24 June, 2020

Wikipedia for Peace

No More War!

In times when international travel was restricted and when political leaders around the world were calling for a “war” on Corona virus, SCI Switzerland in cooperation with Wikimedia Switzerland decided to take a stand against war and military forces. In an online camp from 12-19 June, participants from around Europe and North Africa met via video calls every afternoon for a Wikipedia volunteering camp.

They learned how to edit Wikipedia articles and then used their new knowledge to write about antimilitarist activists and organisations. And the results are impressive: now the first conscientious objector of Spain has an article in Spanish and antimilitarism has an article in Armenian and many more! Participants wrote about nuclear weapons, peace education, disarmament, military conscription and many more urgent topics.

For us, this format of an online camp was quite an experiment. We were sceptical whether people could get to know each other and have similar experiences of a culture of peace, if they just sit in their homes in front of their computers. And our conclusion is: Online camps are not the same as a volunteering camp in real life, but this was amazing! Every evening after our session, we hung out together to talk or play games and we shared recipes and pictures from our everyday lives. Projects like this can offer new opportunities for exchange, learning and cooperation across borders, visa restrictions and time zones, no matter if there is a pandemic or not.

Written by Thomas Schallhart, SCI trainer.

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