The Focus Group celebrates its second year anniversary. An amazing amount of work continues to be done by the members. A Coaching program has been instituted to help the participating members in all stages of the programme to develop their skills and helped them find ways to build their capacities.
“I have been able to run campaigns in my country.. Now I can share new skills with my community!” Said Carol from Kenya
The Focus Group coaching program involves 14 female members from countries including Botswana, Cameroon, France, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tunisia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Launched in 2021, the main purpose of this group is to empower female leaders in the Wikimedia and Open movements by providing them with the skills and knowledge needed to create gender-equity initiatives. It is a hands-on, results-driven online training program that offers mentorship and guidance to community leaders.
2022, Another year of activities.
During 2022, the Focus Group members had more than 8 office hours and 12 working sessions, during which they discussed a range of issues and were trained on different topics.
he first working session in January focused mainly on reflecting, sharing lessons learned and setting the year’s agenda of programmes. Thereafter, training began and included the following topics::
- How to translate Wiki pages?;
- The ISA tool, the creation of a campaign;
- IP rights in WikiCommons;
- Community: building motivation;
- Navigating lack of resources and media representation for underrepresented peoples;
- How to balance work, life, volunteering?; and
- An introduction to WikiData on how to create items?
Additionally,, members had more than 5 office hours about the #SheSaid campaign in both French and English During these learning sessions, the following topics were covered:
- How to apply for a grant?;
- How to edit on WikiQuote?; nd
- How to run the campaign in their countries.
The participation of the FG members resulted in:
- 7 events in 5 countries;
- +841 articles created; and
- +1,129 articles edited.
participation of the Focus Group members this year was notable. Members presented the Focus Group as speakers or members of the organizing teams in all the Wiki conferences, including:
- WikiMania; and
- WikiConvention francophone.
Activities, but not only…
After 2 years, the Focus Group has become more than a coaching program; it is now also an emotionally safe space for the members. While it is certainly common for all of us to experience moments of anxiety in our lives which can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection from others, it is important to have someone we can talk to and the Focus Group provides this. On many occasions, the members offered encouragement and support to each other which led to the creation of a safe, healthy and inclusive space.
“Being part of the Focus Group has really given me a sense of belonging which had not really felt with any other wikimedia group community before that.” — Minette, a member of the Focus Group from Cameroon.
In conclusion, although most of the members are African, the Focus Group is still culturally diverse which makes the group an interesting place to learn, exchange ideas and collaborate together. We look forward to growing and becoming more visible and notable!