Grants:PEG/WM ZA/Kiwix and mobile wifi hotspot

This submission to the Project and Event Grants Program was funded in the fiscal year 2014-15. This is a grant to an organization.

IMPORTANT: Please do not make changes to this page without the explicit approval of Project and Event Grants Program staff. They will be reverted.

The Kiwix offline Wikipedia wifi hotspot device developed by Wikimedia CH.
The Free Internet Zone (FIZ) wifi unit setup by the Safety Lab in 2014. It is essentially a battery connected to a modem/router with a dongle that allows for the creation of a highly mobile cell phone based wifi zone to connect to the internet.
Legal name of organization or individual requesting this grant
Wikimedia ZA
For organizations: Are you a for-profit entity? No
For organizations: If non-profit (US) or equivalent (outside the US) status is available in your country, do you have or are you pursuing such status (please be specific): Yes
Grant contact name
Douglas Scott
Grant contact username or email
Discott and douglas.i.scott(_AT_)
Grant contact title (position)
Project lead
Project lead name
Dumisani Ndubane (User:Thuvack), Douglas Scott (User:Discott)
Project lead username or email
thuvack(_AT_), douglas.i.scott(_AT_)
Full project name
Kiwix and mobile wifi hotspot: deployment of devices for pilot project
Amount requested in USD or local currency (USD will be assumed if no other currency is specified)

R37,926.95 -> $3,544.4 rounded total. Please disburse funds in ZAR currency due to unstable exchange rate.

Provisional target start date
As soon as grant is accepted 15 November 2014
Provisional completion date
One year from grant acceptance date 14 November 2015

Basic information


Grant request details

Are you an organization, a group, or an individual?
Please provide your name, or the name of the group or organization requesting this grant.
Wikimedia ZA
Please provide the name (or username) of the main contact for this grant request. You do not need to disclose your legal name publicly.
Douglas Scott (Discott)
For groups and organizations only: Please provide the name (or username) of a second contact for this grant request.
Dumisani Ndubane
Please link to any relevant documents, including your website if you have one.
Are you a for-profit entity?
Are you able to provide local proof of nonprofit status within your country?
Does your organisation currently employ any fulltime or part-time staff or contractors?


If you answered YES, please indicate how many. You may use fractions or percentages for part-time staff if appropriate.
1 administration person
If yes, please provide a list of their job functions, or a link to your organization's staff page, if it lists all employees and contractors employed or engaged by your organization.
Details of the position can be found here.

Project details

Official project name
Kiwix and mobile wifi hotspot kit and pilot
Project start date
As soon as possible. As soon as funding is granted. 15 November 2014
Project completion date
1 October 2015 14 November 2015
Please describe the project in a few sentences
Wikimedia ZA will secure 5 Kiwix wifi units and 2 mobile local wifi internet hotspot devices. The Kiwix devices will be rolled out at disadvantaged schools and community centres in Cape Town, South Africa with one demonstration model held back to demonstrate the technology. The 2 mobile wifi units will be used by Wikimedia ZA for edit-a-thons, upload marathons, and other Wiki related activities.

Financial details


Please request your grant in your local currency. WMF is able to grant funds in many currencies.

Amount and currency requested
Please provide an equivalent amount in US dollars using the exchange rate provided by Oanda on the date you open this request

Goals and measures of success


Project goal

Sinenjongo High School is one of the locations where Wikimedia ZA wants to install the Kiwix devices.
The Zolani Community Centre in Nyanga, Cape Town is another location that Wikimedia ZA wants to install the Kiwix devices in.

Please briefly describe what will be accomplished if the project is successful.

Project goal
To secure the following
  • 2 x Kiwix offline wifi devices
  • 2 x mobile wifi internet hotspot units

The goal of this project is two fold. One is to secure 5 2 offline wifi Kiwix devices that will allow users to access the full version of English Wikipedia with thumbnail images without having to access the internet. Four One of these units will be installed in disadvantaged communities to allow locals to access Wikipedia without having to access the internet. One unit will be used by Wikimedia ZA as a demonstration unit to show the technology to interested potential partners in South Africa. This technology could be particularly useful in bringing Wikipedia to rural areas of South Africa. Especial since smart phone usage is now becoming common place enough in South Africa that even many of the poorest of the countries citizens now can access wifi devices. The idea here is to demonstrate this technology so it could possibly be rolled out by government and/or other local partners in Southern Africa.

The second goal is to secure 2 mobile wifi internet hotspot units so as to allow Wikimedia ZA to setup temporary mobile wifi internet hotspots so as to conduct Wiki related events more effectively and with greater ease. The units will allow Wikimedia ZA to do edit-a-thons, demonstrations, editing training, and upload marathons in any part of the country with 3G coverage. One unit will be located in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town so that the resources are relatively evenly spread across the country for the whole chapter to be able to use them in centres where Wikimedia ZA is most active. Previously the chapter has experienced difficulty in conducting some of the said activities due to unreliable internet access or no internet access at all. Furthermore many activities that Wikimedia ZA would like to do in more rural areas can not be done due to lack of local internet connectivity options. This project will help resolve these issues.

Measures of success


Please provide a list of measurable criteria that will be used determine how successful the project is. You will need to report on the success of the project according to these measures after the project is completed.

Measures of success
  1. Secure 2 fully functioning Kiwix devices from Wikimedia CH.
  2. Deploy 1 Kiwix device at Sinenjongo High School.
  3. Level of use of Kiwix devices.
  4. Level of interest and 'buy-in' from local partners for deployment/rollout of Kiwix.
  5. Secure 2 fully functional mobile wifi units.
  6. Number of times mobile wifi units will be used.

Will consider the project a success if all units are secured and installed in their respective locations as mentioned in this grant application. We do not know what the 'natural' or 'normal' rate of use might be for a Kiwix system or the extent to which Wikipedia is used in poor informal settlements such as Joe Slovo Park. The usage data will be used to create a bench mark of Wikipedia usage in disadvantaged urban communities in South Africa.

The success of the mobile wifi hotspot will be measured in the number of time/events it is used at.

Kiwix: strategy and success metric


A key metric of long term success for the Kiwix device would be the level of 'buy-in' and interest we can raise amongst government and civil society. Particularly in the area of education. The main purpose of obtaining these Kiwix devices is as a demonstration model to illustrate their use and utility to these organisations with the idea that they would be sufficiently interested to purchase these devices in larger numbers for deployment in South Africa or elsewhere. The idea for long term expansion is that South African government and private run institutions would pay for any large scale rollout of Kiwix systems.

Once we have received the Kiwix devices and deployed them in various locations with one demonstration device held back we will start contact both local government and civil society organisations involved in education.

With regards to contacting government we will focus on contacting the relevant education departments of the respective province first with a focus on the Western Province, Northern Province, and Eastern Province governments). We have some connections we have built up over the years in the Western Cape government that can be harnessed to get access to high ranking decision making officials. We also have a (slightly dated now (2011)) contact list of over 300 government officals we could use.

Project scope and activities


This section describes what will happen if this project is funded. Who will do what, and when?

List of activities
Wikimedia CH will secure and post 5 2 Kiwix wifi devices. Each of these devices will have the following installed on them.
  • The full English language version of Wikipedia with thumbnail images (with an Afrikaans version also installed on the units but the default will still be set to English unless otherwise set by Wikimedia ZA)
  • TED talks videos
  • Project Gutenberg with 45,000 free books on it
Once setup Wikimedia CH will courier these units to Wikimedia ZA in Cape Town, South Africa. Wikimedia ZA is planning to install 2 1 device in Sinenjongo High School in Joe Slovo Park and 2 devices at the Nyanga community centre with one device held back as a demonstration model. Sinenjongo High School is best known in the Wiki community for the open letter they wrote asking for free open access to Wikipedia. Nyanga is regarded as one of the most deprived and violent communities in South Africa with a 262 murders recorded in 2012/13.[1] Permission has been secured to install units at both locations.
Mobile wifi units
  • 2 x ecoboxx power units
  • 2 x wireless modems
  • 2 x dongles and prepaid SIM cards
Once these components have been secured the two units will be assembled from these parts. Remaining money will be used to buy pre-paid data for both units.
  1. "Nyanga the murder capital". Times Live. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 



Please provide a detailed breakdown of project expenses according to the instructions here.

Grantees are subject to line-item scrutiny of expenses. Changes to the approved budget beyond 10% in any category must be approved in advance.

Project budget table

Kiwix devices budget

Qty Rate (Rand) Total (Rand) Total (US Dollars) Notes
1 Kiwix offline Wikipedia wifi devices (total) 2 5,339.35 10,678.70 1,000 [1]
2 Shipping
2.1 Courier/DHL 1 2,135.74 2,135.74 200 [2]
2.2 VAT/customs 1 4,085.51 4,085.51 382.59
2.2 Instillation and maintenance 1 2,746 2,746 250
2.3 Insurance 1 281 281 25 [3]
TOTAL BILL Number 1 19,926.95 1,857.59
  1. The 2 Kiwix devices will be distributed accordingly:
    • 1 device held back and to be kept by Wikimedia ZA for demonstration purposes.
    • 1 devices to be installed at Sinenjongo High School
  2. The Kiwix devices are expensive and we do run the risk of them breaking in transit. We also want to get the units to Cape Town ASAP. We have researched many options and already tried regular post which resulted in unsatisfactory results. We have therefore concluded that DHL is the best means of shipping these units to South Africa in a safe and timelessly fashion.
  3. Insurance on shipped items is 1% of the stated value of the goods being transported. Therefore insurance is $25 or $2500*0.01=25.

Mobile wifi budget

Qty Rate (Rand) Total (Rand) Total (US Dollars) Notes
1 Ecoboxx 160 2 3,800 7,600 712.21
2 Wireless modem 2 1,800 3,600 337.36
3 Dongle 2 400 800 74.96
4 Pre-paid data 2 (as needed) 3,000 6,000 562.27 [1]
TOTAL BILL Number 2 18,000.00 1,686.81
  1. Pre-paid cellphone data in South Africa expires after 2 months regardless of how much data remains unused. This means that data will have to be 'topped up' as the system is used throughout the project period. R3,000 is roughly enough to purchase 40~60 GB of data depending on the size of the individual data purchases.

Total cost of project:

Qty Total (Rand) Total (US Dollars) Notes
1 Kiwix devices 2 19,926.95 1,857.59
2 Mobile wifi hotspots 2 18,000.00 1,686.81
TOTAL BILL 37,926.95 3,544.4
Total amount requested from the Project and Event Grants program
Additional sources of revenue that may fund part of this project, and amounts funded
Additional notes
It is requested that this money be granted from the underspend from WikiIndaba.

Non-financial requirements


See a description of non financial assistance available. Please inform Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) of any requirements for non-financial assistance now.

Requests for non-financial assistance

Resources and Risks


This section is used to highlight your potential for successfully executing this project.

Consider including the following information:

  • Team members:
Wikimedia ZA: Dumisani Ndubane (User:Thuvack) & Douglas Scott (User:Discott)
Wikimedia CH: Emmanuel Engelhart
  • Endorsements: Wikimedia CH and Wikimedia ZA has endorsed this project
  • Wikimedia CH has already build fully functional versions of the Kiwix devices.
The organisation I work for has already built a fully functional versions of the mobile internet hotspot device.
Sinenjongo High School and the Safety Lab (the organisation that runs programming at Nyanga) have both expressed excitement at the prospect of installing the Kiwix devices.

This section is used to identify key risks or threats that would prevent you from achieving your project goals and how you would mitigate those risks and threats.

  • Kiwix devices might get lost/stolen during transit
  • Might get held up at customs
  • Unforeseen technical difficulties might render the technology unusable (i.e. might be dud units or not able to install at desired sites)
  • Theft of units after instillation or whist in use. (We will try to mitigate this as much as possible)
  • Damaged whilst in transit.

Mitigating risks:

  • Use of reputable courier company and tracing numbers
  • Ensure that units are physically secured and located in secret out of the way locations that allow for good wifi access whilst protecting from theft.
  • Ensure proper packaging to prevent damage in transit.



In the sections below, please describe how the project is related to the Wikimedia mission and Wikimedia's strategic priorities.

Fit to strategy

How will this project support the key organizational objectives of
  • increasing reach (more people will access or contribute to Wikipedia or our other projects),
  • participation (more people actually contributing),
  • quality (more content, more useful content, or higher-quality content),
  • credibility (more trust in our projects),
  • organizational maturity and effectiveness (how it will move you or the Wikimedia community forward),
  • or financial sustainability (how it will help you achieve more in the long run)?
This statement should address at least one of the strategic priorities listed here specifically. See Project and Event Grants program criteria for decision making.
This project will (a) allow people in disadvantaged communities in South Africa to access Wikipedia for free and will (b) allow Wikimedia ZA to both demonstrate and experiment with offline Wikipedia access to communities in South Africa. It will (c) also allow Wikimedia ZA to conduct events in places where we could not do Wiki related events due to a lack of infrastructure.


If the project will benefit a specific online community, please tell us.
The project will directly benefit both Wikimedia ZA and and Wikipedia community in South Africa. It will also benefit the people of Joe Slovo Park and Nyanga.
Please provide a brief statement about how the project is related to other work in the Wikimedia movement. For example, does the project fit into a work area such as GLAM, education, organizational development, editor retention, or outreach?
This project falls into Wikimedia outreach as well as GLAM as it will allow Wikimedia ZA to conduct events in even the smallest of museums and libraries that do not have Internet access.
If successful, will the project have the potential to be replicated successfully by other individuals, groups, or organizations? Please explain how in 1–2 sentences.
Yes, other groups would also be able to secure similar Kiwix devices and/or mobile Internet hotspot units and be able to learn from the South African experience.

Please list other benefits to the movement here.
  • Increases access to Wikipedia for the poor and historically marginalised.
  • Increases access to editing Wikipedia to the local editing community.
For grantees

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