Wikimedia CH/Call for projects 2017/Kiwix training in Senegal
Legal name of organization or individual requesting this grant: Gabriel Thullen
Project name: Kiwix training in Senegal
Please provide a detailed description of your project:
There is a strong need for the Kiwix off-line Wikipedia reader in West African villages and small towns. Most of these inhabited areas lack Internet connections, be it by land lines or by the cell phone network or else the local inhabitants can only consult Wikipedia by spending a fortune on daily data plans for their cell phones. Computers are present in most of these villages, even in the ones not connected the the national power grid, and their electricity comes from personal generators or from solar power. Kiwix will allow these villagers to access the knowledge contained in the encyclopedias and other educational resources, and will be especially useful for the students and school teachers.
Contact was made with a number of schools and educational institutions during trips to Senegal in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Presentations about Wikipedia and Kiwix and training seminars were also held, and the the Kiwix program was installed in quite a few more local installations. Two Senegalese nationals, Mouha.ibs and Boydiopm, acted as trainers and interpreters and they were invaluable during the workshops by providing explanations in Wolof.
Mouha.ibs is a Senegalese navy officer and instructor, and he uses Kiwix when preparing his training courses. He has widely shared Kiwix among his fellow officers, and trained them in its use, distributing it both in Dakar and in Thiès during his free time. Boydiopm is a High School student in Thiès, currently studying in his last year before the baccalaureate, and he has been sharing Kiwix among his fellow students and also providing training. They all use it extensively while doing their school work or when preparing for exams.
It would be fantastic to see them continue their grass-root evangelism of Kiwix, but for this they will need some funding to cover travel costs, food and other such expenses. A lot of the publicity around Kiwix is being done by word of mouth, and some of the requests come from villages or small towns that are quite far away (half a day or one day travel). For the moment, it is not possible to anticipate all such requests. This grant therefore requests a global funding ceiling, and the only money spent will correspond to an actual Kiwix training event. Gabriel Thullen will act as a volunteer advisor and European contact for the project. He will be mentoring the two trainers to develop their integration in the wikipedian movement by providing advice, funding solutions, English language reporting and helping them to meet the community face to face by participating to Wikimania 2017.
Please provide a detailed budget for your request:
- 5000 CHF maximum for expenses related to Kiwix evangelism (travel within Senegal and West Africa, communications, meals, eventually accommodation...)
- 1000 CHF earmarked for one 250 MB external hard disk and the rest for "32 GB USB 2.0 flash drives" with Kiwix pre-loaded (a lot of computers are old and run on Windows XP, this is the USB technology we will have to work with).
- 4000 CHF project management in Senegal (8 months @ 500 CHF per month).
- 3000 CHF attendance at Wikimania 2017 in Montréal for the two Senegalese Kiwix trainers.
Please explain what influence your activity will have on Wikimedia Projects:
The Kiwix training in Senegal project will increase the awareness of Wikipedia in Senegal, and of the Wikipedia sister projects, as well as bring Wikipedia to people who would not otherwise be able to consult the encyclopedia. This project and is complementary but totally independent from the study that will be done at the end of the 2016-2017 school year in the schools and institutions involved with the Empowering African schools with Kiwix project.
The project also aims to provide a common interest to federate users who can then form a local user group. A few institutions are willing to host such a group, but we now need to recruit more future wikipedeans.
How does your project fulfill WMCH's focus on GLAM, Education and Community programs?
The Kiwix training in Senegal project promotes and spreads the use of Kiwix in Senegal by empowering the Senegalese nationals instead of relying on foreign aid workers. Mouha.ibs and Boydiopm have been using Kiwix for two years, as well as being assistants during the training seminars. They have been trained as instructors, and have both continued sharing Kiwix and running small workshops after the end of the most recent visit in July 2016. The Kiwix program is in French, but explanations given to use the program are a lot more effective if they are given in Wolof, in Peul or in Serer.
Provide the provisional target start date and completion date:
The project will start at the end of October 2016 (start of the 2016/2017 school year in Senegal) and end in June 2017 (end of the school year).
Provide any other information you believe helps to understand your project better:
Most of the work will be done by Boydiopm, over the weekend of during his free time during the week. Boydiopm is in his last year in high school, and is in contact with hundreds of fellow students who are also preparing for the Baccalaureate exams in Juin 2017. Mouha.ibs will be going on missions abroad with the Senegalese Navy, and will be able to spread the use of Kiwix outside Senegal.