Celebrating 15 years of Wikimedia Ukraine

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Today Wikimedia Ukraine, the nonprofit organization that supports Wikipedia and free knowledge in Ukraine, turns 15. To celebrate the anniversary, let’s look back at some of our achievements over the years – and hear from some of the people who’ve made this possible.

Participants of Wikimedia Ukraine’s annual conference in Kharkiv, 2023 (photo: Kharkivian, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Wikimedia Ukraine’s work in ten figures

  1. Hundreds of volunteers, 74 NGO members, 7 staff members & contractors
  2. Over 380,000 freely-licensed photos of Ukraine’s cultural heritage via Wiki Loves Monuments
  3. Over 100,000 cultural heritage monuments in Ukraine’s first publicly available database, created by the Wiki Loves Monuments team
  4. Almost 120,000 freely-licensed photos of Ukraine’s nature heritage via Wiki Loves Earth
  5. 13 annual Wikiconferences for the Ukrainian community
  6. 1000 workshops organized and supported over the years
  7. A community of 100+ educators who regularly use Wikimedia projects in their work & exchange their experiences
  8. Over 60,000 Wikipedia articles created or improved thanks to our campaigns
  9. Over 8,000 articles about Ukrainian culture created or improved in other languages via Ukraine’s Cultural Diplomacy Month 
  10. Around 35 wikiexpeditions supported

What Wikimedia Ukraine means for its volunteers – four perspectives

“For me, Wikimedia Ukraine is more than just an organization that supports volunteers, it’s like a second family. When Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine began in 2022, my life radically changed – as for any other Ukrainian. But Wikimedia Ukraine and my wiki activity is perhaps the thing that remained stable across my life ‘before’ and ‘after’”, – Daryna (user Rina.sl), Wikimedia Ukraine’s volunteer

“Thanks to Wikimedia Ukraine’s support I was able to organize Ukraine’s first wiki school for high school students. I also held a lot of training sessions for students, educators and librarians. This support also enabled me to organize a local meetup for the annual Wikiconference in 2023. I really appreciate all these experiences, and it would be much harder to acquire them but for Wikimedia Ukraine. For me Wikimedia Ukraine is about the opportunity to share success and problems, get advice, do your work better, and have an interesting way to spend my free time”,  – Mariana Senkiv, Wikimedia Ukraine member and university teacher. 

“I think that these 15 years have shown that the value of Wikimedia Ukraine is the ability to combine forces and resources, especially volunteer resources, and do something incredible. For example, for the first time in Ukraine’s history, we collected and published the most complete public lists of cultural heritage sites. A single database of monuments in Ukraine simply did not exist before 2012. This was done by a small NGO with the help of volunteers”, – Illia Korniko, chair of Wikimedia Ukraine’s board and member of the Wiki Loves Monuments organizing team.

“I joined Wikimedia Ukraine in 2009 as an active contributor to the Ukrainian Wikipedia. I was (and still am) fascinated with the values of Wikipedia: spreading free knowledge through volunteering and collaboration, openness of discussions and decision-making, and a strong desire to be independent of political or commercial influence. But at that time I had no idea how a Ukrainian NGO could operate. And now, 15 years later, I am happy that Wikimedia Ukraine is actually working based on the same values of Wikipedia. This, in my opinion, is what makes the organization successful: a few sentences on a discussion page, in a few years (and with several hundred or even thousands of hours of time of dozens of volunteers), can spark one of the organization’s leading, internationally recognized projects”, – Mykola Kozlenko, vice chair of Wikimedia Ukraine’s board.

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