Summer WikiCamp IIEdit
This summer Wikimedia Armenia had planned two WikiCamps for which the organization has received over 300 applications. Second WikiCamp, designed especially for teens aged 15-19, took place on August 2-11, 2019 in Tsakhkadzor.
The editing process on Wikimedia projects was organized by 11 experienced wikieditors. Although all participants in the Second WikiCamp stated in their applications that they could edit in three Wikimedia projects - Wikipedia, Wiktionary, and Wikisource - the majority edited only on Armenian Wikipedia.
The second Summer Camp was also notable for having participants from Armenia, Artsakh, Georgia, and Italy, thereby making the camp a bit international.
To make the basic principles of Wikipedia more comprehensive and to teach campers how to use Wikipedia, Wikimedia Armenia education team has prepared wiki games based on the most common difficulties and mistakes previously observed. The following are the wiki games for the second Summer WikiCamp:
- Free and copyrighted images on Wikipedia, related policies and fair use.
- Citing Wikipedia articles.
- Punctuations and rules of placement.
- Transforming text into encyclopedic style.
- Wikipedia article structure.
- Add links on the Wikipedia page.
- Correction of common mistakes in Armenian.
Non-wiki activities had its own unique place on WikiCamp agenda including a variety of interesting and entertaining events and games. Throughout the five days of the camp, the children were welcomed by the camp's popular song teacher Anushik Stepanyan, who taught the participants Armenian, Italian, and Georgian songs.
Georgian camper Mariam Kvartskhava shares her impressions on the WikiCamp:
“The 10 days I spent at WikiCamp are now among the most important days of my life. I am happy to have made new friends who respect us, even singing in Georgian. It is hard to sing what you do not understand, but the persistence of the Armenian participants and the understanding of the Georgian song was simply wonderful. As they say, music unites people, and that proved to me with Armenian-Georgian songs. Comfortable environment, lots of new friends, invaluable experience, and Armenian language; this is the least of what you can make and get at the WikiCamp."
The representatives of the Financial System Mediator's office were hosted at the camp, who talked about financial literacy and discussed various topics related to the field. One of the other memorable events of the camp was the visit of servicemen of Special Forces N of the RA Ministry of Defense, during which the youth practically learned certain techniques of self-defense and fighting.
With the help of Anushik Stepanyan, the campers also prepared interesting and entertaining small theatrical performances, later staging them on the final day of WikiCamp during the closing ceremony.
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Wikipedia for Peace: We can !Edit
Wikipedia for Peace: We can ! camp was a Wikipedia Peace event organized from 2nd to 10th August 2019, in Kötschach-Mauthen, a small mountain village in the Austrian Alps. The camp was organized by Wikimedia Austria, the Austrian chapter of the worldwide non-profit foundation behind Wikipedia.
The main goal of the event was to teach how to write Wikipedia articles and get to know the inspiring biographies of amazing activists fighting for peace, environmental justice, LGBT+ rights, civil rights and other burning issues to make our planet a better place. There were 20 participants from Armenia, Austria, Germany and Spain, the main language was English.
Wikimedia Armenia, as one of the partner organizations, sent four participants and Wikimedia Armenia staff member Davit Saroyan as a group leader to the camp. The participants were active Wikipedians, selected by the selection committee after a call of applications on the basis of motivation and Wikipedia contribution. Armenian participants among others edited Wikipedia articles on different topics and people related to the goal of the project. The full list of edited articles can be found here.
You can find the individual reports of the Armenian participants below. Participants answered these four questions:
- What did I contribute to the development or dissemination of Wikimedia projects?
- What did I learn?
- What personal skills did I gain?
- How did you share your experience gained in the project with your fellows?
- How may I use gained skills and knowledge in Wikimedia/my community?
- What new project ideas did I have that can be implemented by Wikimedia Armenia or me?
- At first I want to mention that program gave me an opportunity to work with topics which were basically different from previous ones. Almost always I've taken part in «Wiki loves science» medical events and have edited medical articles. This time I had an opportunity to edit articles about feminism and I think the biggest contribution is going to be continuous involvement in the editing of articles around that topic. It will have a good influence on both sides, I will get an information about topics different from my main profession and I will enrich the Armenian Wikipedia with topics, which I think are important for Armenian society. And also during the whole program and after coming back so many people have asked me about the program, and I tell all of them about Wikimedia Armenia and events and projects organized by it.
- During the program I've gained communication skills in English, I've learned some words and phrases in other languages (In German, Spanish ) and also I've got some cooking skills for 20 people, which was in amazing and friendly atmosphere. Program taught me to understand and estimate the importance of some topics such as physical violence, feminism, sex orientation etc. I've learned many energizers, different types of discussions, which I think I will use in future group meetings and events. Program gave me an opportunity to learn the culture of different nations, the education system in different countries and other interesting facts.
- Program gave me an opportunity for self development, for listening, for reading, for gaining new skills and knowledge about the topics I haven't been interested in before. One of the discussions during the program forced me to understand some features of human psychology, to treat people differently regardless of their appearance and sexual orientation. Program has improved my communication skills with unfamiliar people and taught me to find common topics for discussion easily. Also program improved my editing skills . Besides this participation helped me to develop the creativity around different issues and forced to change my attitude around them. I've also improved my team working abilities because all games and discussions where with whole group. The program also taught me independence and the ability to believe in my own strengths.
- I have shared my experience mostly in social network. During the whole program and, of course, after it for a long time I have shared with posts and photos in my facebook and instagram pages. I still share my impressions and gained knowledge with my friends today.
- I already use big part of gained knowledge and skills in my routine in almost every discussion, because program made big changes in my mind. I would like all members of our Armenian society have an opportunity to take part in such programs, to meet foreigners, to talk with them, to discuss such topics, to do analyses and to use gained information in their everyday life. I think all the things I've listened, learned and seen during the program will stay with me for a long time. I've also improved my English language skills during the program which will help me to improve the quality of my editing on Wikipedia. Yes, the big part of things they told us about editing process I already knew, but uploading of information will only have a positive influence on my future editings.
- When we were in Austria, I had a really big wish to come back to Armenia and to organize an event, to call volunteers, to do the same energizers, to teach them team-working and to discuss interesting topics. I hope that event is gonna be a TEDx.
- During the event I learned about feminism and gender inequality. I read and learned about strikes and other events organized to protect women's rights all around the world.
- During the event, I developed the ability to communicate and understand people easily. I got a broader understanding of different nations, their culture, stereotype.
- And all these will help me in the future to feel free and confident, make my own opinion, present my suggestions correctly and present myself correctly while traveling and participating in different programs organised abroad.
- I presented my country, told about our culture, customs, presented problems in Armenia, especially about women's rights and gave possible solutions for these problems.
- To organize such a thematic camp in Armenia․ Foreigners will also participate in this camp. As the first country to adopt Christianity, religion itself should be the main theme of the camp.
- What did I contribute to the development or dissemination of Wikimedia projects? — I made articles on social, health and psychological topics connected with human rights issues in Armenian, helped newcomers to deal with Wikimedia projects.
- What did I learn? — During the project I have enhanced my knowledge on the situation of human rights in different countries, learned the methods to introduce the subject of human rights to my students in a more efficient way, ways to overcome social injustice. Alongside the thematic knowledge I liaised with people involved in subjects (public education, environmentalism etc.) I am interested in.
- What personal skills did I gain? — I have improved my communication and time management skills.
- How did you share your experience gained in the project with your fellows? — I held meetings with my students and socially active friends during which I conveyed my experience to them.
- How may I use gained skills and knowledge in Wikimedia/my community? — I will make articles on human rights issues and notable social justice activists with my students.
- What new project ideas did I have that can be implemented by Wikimedia Armenia or me? — As a result of knowledge acquainted and personal communications made during the project ideas of numerous interesting projects were born, which are in the planning stage at the moment.
- During the project and after it, I have edited different articles in Armenian Wikipedia which promoted the spreading of free knowledge.
- The event was prepared very good, the editing hours and discussions were very interesting, which helped us to express our attitude freely. During the event I developed my knowledge especially about feminism, and the protection of women's rights. We also discussed about the gender equality. We learned about these topics in different countries and exchanged our experience. Some parts of discussions were very emotional as we could understand the feelings of people who were “victims” of stereotypes, which helped to find ways for solving the problems.
- Due to the program I could appreciate the human values free of stereotypes. This program helped me to broaden my outlook and understand the problems existing in Armenia.
- Till now I can’t stop sharing my expressions. From my experience, I tried to encourage my friends who are editing in Armenian Wikipedia, telling that active volunteer work, except of self-development can also give the chance to spend interesting time and gain friends from different countries.
- I try to be more informed about the problems connected feminism and women's rights, and improving some articles in Armenian Wikipedia.
- I think that Armenian Wikipedia, has all prerequisites for organizing such international camps in Armenia. Inviting people from different countries can give a good chance for discussing such topics and improving the articles in Armenian Wikipedia. And why not also to discover Armenia?
On August 14-18, 2019, I participated in the Wikimania held in Stockholm, Sweden. It was the first time that I attended such a large-scale wiki event with participants from all around the world. I was once again convinced that we can truly change the world and do it with great love. At Wikimania I have participated in a number of meetings and discussions, listened to other Wikimedians. I presented the activities of the Lernapat WikiClub, including recent project - Wikiclassroom - carried out at Lernapat Secondary School, and I am very proud to note that many Wikimedia projects and events in Armenia were mentioned as exemplary. Of the speeches I found particularly interesting and useful: Keynote I. EDUWiki & OERs + discussion on OERs and their place in the Wikiverse (Aram Pakhchanyan), Let's Talk about Campaigns and Contests, Linking to OpenStreetMap and Wikidata, and more. An interesting talk was Interwiki Women Collaboration, a cross-wiki global campaign, during which Armine Aghayan and Camelia Boban presented the story, achievements and future plans of a brand new project. Although I had not previously participated in this project on Armenian Wikipedia, I have not only participated in it since then, but also presented the project to other editors. Some of them joined the project and edited a number of Wikipedia articles about women of different nationalities. Having previously tried to use the Programs & Events Dashboard to follow the edits of the Lernapat WikiClub members, it was interesting to hear about some of the nuances of that program (talk: Programs & Events Dashboard How to effectively manage Wiki initiatives with the Programs & Events dashboard ( and Event Metrics!) Over the course of a few days, I got acquainted with Wikimedians from various countries, saw how excited they are about their work and plans for the future, and gained new insights into organizing work and involving new editors.
In 16-17-18 August, 2019, the Western Armenian project team (Coordinator Azniv Stepanian and assistant Betty Panossian) took part in Wikimania 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden.
The annual gathering brought together about 1,000 of wikipedians from around the globe and offered a unique platform of learning, experience sharing, training, discussion and brainstorming on future development and projects within Wikimedia.
Throughout the three days of the conference, both Azniv Stepanian and Betty Panossian took part in the welcome session and keynote address titled “Share your story about the SDGs”. They also together attended the sessions dedicated to “Growth”, specifically the ones titled: “Challenges and approaches to community growth”, “What we know about newcomers and how to nurture them”, “Campaigning for growth: Women in Red; WikiChallenge Ecoles d'Afrique; and Caucasian collaboration”, “Onboarding and Retention: Hungarian and French Wikipedias”, Lightning Talks: growth ideas to take home”, “Encouraging the spirit of new editors - A structured approach to mapping onboarding efforts”. From the sessions titled “Quality” they attended “Reforming the featured article process in the Indonessian Wikipedia”, “Quality issues in the Northern Saami language”, Lightning Talks dedicated to quality issues, as well as took part in a workshop on documentation and quality process. They also together attended from the sessions titled “Education” the keynote address titled “EDUWiki and Researchers: engaging researchers to contribute to Wikipedia”, and the panel discussion titled “Enhancing students’ learning through EDUWiki initiatives”. Then Azniv Stepanian attended the session titled “Linking OpenStreetMap and Wikidata”, while Betty Panossian attended the session titled “Advancing minority languages through Wikimedia projects in educational settings”.
Overall, Wikimania 2019 resulted in broadening the scope of thought and ideation of the project team, who have garnered several ideas that could be implemented in the future within the project Western Armenian Wikipedia.
Tamara Grigoryan and Irina SafaryanEdit
Two of Wikimedia Armenia WikiClubs coordinators - Tamara Grigoryan and Irina Safaryan being active Wikipedians had got a scholarship from Wikimedia Foundation to participate in Wikimania. Please find their individual reports under the links below:
Preparation of a language guide on common mistakes in punctuation of Western ArmenianEdit
With the purpose of improving the quality of the articles edited in Western Armenian Wikipedia, a language guide was prepared. It highlights some of the most common mistakes in punctuation that are frequently happening in various articles and offers corrections, along with explanations.
Wikitraining with the teachers of Tavush region in YerevanEdit
From August 24 to 25, a two-day training course for teachers from Tavush region was held at Wikimedia Armenia office in Yerevan with 18 teachers from different communities of the region. Six of them had wiki editing experience, and the rest were beginner editors.
During two days, the experienced participants deepened their knowledge of editing, learned new editing tools and skills. They received answers to many of their questions. Created and improved articles that were discussed with the participants, identified shortcomings and ways to eliminate them.
Beginner participants created accounts on Wikipedia. With the help of experienced contributors, they began editing, getting acquainted with the basics of editing, the ideology of Wikipedia, and making the first edits. They learned how to translate the article from another language Wikipedia and how to find sources and articles on their own.
On August 9, Alaverdi WikiClub members screened and discussed a documentary film. The film is about right-mindedness and positive thinking and has given the WikiClub a number of practical insights about personal growth. On August 27, Alaverdi WikiClub organized a hiking to the UNESCO World heritage sight Sanahin Monastery where they took photos for the "Wiki Loves Monuments 2019" competition.
On August 16 within the framework of the "Learn and Join" project, the coordinator of the Goris WikiClub - Ararat Travants and several WikiClub members visited the Centre Culturel Francophone de Goris, where the "Best French Speaker 2019" camp was organized. The camp was attended by about 50 students aged 12-15 from 5 general schools of Goris. Ararat Travants introduced campers to Wikimedia projects and volunteer work, organized a workshop, where the WikiClub participants helped the coordinator to teach basic editing tools. After the event, some campers joined the club.
On August 20, with the funding of the Koghb Foundation, the coordinator and the WikiClub members of the Koghb WikiClub organized an expedition to the historical monuments and monasteries of Ijevan region. The WikiClub members visited the Arakelots Monastery in Kirants village, Sranots Bridge, Srveghi Monastery, Moro Dzoro Monastery, Saint Davit Monastery. After the expedition participants uploaded the photos of these monuments and panoramas of Khashtarak and Aygahovit villages to the Wikimedia Commons.
On August 7, Hatsik WikiClub hosted trainer Shushan Yeranosyan. Shushan Yeranosyan spoke with the WikiClub participants about discrimination and students expressed their opinion on various forms of discrimination. The meeting ended with a role-play game, where the WikiClub members staged separate episodes of discrimination in their lives.
Coordinators of the Stepanakert and Karvachar WikiClubs - Irina Safaryan and Tamara Grigoryan, being also active Wikipedia editors, have been awarded scholarships by the Wikimedia Foundation to attend the annual Wikimania conference in Stockholm (see their reports above). Armenuhi Voskanyan, the coordinator of Lernapat WikiClub, also participated in the Wikimania conference. Her travel expenses were covered by Wikimedia Armenia.
On August 1, the regular event of the series "Meeting with Art" took place at the WikiClub of Karvachar. The goals of this event are to give children an opportunity to get acquainted with the biographies of great artists, writers, and provide space to the WikiClub members to speak to an audience thus gaining experience in preparing and presenting speeches. This time the event was dedicated to the Armenian writer Aksel Bakunts. WikiClub participant Sona Safaryan presented the life and career of the writer. Other members discussed their favorite works of the author.
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This month Wikimedia Armenia has submitted 2 articles in the Educational Newsletter of Wikimedia Foundation. The article “Summer WikiCamp for secondary school students 2019 in Armenia” represents the Summer WikiCamp organized for the secondary school students by Wikimedia Armenia in Tsaghkadzor. The article “We spend such wonderful days in WikiCamps that noone wants to return home” tells about Karvajar WikiClub members who have attended WikiCamps, their impressions, new acquaintances and the knowledge they have got.
Every Saturday Wikimedia Armenia organizes open workshops-edit-a-thons at the WMAM office where new editors are taught how to edit different wiki projects. Anyone interested in wiki projects, Wikipedia, wiki editing and needed assistance, as well as wiki editors who want to edit in pleasant atmosphere participate in these workshops-edit-a-thons.
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