Dear colleagues in Kenya, I would like to let you know that (after consultation with the Affiliations Committee) the Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director, Sue Gardner, is not extending the Board of Trustees' provisional recognition of your group as Wikimedia Kenya. We recommend you pursue recognition as Wikimedia User Group instead.
The recognition was conditional upon incorporation within a year, and that has not happened. In addition, the provisional board disintegrated (with some people leaving the chapter entirely) and no replacement announced, almost no activity took place this past year, casting doubt on the group's sustainability as a chapter, and certain personal issues added much confusion and demoralization, which no doubt contributed to the inactivity. In parallel, the Wikimedia movement has created new models of affiliation, not available at the time your group was seeking recognition, that we are confident would better serve your group at this stage, and would be more appropriate, than the traditional incorporated chapter model. Specifically, we encourage you to seek Wikimedia User Group recognition (via AffCom -- e-mail aff...@lists.wikimedia.org) right now, which will give you almost all the benefits of chapter recognition, with almost none of the bureaucracy: trademark permission will be available to you, and as you know, grants are always available, even to unincorporated groups (and we will take steps to improve group oversight and governance to minimize risk). Everything I know about this group and about AffCom suggests this should be a smooth process. Note that this does mean that the name "Wikimedia Kenya" should no longer be used by you or others to refer to your group, and specifically, that you are not to incorporate under that name. (It is best if incorporation under any name is postponed until there's a better idea of the group's interest, capacity, and plans. Creating a formal entity prematurely could saddle you with inconvenient responsibilities without any of the benefits.) "Wikimedians in Kenya", "Friends of Wikipedia in Kenya", and any number of other names you may feel comfortable with, are good possibilities for the name of your group, and can be recognized by the WMF if you do choose to pursue User Group recognition. We'd like to stress this is neither a punishment nor a demotion of your group; it is actually an adjustment of what we call the group to match reality and to adhere to the original terms of the provisional recognition. We recognize your dedicated and valuable contributions in the past, and look forward to renewed energy and accomplishments on this new path, as a user group, and will be happy to support you in this in every way we can. On behalf of Sue Gardner and the Wikimedia Foundation, Asaf Bartov -- Asaf Bartov Wikimedia Foundation <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org> Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality! https://donate.wikimedia.org
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