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Wikimania 2019: My Experience and Outcome

4 min read

It was such an honor to be present for the second time at Wikimania in Stockholm this year. All thanks to Wikimedia Deutschland, Wikimedia Sweden, and the Wikimedia Foundation. It seems every time I attend such gatherings of Wikipedians, I meet new people, learn new things and get inspiration for new projects to embark on. This year’s Wikimania was no exception at all.

The first thing I did on arriving in Stockholm for this year’s Wikimania, was to tour the city a little. Although I didn’t visit a lot of places, I was impressed with the beautiful and incredible city of Stockholm which is made up of magnificent, architectural and historic buildings. Aside from the food, there was so much I enjoyed from Stockholm which includes the subway train rides, visits to the museums, the noiselessness of the city, the people and the view of the city at night. The list goes on but let me not bore you with all that. 

After a quick tour of the city, it was time to learn and so I could not afford to miss Wikimania's learning days. I am not sure how it happened but before I knew it, I found myself in the learning days cohort 2 which was being led by Melissa and Simona. I loved how that session was organized. We did a lot of practical work which helped us to apply and better understand everything we learned. Some of the things I learned from that class included forming sustainable partnerships, storytelling, teamwork, design thinking and Wikimedia Education Projects. From this session, I came to understand the power of Wikimedia in Education. Melissa made me understand that the focus of Wikimedia Education projects should not be on getting students to contribute a lot of content but to help them acquire useful skills by the end of the project.

And so during the opening ceremony when we were asked to go through the sustainable development goals and see which area we will like to improve using Wikimedia Projects, I could think of none other than improving the quality of education in my country. Continues collaboration and contributing to Wikipedia over the years has helped me improve my writing, reading and research skills. And so I am a testimony to the power of Wikimedia Projects in Education. It is my goal and dream to be able to help other young people especially tertiary students in Ghana to improve their critical thinking, writing, reading and research skills. And hence the reason I embarking on a Wikipedia Education Project on returning to Ghana.

After the opening ceremony, as usual, the next thing for me was to keep hopping from one session to another. I attended sessions on community growth, partnerships, education and of course, Languages. As someone who is interested in improving indigenous language Wikipedias such as the Twi Wikipedia, I found myself attending a lot of sessions that had to do with languages and growing small wikis. I am grateful for all the things I learn at Wikimania and so this year I decided I will also share my knowledge and experience through a presentation which I co-presented with Gereon Khalkul. Our presentation was about The difficulties of Wikipedias in languages that are not taught in school.

 

Without Wikipedia, it would be very difficult for people to find information online for free and hence the reason I feel obligated to contribute and edit content on this platform. Knowledge they say, is power so to me, there is nothing more satisfying than to know that I am giving power to a lot of people that use Wikipedia through my contributions.