The WordCamp Cape Town Experience

The WordCamp Cape Town Experience

I am excited that I made to the WordCamp Cape Town this year! Thanks to the DonateWC team and those who gave to make this possible. I want to share my experience at the WordCamp. It is so important for the community to help more people like me get these opportunities.

A little background story

I started using WordPress in 2008 during my internship at Bindura University. I have built more than 100 websites using WordPress since then. In August 2016, I was listening to the WordPress Weekly Podcast when I heard an announcement.  There was going to be an incubation WordCamp for Harare and another town in Bangladesh.

I was so excited and Googled for more detailed. I got a link from meetup.com for the first meetup. Thabo Tswana was the meetup organizer. That is how i joined the community and I ended being a speaker at the WordCamp Harare 2016 on SEO (Video Link). I have been active in the community groups on WhatsApp and hosted a monthly meetup.

Wanting more

This year, when I saw the speaker invitation for WordCamp in Cape Town, Nairobi and Harare. I made my applications – I was not expecting all them to accept my application but they all did! I was so excited and began preparing for the Cape Town event since it was the first on the calendar.

Attending the Nairobi WordCamp was not possible for me because the dates are the same with WordCamp Harare.

The challenge

While I was preparing to attend WordCamp Cape Town, which I was going to, travel there by bus (2 500 km + 3 days travelling). Round about the time of buying tickets, the government blocked all international payments. I had to buy cash in US dollars. That change meant that the trip would cost me three times the initial budget.

Thabo Tswana then informed me about DonateWC. We were both speaking at a local artist conference on WordPress and Google tools. I went to make my application straight away.

Application Accepted

I went home that evening and made my application. A few days later, they accepted my application. They were going to pay for my air ticket, accommodation and food while I am there!

Wow, I was so excited.

So, I made it to Cape Town and held a workshop on Content Generation for Business on the first day. To be honest, I was so nervous. This was my first time doing a workshop outside my country and to very mixed audience! My English accent was huge worry! You can get the slides from the Workshop here.

Trust the Pastor - Preaching SEO

My gratitude

I want to thank everyone who donated towards my trip. Thank you DonateWC team, especially Ines, for working extra hours to be helpful! They did not ask me to do anything in return to this huge favour. It was all free.

So why was this worth doing?

One of the benefits I got by attending and speaking at this WordCamp is a confidence boost. My life background does not give me much advantage when it comes to confidence in life. I am still fighting timidity. The workshop had the one of the highest tweets on the first day of the WordCamp. Maybe, that means it was good!

Visiting the aquarium after WordCamp Cape Town

I also got several contacts, which I am hoping will bring business my way in the future. I have tried to have international clients for SEO and digital marketing services. It has not been easy but it seems this WordCamp is going to make this dream a reality.

I was also invited to the Automatic Office for a co-working day. I could not go because I had left the city already. However, that invitation meant a lot to me.

Then something personal! This was my first time at a beach. I made to the sea for the first time! Exciting.

This is a few days after the WordCamp. I am sure months after, there will be more exciting stories to share.


Want to help people like Trust get to WordCamps around the world? Please consider making a donation!

Getting To WordCamp Udaipur

Getting To WordCamp Udaipur

My name is Arvind Singh and I am sixteen years old. I have been using WordPress for the last 4 years and to be honest I did not know about WordCamps before. One day I was surfing Facebook and saw a post from ResellerClub that they were sponsoring WordCamp Udaipur. That made me check out more about WordCamps on the internet. That’s  how I came to know that WordCamps are the official WordPress conferences, and I wanted to attend one of these WordCamps.
Continue reading “Getting To WordCamp Udaipur”

Thank you!

Now that the startup fund for DonateWc has been fully funded, things are going to move fairly quickly. I made a quick video to thank everyone, and to talk a little about what’s going to happen now.

The take-away:

  • Thank you to all who made a donation, especially GiveWP!
  • You can still donate, even if the GoFundMe page is now deactivated. Please make a donation here!
  • If you want to help in a different way, I’m looking for content creators and guest bloggers. Get in touch!
Surprise! Our goal is fully funded

Surprise! Our goal is fully funded

Oh my word, y’all. Thursday, 21th of September was an amazing day. Not only did WP Tavern write about DonateWC this week, we have reached the €1000 startup goal I had last Sunday. Repeat: DonateWC’s goal is fully funded. How crazy is that?!

I am beyond grateful. Not going to lie: there were some tears. Okay, maybe more than a few.  The responses and feedback that have come in during the past week have been overwhelming. I can’t believe we can already move to legalizing things and actually getting things done. Lesson learned: do not spend two years thinking about something you could maybe do at some point in the future. The time is now, and it’s time to change some lives.

Special shout out

While I am forever grateful to each person who donated, I want to make a special mention of GiveWP. They’re offering half of the entire goal. It’s amazingly generous, and I love how they’re jumping in on this.
GiveWP logo

What will happen to the donations?

The startup fund is meant for a couple of things. The most important step to take is to set up an appointment with a notary. He or she will legalize DonateWC as a non-profit. That means I can open a bank account in the charity’s name, which in turn means we can actually start distributing funds. Yay!

Meanwhile, a logo is also very much needed. If you are a graphic designer and have an affinity with the WordPress community, I’d love to hear from youThis is a paid job! There are funds available for work like this – though if you are willing to donate your time, that’s also very much welcome.

A part of the funds will be used for marketing (think Twitter Facebook ads). Even charities need to get their name out there. The more people know about us, the more funds we can raise. And the more funds we have, the more people we can help get to a WordCamp.

You can still help!

Even though the first goal has been reached, we still need all the help we can get. Every bit helps, and even the smallest donations are going to help change some lives!

Think of your favorite WordPress person. Now imagine them not being able to come to a WordCamp, because they do not have the money to go. Would you help them? Of course you would! Please consider skipping your morning Starbucks, and donating that money to DonateWC instead.

Looking for guest bloggers

To provide potential sponsors with insight on why it’s important to support poor and underprivileged WordPress community members, it’s super helpful if more stories are told. Stories like yours.

Do you pay for your own trips?

If so, I’d love to get in touch with you about writing a guest blog for donatewc.org. You will get to tell your story and help us help others.

It doesn’t matter if your story is one that happened a while ago, or if it has happened quite recently. What matters is that we get to know a bit more about what it means to be underprivileged. Putting a face on the underrepresented group of people who have a hard time going to these conferences really helps to show why DonateWC is an important step to take.

Who can sign up?

It doesn’t matter where you come from (folks from First World Countries can be poor too). Whether you are white or a person of color, what gender you are, or what sexuality you have. I want to give everyone a voice.

If you are currently working for a company that is sponsoring you to go to WordCamps but you have a story similar to mine, you are also free to get in touch.

Have questions?

Please do leave a comment if you have any questions, or if you’d just like to say something nice. I always love hearing from you.