WordPress Foundation to Sponsor Open Source Educational Events

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The WordPress Foundation is sponsoring a new series of workshops and training events that will introduce people to WordPress and related open source software. The program targets communities in Latin and South America, Africa, Oceania, and Asia.

“Specifically, we want to shine more light on the potential of open source software in countries where there is less participation in OSS projects,” WordPress Community Team leader Andrea Middleton said. “To help spread the word about the potential that open source has to offer, we’d like to provide financial support for two educational events this year, to be organized in parts of the world with less participation in open source.”

After the success of the WordCamp Incubator Program, which brought three new camps to Indonesia, Zimbabwe, and Colombia, there is some evidence that initiatives to bring WordPress to other parts of the world can have valuable returns. Harare is hosting its second WordCamp in November and the local meetup group has nearly doubled over the past year. The other camps had similarly successful events and growth in meetup numbers.

WordCamp Harare organizer Thabo Tswana said that one of the biggest impacts that the first WordCamp had was to introduce local attendees to the WordPress community. WordPress software is well-known across the world but many do not know that there is a strong community behind the project that they can connect with.

The WordPress Foundation is looking for organizers to host “Introduction to Open Source” events that will be structured as two-hour workshops using training materials available in the WordPress handbook. The goal is to introduce attendees to the world of open source software, the GPL license, and how it is important for WordPress as an open source project.

The Foundation is subsidizing the events (up to $500) so they will be free for anyone to attend. A 10-question application is open for those who want to organize an event in 2017. The call for organizers says that preference will be given to organizers who are already members of a group that is part of WordPress’ meetup chapter program and areas where no WordCamp has previously been organized. Applications close August 21 and successful applicants will be notified by September 8.