Bolgatanga Episode: Community Engagement with Gurene Wikimedians

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Gurene Wikimedia Community, as part of its activities for the year, held a community engagement for its members in Bolgatanga, Ghana. This brought community members who live in and around Bolga to the event. 

The one-day event took place on May 11th, 2024 at the Social Centre in Bolga. The event was aimed at recruiting new volunteers and retaining old editors.

This was also to engage six students who have completed their studies at the University of Education, Winneba, Ajumako Campus, which is a partner institution, on ways we could help them continue the volunteer work they are doing aside from the work hustles. 

The day started with Felicia Ayeti [Amoramah], a trainer for the Gurene Wikimedia Community, who gave an overview of our projects and highlighted the need to add more women into the space as we currently have more men than women. 

She added that the community have also gotten the privilege to be added to the Khaya App- a project by Natural Language Processing (NLP Ghana) which helps users get an English translation from Gurene and vice versa. 

Some members attested to having participated in the project implementation as language volunteers. Awinebotima co-facilitated the session. Members were taken through the basics of Wikipedia as a recap for the volunteers and an introduction for the newbies.

They were taught how to create recognised articles from scratch by adding sections; subsections, and references. In the view of teaching them how to link a Wikidata item to a Wikipedia article, they were taught how to create a Wikidata item and connect the Wikipedia article pages to the multilingual platforms, Wikidata. 

The facilitators created room for practice and the participants could connect Gurene Wikipedia articles to Wikidata. One challenge experienced was that all the participants were editing with their phones, which slowed the editing process. 

The event concluded with words of appreciation and encouragement for participants to continue to practice with the sole goal of preserving the language.

We thank Dagbani Wikimedians User Group for supporting the event with resources from their micro-grant scheme to make it a success.  

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