About the Team
I'm Aislinn Dewey, a San Francisco-based product designer working in tech and passionate about bringing products to under-resourced areas of the world. I use and edit Wikipedia in my free time.
I'm Victor Grigas, a Storyteller at the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that supports Wikipedia. I've been a volunteer editor for Wikipedia since 2005, and mostly upload photos and write articles about my hometown, Chicago.
This campaign matters a lot to us because we greatly appreciate how easy it is to get information by having Wikipedia at our fingertips, and feel it would be an extreme waste for others to not get this access, when this amazing, well-designed product, the WikiReader, is sitting in a warehouse.
By donating to this campaign, you have the power to provide a whole encyclopedia to thousands of kids living in areas without textbooks, computers, or internet to do their homework with.
What We Need & What You Get
A WikiReader is a pocket-sized mobile device with a touchscreen that runs on 2 AAA batteries and has a removable 8GB micro-SD memory card that comes pre-loaded with a text-only version of Wikipedia. It requires no internet, is available in several languages and can be updated by loading new content onto it's memory card.
We want to raise money to buy as many WikiReaders as we can that are currently in overstock from its manufacturer. All funds raised will be used to buy and distribute devices.
We have an agreement with the manufacturer to buy the overstock devices below cost for $20 (versus the actual cost of parts and materials which is $31) as the company is liquidating its assets. Our approximate cost for buying & shipping the devices direct from the manufacturer to the project sites we've selected is $25 per device including shipping. We are aware of the low cost WikiReaders are going for on Amazon and want to point out, that this is mainly because one of the US distributers of WikiReaders went out of business and had to cut costs to move all inventory. Another important differentiator of devices currently on Amazon versus those we will purchase is that any devices not purchased direct from the manufacturer have older versions of English Wikipedia on them and only come with a 4GB memory card.
The $25 we estimate includes an 8GB memory card, two AAA batteries, the latest version of Wikipedia in a language we select (English version is 5GB) installed before shipping and the cost of shipping it to the project sites. If we don't reach our goal, we will use all funds collected at the end of the campaign, to buy and ship as many WikiReaders as we can.
We will ship the WikiReaders to two project sites we have identified, one in Uttar Pradesh, India (St.Anthony's school run by an NGO with 700 students) and the other in Tamazunchale, Mexico (Herminio Salas Gil with 115 students). We will collaborate with the Wikipedia chapters in both India and Mexico to help us distribute and measure impact over the school year. We will send schools surveys and disposable camera to document their experience using the devices.
It's easy to think the whole world is connected to the internet, but that just isn't true. There are countless schools and students without resources to learn with. Education and access to knowledge gives people the ability to empower themselves.
Every student today who has internet access is using Wikipedia in school to write papers, research assignments and learn about the world they're living in. Shouldn't everyone have the same access? We believe - YES.
We are 100% committed to making sure these beautifully designed devices go unwasted and will use every dollar donated to get them into the hands of children who could use them. We're doing this in our spare time on weekends and have no financial or personal connection to the manufacturer. We are not making money from this and our doing this as volunteers. Wikipedia's content is free - so there is no financial benefit to the Wikimedia Foundation either.
WikiReaders provide an opportunity for kids to learn. Help us distribute them.
Other Ways You Can Help
- If you're a school or education focused non-profit, and think your students or community could use WikiReaders, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you can't donate yourself, please SHARE this campaign with your friends and family to help us get the word out.