December 8, 2021

Meet our 2021 Yoast Diversity fund recipients!

Diversity is an important aspect of every community. It fuels discussion, change, and growth. It brings new voices and ideas into the mix. Diversity opens the door to new possibilities, and keeps that door open for everyone, not just a privileged few. That’s why we made the Yoast Diversity fund: to support underrepresented groups that are making a great impact in the WordPress community around the world.

The Yoast Diversity fund in a nutshell

Our 2021 Diversity fund offers financial sponsorship to people that work on a project that benefits WordPress. Projects could range from teaching a group of people how to work with WordPress to writing patches for Core. It’s simple: anyone could apply, as long as the project benefits WordPress and in some way adds diversity to the WordPress project.

Applications have now closed, and the recipients that will receive sponsorship have been decided. So, without further ado, we’re extremely proud to announce the following individuals and projects which will receive funding from Yoast! Check out the fantastic projects below to see what great things our awardees are working on:

Milana Cap / Documentation focus lead

“There’s been a huge gap between release squad and Documentation team. I want to change that.”

Milana has over a decade of volunteering experience at WordPress.org, and has used the Diversity fund to support her in taking on the Documentation focus lead role for the WordPress 5.8 release.

She has a strong vision for improving release processes and workflows to ensure that the Documentation team get all the information they need. As Documentation focus lead she has been responsible for writing developers notes for changes and new features introduced in 5.8, making sure end user documentation (HelpHub) and developer documentation (DevHub) are up to date with the new release.

We think this is a great project and Milana certainly has us convinced about the importance of good documentation! Would you like to help out with projects like this one? You can get involved over at WordPress.org.

Mary Job / Uwani Hub

“We need this coming generation to bring their fresher perspectives to WordPress, including new creative ways to keep democratizing WordPress”

Mary founded Uwani Hub to provide a safe space for teenagers to do tech in her underserved community of the Ijebu-Imusin area of Ogun State. At their village hub, the team introduces teenagers to digital skills, WordPress, technology history, trends, software development, robotics, graphics, arts, and character development.

In short, the Uwani Hub’s goals are to:

  • Train 5000 teenagers and women in the use of WordPress software & digital skills by the year 2030.
  • Build a community of 500 active contributors to the WordPress software particularly among our teenagers within our hub community by the year 2030.
  • Train linguists in our community on translating WordPress to our major local language(s), building a community of Polyglots, ready to teach others what they have learned.

We’re delighted to be able to support this empowering and impactful project. If you’d like to, you can also make a donation to Uwani Hub.

TC Cazy / Contribute to WordPress Documentation

“When underrepresented people see me contribute, they’ll contribute. I love to share what I learn. I can share, learn and grow with the WordPress community”

TC is an early-career developer with a mission: he wants to make the WordPress ecosystem more attractive to underrepresented groups by making the documentation more accessible.

He is following a training course to become a Certified Professional Technical Communicator and will use the skills he learns to contribute five hours per week teaching, mentor and contributing to WordPress documentation. In particular, he wants to work on making plain-language documentation, as exclusive language can create hurdles for underrepresented groups.

We’re very pleased to be sponsoring TC, and we believe his project will make a great contribution to the global WordPress community.

David Towoju / WordPress BootCamp for Nigerians

“There are a lot of underrepresented people in Africa and this will help many people become rock solid developers in Nigeria”

David is taking the initiative to set up WordPress BootCamps for his fellow Nigerians. He will offer thorough interactive training programs, teaching fellow Nigerians how to code and helping them to become WordPress developers. These BootCamps will include subjects like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React/Vue, PHP, and WordPress Framework, for instance.

The goals are to:

  • Teach people to be expert WordPress Developers
  • Raise the standard of living of the participants by increasing their chances of getting better employment
  • Increase the awareness of WordPress in my community.

We’re really happy to support this project, and we believe it can make a tremendous impact on many lives as well as the WordPress project overall.

Estela Rueda Landeros / Redesign of the HelpHub documentation

“The user documentation needs to be easy to find for new and non-technical users”

Estela is working on a redesign of the WordPress.org HelpHub documentation to make sure help articles are up-to-date and easy to find.

This project will involve Estela reclassifying 170+ articles in the end-user documentation, adding new features, and improving accessibility. In particular, she wants to flag outdated information and links, change article titles from one-word titles to action+object form, and add features like change logs, breadcrumbs. Besides that, she wants to create an entirely different navigation menu, too!

We’re glad to support Estela and her project, and we think her hard work and dedication to improving the documentation will benefit countless users.

Abel Lifaefi Mbula / Kali Academy

We are Kali Academy, a non-profit dedicated to teaching young people from the DRC how to contribute to open source”

Abel is the founder of Kali Academy, a non-profit organization that aims to get developers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to participate in open source through WordPress and related software.

This new project is for college students and developers from Kisangani and surrounding cities. The project will introduce them to WordPress and open source by providing training and mentorship. Here’s what they plan to achieve:

  • Goal #1 – Create awareness of WordPress open source contributions among university students
    • Objective #1.1 – educate the public from DRCongo about WordPress and related open-source software
    • Objective #1.2 – Run contribution days and/or charity hackathons at universities.
  • Goal #2 – Support folk developers from DRCongo contributing to WordPress
    • Objective #2.1 – Host monthly online live sessions and answer questions
    • Objective #2.2 – Mentor developers in their journey with WordPress contribution.

It looks like a great project! We’re proud to offer our support to Abel and Kali Academy to work towards these admirable goals.

It doesn’t end here!

It’s great to find out what different people in the WordPress community are doing around the world. We’ve got to admit, we’re feeling pretty awed and inspired after reading about these projects. We wish the best of success to all Yoast Diversity fund 2021 recipients. Stay tuned for updates about our Diversity fund 2021 projects as time goes on!

Finally, there are loads more people out there doing great things and bringing more diversity to the world of WordPress. We can’t offer funding to every project, but they are all amazing and we wish everyone the best of luck with their endeavors. Whether you’re doing something big or something small, every contribution matters when it comes to diversity. So keep up the good work!

Following on, we hope to continue with the next round of the Yoast Diversity fund in 2022. In the meantime, do you know someone who’s making a noteworthy (voluntary) contribution in a Make WordPress team? Nominate them for the Yoast Care fund!

Coming up next!

Original Article

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