Wikimedia CH - Association for the advancement of free knowledge is a non-profit association aimed to support the free dissemination of knowledge in Switzerland, including projects hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation , including the free encyclopedia Wikipedia , the multimedia database Wikimedia Commons , the collection of educational texts Wikibooks , the news portal Wikinews , the collection of quotations Wikiquote or the collection of books Wikisource .
Created on May 14th 2006, it brings together participants and users of Wikimedia projects. They speak the four official languages of Switzerland (German, French, Italian and Romansch) and Alemannic dialects. It is recognized as a local association by the Wikimedia Foundation. However, it is a financially and legally independent entity, obeying different rules and leadership. Wikimedia CH does not host any of the projects of the Wikimedia Foundation and has no publishing right on them.
The association's activities include:
- intervention to Swiss media
- contact with public (government, local authorities, libraries, etc.) or private bodies likely to provide free content to the Wikimedia projects
- make educational presentations of Wikimedia projects to students, teachers or anyone interested
- negotiate partnerships with outside organizations for the publication or distribution of the content of Wikimedia projects
The idea to establish a Swiss Wikimedia association - like Wikimedia Deutschland - has occurred independently to Michael Bimmler, Nando Stöcklin on one hand and Rupert Thurner, Gerold Zeilinger in spring/summer 2005. To exchange ideas, a meeting of Wikipedians was held in November 2005. Before and after this meeting the bylaws were written and translated, a Mailinglist and a wiki where set up. Apart from this preparations for the first Wikipedia Day 2006 were made which took place a month after the foundation at May 14th. In the beginning of 2006 also possibilities to facilitate fundraising for Wikipedia in Switzerland e.g. via tax exempted donations were elaborated.