You know, I spend a lot of time hanging out in #wikihow on Freenode and they’ve been talking about this for almost two weeks now… I haven’t thought to mention it so I feel kind of guilty. wikiHow has a charity drive going on during September 2009. wikiHow will sponsor a book for a child in Africa every time a registered user writes a new article. It’s pretty simple and there are lots of how-to articles that need to be written on the site: How to write Harry Potter fan fiction, how to ask some one if you can include their original character in your work, how to cope when your fan fiction has been plagiarized, how to post fan fiction on Quizilla, how to be a Chicago Red Stars fan, how to make a Twilight fanvid… all just a few I can think of off the top of my head. Below are a few more details from their site which can be found at http://www.wikihow.com/wikiHow:Books-For-Africa:
wikiHow has an educational mission. We are creating the world’s how-to manual to provide a practical education to millions of people around the world. Every time you write an article, patrol an edit, add a photo, you are helping to provide a practical education to someone else. wikiHow is also a “hybrid organization,” unlike many for-profit corporations, we are always looking for innovative ways to serve the social good in accordance with our mission. With that in mind, we’ve decided to experiment with a one-month program that more directly extends our educational mission to children in need whom we aren’t reaching via our website.
So here is the experiment: For the month of September, wikiHow will sponsor a book for a child in Africa every time a registered user writes a new article. In addition, we will sponsor extra books for the author and new article booster if a new article receives a rising star.
Why children in Africa? Africa is experiencing a book famine — school kids lack basic supplies and they are in need of textbooks and reference works. It is not uncommon for ten kids to share one textbook, or for children to practice their lessons in the sand since they do not have pencils and paper (here is a more explanatory article from CNN talking about the book famine in Africa).