Throughout October, the International Francophone Contribution Month, Wikipedia training workshops are organized in more than twenty cities of the Francophonie. In those workshops, experienced Wikimedians, students, and the local population get together to improve French Wikipedia and its sister projects. Whether in a college, a GLAM institution, in a library or in a pub, Wikimedians and novices mingle to share their experience, to initiate beginners to contribution to Wikimedia projects, or to simply get to know each other.
In Africa, America, and Europe, the French-speaking Wikimedia chapters and user groups connect and collaborate with local institutions that host workshops and train local population on the basics of collaborative editing. For example, the city council of Bordeaux in France invites its citizens to meet in ten city museums. In Paris and Rennes, there are no less than 16 workshops to train new contributors. In Montreal, the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) welcomes new contributors over four days. Training workshops are multiplying in Algeria, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Switzerland, and Tunisia.
Local workshops are organized by passionate and experienced Wikimedians; the topic, location and Wikimedia project are chosen at their discretion. The International Francophone Contribution Month is a unifying project that takes few resources from local chapters and can be executed with little cost. The goals of the contribution month are:
- Promote the local production of content.
- Allow local contributors to meet each other in the different participating countries.
- Connect with institutions like libraries, archives, and colleges, etc.
Participants like these workshops because it’s “cool” to participate in Wikipedia. Institutions are delighted to be a host for contribution days because they share their educational mission with Wikimedia projects, and this is a modern approach for their members. Teachers and scholars are interested in the contribution month because they are looking for experienced Wikimedians to train their students in class. In short, this event organized by the collaborative WikiFranca promises to be a success again for this second year.