WikiAfrica Education/Solution will not be televised
As a direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Moleskine Foundation gathered a movement of volunteers and partners to translate the 10 most relevant articles to help spark creative solutions to the pandemic in African languages.
Many pieces of key information are not available in the official languages spoken by the communities of our AfroCuration participants (isiXhosa, isiZulu, seTswana, Sesotho, Tshivenda, Sepedi, Afrikaans). Information that is available in these languages is not on Wikipedia, where millions of people go to check for information daily. Whilst most of the world discusses Coronavirus, millions are cannot join the conversation on the virus because this information is not available in their language. To spark creativity in solutions to the problems we are facing, we need knowledge on what the situation is. Translating knowledge about Covid-19 can help people locally understand and create new and useful solutions as a response, which in some cases can be life-saving.
Fondazione Aurora aligns with the UN 2030 and AU 2063 Agendas relating to inclusive socio-economic development by collaborating with young African entrepreneurs to scale up their business initiatives with significant social impact in their communities. Their support for The Solution Will Not Be Televised campaign was funding professional translations activity, and providing support with uploading translations onto the Wikipedia platform. Uploaded articles had notes on their talk pages, regarding the use of professional translators and original authors' names, stating the work was given under CC license.
Wikimedia ZA is the Wikipedia editor and contributor user group of Southern Africa. Its volunteers put their knowledge and passion about Wikipedia to the service of new and old users, forwarding the mission of free access to open knowledge if the South African languages. Their support during The Solution Will Not be Televised began from conception stage, helping to shape the activity and flow of generating translations, creating simplified base documents, and providing uploading and editing support and training.
Yoruba Wikimedians User Group are group of Yoruba language Wikimedians committed to develop, improve and promote Yoruba language Wikipedia, and other Wikimedia projects that are related to the Yoruba Wikimedia projects like Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, and Mediawiki, Nigerian pidgin in incubator and Wikimedia projects on topics related to Yoruba language, the Yoruba people, the states of Western Nigeria. They share the ideal of free access to knowledge in local languages, and aim to promote the use of Yoruba language related Wikimedia projects through various outreach efforts and to support people in western Nigeria to contribue to knowledge in Yoruba language. Their support for The Solution Will Not Be Televised campaign was to run an online AfroCuration event, activating the Yoruba community to proofread and upload translated articles from our global movement of volunteers. They also went on to autonomously curate an additional set of follow up work with new articles, and created promotion video to raise awareness of the articles and importance of hygiene information with the support of qualified doctors and a prominent Nigerian actress.
Ethale Publishing is an African literature publishing house based in Maputo. They strive to connect Mozambicans with the rest of the continent through translation efforts of literature, and facilitate pan-Africanism and cultural sensitization with the cross-pollination of ideas. Their support during The Solution Will not Be Televised was to provide translation services, and dissemination of articles via social media and local radio stations.
Constitution Hill Trust
Constitution Hill Trust (CHT) was established in 2006 by the late former Chief Justice Chaskalson and President Cyril Ramaphosa. CHT has a strategic interest in projects and educational programs which promote the Constitution and its values. Constitution Hill promote human rights by securing the preservation and development of their premises as a heritage site. For this end, they make provisions for educational programs to be conducted at Constitution Hill for the purpose of educating South Africans on constitutionalism, human rights and democracy. For The Solution Will Not be Televised, they supported by helping to locate and engage proofreaders for official South African languages who could perform quality checks on translations from the larger movement.
Under the theme “The Solution will not be televised”, participants from across predominantly Africa, and diaspora communities volunteered to translate key articles relevant to covid response into their languages. Moleskine Foundaiton and partners implemented a 6-step process to identify and simplify the key articles relevant to spark creative responses. Once the articles were checked for grammatical quality, a team of experienced Wikimedians assisted the technical aspects of uploading the knowledge to Wikipedia, thereby plugging the online knowledge gaps in these languages. Our focus is ‘stationary facts’. We’re not competing with TV and radio for latest updates, but people need to know (for example) what social distancing is, and why it’s important.
Our 6 step process fro article simplification was:
- Shorten sentences and break up subordinate clauses (sentences within sentences).
- Don’t make the information China-centric. Delete unnecessary focus on China, and keep the concept so it can be useful in other Geographies.
- Simplify information to the main concept, simple explanations and supporting information or examples.
- Keep the referencing of information in-tact.
- Ensure there are no more than 6 sections
- Aim for total of 1k to 1.5k words
A total of 16 languages have been used on the articles published. Our approach to languages was "focused but inclusive", welcoming all whilst keeping a strategic focus. We had 11 Niger-Congo languages of strategic focus based on geographical coverage and number of speakers. These were:
Southern Africa region: Zulu, Afrikaans, Sesotho, Xhosa, Shona West Africa region: Yoruba, Igbo, Wolof, Twi, Fula East Africa region: Swahili
We also have published entries in 5 additional languages thanks to content received from the movement. These additional languages are: Luo, Eleme, Venda, Setswana, Hausa.
- Participants: 390 volunteers
- Articles: 137 articles produced
- Views: 50K (without promotion)
- Words Added: 150K
Articles and Links
Editors from the user group created a page upon the effects of the Pandemic specifically upon South Africa, in the Afrikaans language.
Article: Covid-19-pandemie in Suid-Afrika
The user group conceived an additional 50 articles of interest to cover the experience of the covid-19 pandemic in African countries other than Nigeria, in the Yoruba language.