2022 was a good year, and 2023 promises to be an even better one. For the start of the year, the Global Open Initiative Foundation (GOIF) met with its volunteers and team members to discuss the various projects to be embarked on in 2023. Outstanding members were recognised and given the necessary accolades. There was also a discussion on the ways in which volunteers can be motivated; highlights included the need for personal contact beyond social media pages. That means reaching out to participants via personal messages and calls. The other motivation was the provision of support in the form of data and transportation allowances. We went on to collect ideas about how providing support in the form of data and transportation allowances might affect the caliber of volunteers recruited to the movement. The response was that as long as assistance was provided as a need-based measure rather than to attract volunteers, it should be maintained. Another suggestion was to support volunteers based on their contributions. Concerning our plans for 2023, we intend to foster community spirit by continuing with our biweekly calls, engaging volunteers beyond edit-a-thons, and taking cues from initiatives like Wikimedian of the Month from the community in Estonia and Wikimedia Poland Support Architecture.
Keep an eye on the Ghanaian Fabric Project
The Wikimedians of the Twi language group have spearheaded a documentation of Ghanaian fabrics dubbed Ghanaian Fabric, 2023 Phase I. Ghanaians have a rich cultural tradition of proverbs, metaphors, and symbolism. This aspect of tradition has been incorporated into the names of Ghanaian fabrics and textiles. The names are created by designers, fabric manufacturers, market women, and vendors. The fabric project would result in the contribution of entries on both the English and Twi Wikipedia, the uploading of fabric design photos and the pronunciation of fabric names onto Wikimedia Commons, as well as the creation of items on Wikidata.
Curation of the titles and graphics for the various designs began in January of this year (2023). A team went to fabric marketplaces in Kumasi and Accra to gather the names, photos, and any other information about the textiles from the traders. They also went to the Ashanti Regional Branch of the National Cultural Center to learn more about the history and manufacturing processes of fabrics and textiles. The Fabric project’s English Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons parts are set to launch in February 2023.
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