The last few months I have been training on Wiki Loves Women Focus Group programme through monthly online meetings which has made me have a better understanding of Wikipedia Movement and its projects.
It’s been a journey of intense learning a lot about the #SheSaid Campaign and I recently embarked on a journey to bring the campaign in Kenya where I choose to work with Librarians in Nairobi to help bridge the gender gap on Wikipedia.
The planning process has been intense as I have to juggle a lot between work, personal life and the trainings on the SheSaid Campaign, WikiQuotes and other Wiki tools.For this reason, I choose to work with 2 people to help me with planning the Kenya Librarians SheSaid campaign.
I planned on getting 10 Librarians based in Nairobi through different Librarians networks whom I had as new editors on Wikipedia. To manage my participants and easily communicate with them I added them on a Telegram group. Most of myparticipants were newbies and two had some experience with editing on Wikipedia.
Some of the planning activities I had to carry out were to secure a safe space to hold our first meet up where I managed to locate a local university to have this meetup. I also planned to facilitate and support my participants with transport (how the participants were going to get to the venue), and also provide meals, internet and banners for the campaign.
Prior to our first meeting, I planned for the activities that would take place which included introducing the participants to Wikipedia movement and its projects, I also introduced them to Wiki Loves Women and what was expected of the #SheSaid Campaign, Wiki Commons and the Wiki Quotes.
My goal was to ensure that the participants have a great first experience and would gain interest to volunteer for Wikipedia. We invited the Wikipedia in Residence in Africa Libraries to meet the new participants and she shared on how Librarians can contribute to the free knowledge and also she mentioned the upcoming Wiki Indaba Africa conference.
My highlight for this event was introducing new participants to Wikipedia and at the end of the day new accounts were created, new edits were made and the participants were all excited to have learnt new skills and they related the whole experience of editing, adding links with all the five pillars of Wikipedia which are considered as fundamental in all Wikipedia projects.
At the end of the day, the biggest lesson was early preparation, working with a team to assist and allowing the participants to engage as much as they can. This was a first time experience of organizing an event outside my workplace and I look forward to organizing more events and bridging the gender gaps and other gaps on Wikipedia especially focused on Africa.