor Leste's regional neighbor. Filipinos love the East Timorese as it also shares some Iberian influences like religion, surnames, language. As a fellow Asian, we also share value of being like a family, closeness in diversity, a strength of the East, Southeast Asia & the Pacific (ESEAP) collaborative --Exec8 (talk) 16:23, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I endorse this project, Gnangarra (talk) 16:28, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong support. I have been aware of J. Patrick Fischer's work on East Timor related content for many years now. At Wikimedia Portugal, we are very interested in supporting this project in any we can, given the common history and cultural ties between Portugal and East Timor. GoEThe (talk) 17:00, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I support this project. NinjaStrikers «» 17:04, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support I was behind the creation of Wikipedia in Tetum in 2006 and tried to attract people to the project, namely by inviting Timorese students living in Portugal to take part. Unfortunately, with no success. I have now a very little involvement in Wikipedia in general. Anyway, I would love a Timorese WP could triumph! - Manuel de Sousa (talk) 19:38, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support. It is a very good initiative. However, the sustainability of this project must be well-presented also. E.g. how after this visit (the 21 days) we shall maintain (or grow) the Wikipedia community in Timor Leste, including covering all local languages/dialects, and to have meetup or create community in all East Timor's districts (or sub-division). And also for the Timor Leste community to integrate regionally in the ESEAP region, as well as overseas Timor Leste communities and Portuguese-speaking countries/region (e.g. Macau, Mozambique, Brazil, Portugal etc) and Tetum-speaking communities in West Timor, Indonesia for standardization use of the language/culture/history etc. Chongkian (talk) 03:11, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
    • First stepp is to create a community in the capital Dili. I want to involve students. A stable community can spread the wikipedia idea to the other municipalities, as far as there is enough internet access. Timorese communities could be find for example in Australia, Portugal, South Korea, Ireland and the UK. I am not sure, how big is the potential there to find authors. Maybe best in Australia and with Timoresse students in Indonesia. In West Timor would be a possible next step the city of Atambua. Binsar is still the representative for tetWP in ESEAP. The standardization of language is mainly done by Institute for Language of UNTL in Dili. Another dialogue partner of mine in August. --J. Patrick Fischer (talk) 19:18, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I support the effort to go to the region which is less attended. It's a good chance to help the local movement in Timor. --Ryuch (talk) 08:58, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support I support this project. I think it will be a good start. 🍂 Notanotheramy (talk) 11:25, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment: It looks like a good start, but the goals and the proposed plan of achieving them need to be more focused. See the talk page. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 12:01, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support Good initiative. I endorse this project. --Ptinphusmia (talk) 12:38, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support It's very important to endorse such a project that helps in collecting more documentation and involving more local communities such as the one in East Timor. We always think of how we can reach out to more people and engage them; this is a good way of doing it. Strongly support their grant request! Emna (talk) 12:44, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support Good initiative. I endorse this project as it supports the cultural diversity of Wikipedia. --Marcmiquel (talk) 10:30, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support for diversity and minority languages! -Filipinayzd (talk) 11:26, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support as Wikipedias in native tongues can be great foundations for learning, especially for people who do not have commands in major "formal education" languages (in East Timor those would be Portuguese, English, and/or Indonesian) WhisperToMe (talk) 04:20, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support Patrick has done so much for Wikipedia and Timor Leste. He deserves every support possible. Skoklman
  • Strong support Strong support ProtoplasmaKid (talk) 18:33, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support Great project to support the cultural diversity of the Wikimedia Movement Anna Torres (WMAR) (talk) 14:39, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support, Of course i will support, we can also make support chapter from Bali. Providing WikiTraining here in Bali if there are many Timor friends requested. Thanks. Joseagush (talk) 10:21, 27 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank you. As we are making a overnight stop t o and from Timor in Bali, maybe we can organize a little meeting in Denpassar, too? :-) --J. Patrick Fischer (talk) 20:57, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support - here's the point the WMF can show, that they are really interested in supporting small communities and projects, or if this are just as so often emty words. Better persons for this are nor to find. -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 18:15, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support When this covid 19 epidemic ends and you can do the activity, count on me as a mentor on behalf of Muj(lh)eres latinoamericanas en Wikimedia.--Jalu (talk) 22:04, 5 July 2020 (UTC)