Dear all,
I forward you this email of Wikimedia Israel.

I am happy to see that Kiwix of "our" member Emmanuel Engelhart is
having a big improvement.

Thank you also to Manuel Schneider who has helped the project with OpenZIM.

Ilario Valdelli

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Asaf Bartov <>
Date: Wed, Sep 15, 2010 at 8:08 PM
Subject: [Internal-l] 1M Entries of Free Knowledge Go To Africa
To: "Local Chapters, board and officers coordination (closed
subscription)" <>

Hello, everyone.
Here's a rough translation of a press release Wikimedia Israel has
issued yesterday, about the "Africa Center" project I had mentioned in
an e-mail to this list on June 30th 2010 (see that e-mail for more
background on the Africa Center at Ben Gurion University).
TITLE: Wikipedia Goes To Africa -- Israeli Students to Leave for
Humanitarian Work in Africa, Equipped With Portable Static Wikipedia
SUBTITLE: Ben-Gurion University's "Africa Center", Wikimedia Israel,
and Hamakor cooperate in making free knowledge accessible in Africa
The Africa Center at BGU, headed by Dr. Tamar Golan, annually sends a
group of students on a three-month humanitarian expedition to
developing countries in Africa.  This year's group is going to the
Repbulic of Benin and the Republic of Cameroon.
Learning about this while approaching the Africa Center for help with
developing Africa-related entries on the Hebrew Wikipedia, Wikimedia
Israel decided to equip the students with computers running free
software and containing an offline (static) version of the French
Wikipedia, so that the students can bring free knowledge to Africans
without access to the Internet.
Wikimedia Israel reached out to Hamakor, the Israeli Free and Open
Source Software NGO, and Hamakor helped obtain computer donations,
refurbished them and installed the Linux operating system on them.
Wikimedia Israel collaborated with members of Wikimedia Switzerland
and Wikimedia France to produce an up-to-date static version of the
French Wikipedia (numbering about 1 million entries, and including
images), French being a major language of reading and writing in
Cameroon and Benin.
"The students also have portable installations of the offline
Wikipedia, so that they may install it on any other computers they may
run across in Africa," explained Asaf Bartov, who coordinated the
project in Wikimedia Israel, "and they have received training on using
Linux and Kiwix, the offline Wikipedia reader (free) software, so they
may train others to use the computers".
Incidentally, the Linux version installed on those computers is called
Ubuntu Linux, 'Ubuntu' being an African word (in the Zulu language)
roughly translatable as "unity of mankind" or "mutual reliance".
Supporting and promoting the distribution of free knowledge in
developing countries is one of the five major goals identified by the
Wikimedia Foundation as central to its five-year strategy plan,
developed by thousands of members of the Wikimedia Movement.
I'd like to specifically express our gratitude to Emmanuel Engelhart,
chief developer of Kiwix, for all his help in getting the content
ready and working on a tight schedule.
We are very pleased with this project, and consider it a prime example
for seizing an opportunity for outreach that we never expected to come
our way.
As always, questions, comments, translations and relaying (of the
press release) to other lists/communities are welcome.

  Asaf Bartov
  Wikimedia Israel
Asaf Bartov <>

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