These are the unedited testimonies from school children who live in Africa. They have chosen to tell an aspect of their culture, of their daily life, of their history … they are unexpected, unusual, moving and, above all, unknown. Through Wiki In Africa’s WikiChallenge African Schools programme they have been able to publish their stories online to reveal an Africa that has been ignored by all, and to share the particular perspective of its children.

The third edition of WikiChallenge African Schools writing competition was organised in 9 African countries and resulted in 138 articles and 869 photos, drawings and videos submitted by students from 100 schools. The WikiChallenge African Schools contest is aimed at students between the ages of 9 and 13 that are attending primary schools in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Tunisia. 

As always, the contest was conducted in partnership with the Orange Foundation and its local versions in the countries concerned, as well as Wikimedians and Vikidia members of Wikimedia Tunisie, Wikimedians of Cameroon User Group, Wikimedia Community User Group Mali, Groupe d’utilisateurs de la communauté Wikimedia Guinée Conakry, the Vikidia Association, and Wikimedians for Offline Wikis User Group.

The WikiChallenge African Schools writing competition utilises the digital kits that the Orange Foundation provided to 1000 disadvantaged schools under their digital schools programme. The recipient schools are without books or the internet, and the Digital Schools programme facilitates daily access to school-level educational and teaching content so that students can explore and learn about the digital world and the world around them. Through this programme, each digitally disadvantaged school child, without textbooks and the Internet, can easily access off-line educational content, such as the Khan Academy, Wikipedia, Nomad Education, Vikidia, etc. thanks to the tablets and Raspberry-Pi servers. 

Another part of the Digital Schools package is the offline editing software WikiFundi, which was created and designed by our organization Wiki in Africa. The WikiFundi software has been specially developed and designed to allow students to prepare articles for publication on Vikidia. WikiFundi is  accessed in participating schools on their digital kits. WikiFundi comes with numerous teaching resources to guide the teacher in the contest. WikiChallenge African Schools could not happen without WikiFundi on their devices.

More than 100 of these ‘digital’ schools participated in the third edition of WikiChallenge African Schools writing competition. The students and teachers who decided to participate in the WikiChallenge were trained and supported by educational mediators as well as by Vikidians and Wikimedians from the usergroups mentioned above.

The contest encourages the ‘Digital Schools’ children to write about and publish articles that reflect a little of their daily lives on Vikidia. In doing so, school children discover how to use digital technology to sharpen their writing skills, whilst sharing their local culture with the rest of the world.

The competition that allows everyone to see another Africa

Crafts, terrorism, COVID, flora and fauna, rites and rituals, traditions, customs, cuisine, cities, monuments, natural phenomena, ethnic groups, celebrities and personalities, beliefs, local curiosities… so many subjects have been experienced and chosen by the school children to reflect their gaze through the articles created for the contest. At school, with the help of their teachers, they have created articles on topics that are dear to their communities. Students have to use a neutral, informative (encyclopedic) writing style that ensures their articles remain published on Vikidia in order to reinforce the everyday reality and diversity of African culture and daily life.

There is so much diversity in the subjects that were chosen by the children. You can access the articles produced during the last edition can be found here: https://fr.vikidia.org/wiki/Projet:WikiChallenge_Écoles_d%27Afrique_2021/Articles

2021 winners!

The international winners of the WikiChallenge African Schools contest in 2021 are the ADSF School of Deaf and Dumb in Antananarivo (Madagascar), Matonge Primary School (RdC) and Bandia Primary School (Senegal)!

In a meeting on 4th June, the international jury decided on 3 international winners who will each receive 5,000 euros in school supplies. Schools supplies include school bags, notebooks, computers among others 

The jury also selected two winning schools in each country (the national winners). Each of the national winning schools will respectively receive 1,000 and 2,000 euros in school supplies.. The prizes are to be awarded during a ceremony organized this month, or at the start of the 2021 school year (September) in each of the 9 participating countries.

International grand prize winners are:

National prizes winners are:

Cameroon

  1. Mbil Bekon (The ghost hole), Rosa Verenini Catholic School
  2. Cassava stick, Obala Public School

Madagascar

  1. Canal des Pangalanes, Ilafy Public Primary School
  2. Fantsiolitsa, Maibahoaka Public Primary School

Mali 

  1. Toguna, Banguetaba I School
  2. Manantali Dam, Manantali School 2

Senegal 

  1. Lac Rose, Cité Imprimerie School
  2. Rônier, Elementary School of Baliga

Tunisia 

  1. The traditional wedding feast in Djerba, Taourit School
  2. Shearing of sheep wool in Beni Mhira Tataouine , Ras El Oued Tataouine primary school

DRC 

  1. Papa Wemba, Primary School 1 Matonge
  2. Kulunas, Primary School 1 Kamina

Ivory Coast 

  1. Yam festival in Sanwi country, Eboakro d’Aboisso school group
  2. History of the Essouman, Mabianeha Public Primary School in Assinie

Guinea Conakry 

  1. Eau Coyah, Coyah Primary School
  2. Bagataye, Saint David Primary School

Burkina Faso

  1. Baongo II , Ecole St Dominique de Guzman – Yamtenga

The WikiChallenge African Schools program is one of Wiki In Africa’s leading digital inclusion actions for equal opportunities and to ensure access to knowledge.

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