Wikipedia has fundamentally changed the way students and educators access encyclopedic knowledge, and even the Encyclopaedia Britannica, in print since 1768, stopped it's paper editions in 2010. The schools in Senegal are share a common point with schools in Europe or North America in that they do not have much in way of up to date printed resources. The difference lies in the lack of internet connectivity, and the Kiwix project is one way to bring the resources to those who lack access to the Web.
Three trips were made to Senegal in 2014, 2015 and 2016 to share the Kiwix program with schools and training facilities, mostly in Dakar and in Thiès. The Kiwix program allows access Wikipedia without being connected to the internet. The seminars given in the schools were also an introduction to Wikipedia itself since being off the grid means that many of the teachers did not really know about the online encyclopedia.
Ibrahima Diop is an instructor at the Naval Academy in Dakar, Senegal and Gabriel Thullen is a high school teacher in Geneva, Switzerland. We plan to share with you our experiences over the past 4 years in distributing Kiwix and training our colleagues in Senegal. Our work has been done in a peer to peer manner, very grass root, relying on the strength of community ties and contacts as opposed to working on a development project negotiated between official governmental agencies and NGOs.
Schools exist to train and to share knowledge. Attendees will discover the ease with which it is possible to provide access to the knowledge contained in Wikipedia for those who are in areas with no internet connexions. The attendees will also be made aware of how each and any of us can share this exceptional program whenever we are off the grid. They will be able to improve the way we did things in Senegal by building on our positive experiences and avoiding the pitfalls we discovered.