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Re: Let's do it! Work meetings in Extremadura, Spain, during 2006

Peter Samuelson wrote:
> [Helen Faulkner]
>>I think that the thing that Debian Women collectively has the most
>>expertise in, is community building, in the FOSS world, with a group
>>that is under-represented, or that generally needs encouragement to
>>try joining that world.  Women, ethnic minorities, the elderly,
>>people with disabilities, people who didn't get good educational
>>opportunities and non-English speakers (especially if they speak
>>languages that FOSS software isn't often translated into) are some
>>examples of groups that a DW-like effort could be pitched towards.  I
>>think that we could have something good to say about something along
>>those lines.
>>Anyone else have thoughts about this?
> Maybe I'm just thick but what I missed in Amaya's message, and all
> followups so far, was the _point_ of your proposed miniconf.  I mean, I
> suspect the people paying the bill will want to know _why_ the meeting
> is taking place, in terms more specific than "community building" or
> "because we're a Debian subproject".  For example, is there some
> project you'd all like to work on which some in-person hacking sessions
> would facilitate?  I'm sure someone can come up with something, I'm
> just saying it's probably a good idea to do so _before_ asking for
> hosting and travel.

Well, for starters, maybe because too many people think that hacking sessions
are the only way in which to work on Debian :)

Getting together to hack is only one activity that can be done more productively
if people are in the same room.  Given that I assume the Extramadura has an
interest in using Debian in more local community situations (schools, youth
centres, old people's homes, libraries,...), the issue of "community building"
becomes very important, because they are still going to be trying to deal with a
situation where a lot of user support and plain encouragement is still needed.

Some things that Debian Women could be more directly involved in, or have
productive and focussed discussions about could include (I'm brainstorming here,
please add ideas):

- encouraging Spanish teenage girls to use and learn about linux and FOSS.   Get
them online with Debian and involved in a community of other young Spanish women
who use Debian.

- working out how best to teach primary teachers (who are probably nearly all
women, if Spain is like Australia) how to use Debian software in their
classrooms.  Educate them about the support that Debian Women and other Debian
groups can provide to help them in their job.

- producing a set of guidelines for how to get a general under-represented group
involved in using (and contributing to?) Debian, or any general IT project.

- setting up a project to provide information and support to general people who
are interested in becoming DDs or in contributing to Debian in a new way (this
is something that Debian Women has had a lot of experience at, and I believe
that wider Debian could learn from what we have to offer in that area)



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