This coming May 25, 2019, the first Asian do_action WordPress themed charity hackathon will happen in the Philippines. With the guidance of the WordPress Foundation, it has been spearheaded by the WordPress User Group Philippines(WPUGPH) and backed up by other tech communities in the country like Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO), Developers Connect(DevCon) and Women Who Code Manila(WWCMNL). People from companies like CollabAsia, Canva, Inbytes.dev and Pantheon will also participate and share expertise in the said event. Overall, there would be around 50 volunteers, developers, designers and project managers will be coming from those communities and organizations.
What is a do_action event?
Quoting from the doaction.org website:
do_action hackathons are community-organised events that are focussed on using WordPress to give deserving charitable organisations their own online presence. Each do_action event includes participants from the local WordPress community coming together to plan and build brand new websites for a number of local organisations in one day.
The goal of do_action is to support these charitable organisations by giving them a fresh and dynamic online presence. This enables them to get on with the work that they already do so well without basic website management getting in the way of their productivity.
Name of the event has been derived from the do_action hook which has been widely used by WordPress theme and plugins developers. The name will make more sense if you are familiar with the usage of that function in WordPress and it fits with the objectives of the event – to allow the non-profits to ramp up their own activity and really get down to business.
This event originally started in Cape Town, Africa last 2014 and have been an alternative event aside from WordCamps ever since. Same as volunteering in WordCamps, this is a way for everyone to give back to the community and everyone is expected to be welcoming, friendly and will follow the event’s code-of-conduct.
This is organized by local WordPress meetup groups and an application needs to be lodged first. Once approved, the event starts with the organizers having a “Call for beneficiaries and volunteers” months before the occasion starts. Call for sponsors is also rolled out and they are very welcome to donate any amount to keep this event rolling. When enough people sign up, it will be screened by the organizers and will match the volunteers in a team, then paired with the beneficiaries. A pre-event is needed so the formed teams and assigned beneficiaries could meet and at least exchange any initial ideas then have an assessment of each of the group’s requirements.
Why do we this for free?
Participants in this event are strong believers of the open source ecosystem and giving back to the community. While these deserving communities are also doing their best with their volunteer time to support the cause that they believe in like preserving culture, humanitarian causes and many more, we want to help them have their online presence for better awareness of their cause.
This gives us a chance to return back the favor in where most of our tools for free like WordPress and Drupal as well as others like Operating Systems, text editors, etc. Hoping that the thing that we do would inspire future generations to do the same. The whole cycle continues and flourishes in the eras to come for the benefit of humanity.
Who will benefit this event?
There are four organizations that will benefit from this event:
Asian Music for Peoples’ Peace and Progress – A group that advocates local Asian music that builds bridges that will unite these communities of artists into one village of people’s music and art.
Disaster Risk Reduction Network Philippines – Their network partners with at-risk communities, national and local governments, civil society, organizations, business sector, the academe, media, and the international community
LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) – Which is collective of women rights advocates, activists, feminists, indigenous women, putting our hearts, minds, and energies together to support and to act in solidarity with the struggle of the indigenous women.
Gelacio I. Yason Foundation – Family Farm School (GIYF-FFS) – An organization whose vision is to “Create sustainable communities through holistic education” that implement an integrated rural education program through Family Farm School system
Three of them already have a website in WordPress but needs a revamp and one needs to be built from the ground up.
Agencies and freelancers can also benefit as they can be teamed up with others that have a diverse skill set where they can cross train, share their best practices and be mentored by other WordPress professionals. They will also have a chance to try out the graphic-design software from Canva and deploy their sites in Pantheon.
What will happen on the day of the event?
During the whole day on May 25 in the Makati Canva office, all participants will collaborate with their respective team to fine polish their work. There would be volunteer mentors around where everyone is free to consult regarding their project. Pantheon will also do a short talk about best practices in maintaining and securing their WordPress site. Canva will also be doing a demo regarding their design tool.
Before the end of the day, the complete production-ready site should be uploaded before 3 PM. The beneficiaries are expected to go home with enough skill for them to do basic website administration and maintenance with their brand new WordPress site.
To spice up the event, the sites will be judged and the best overall work will have a special prize before the end of the day.
What is the future of the do_action hackathon?
Everything is prepped and pumped up for the event proper to come. This event is special for everyone involved in the Philippines because this is the the first time to happen in the Asian region. We are hoping that this event to be bigger and better each year, hoping to inspire other nearby region having their own do_action, future generations helping out in a better open-source ecosystem. Us volunteers from Pantheon along with WPUGPH as well as the other parties that got involved in this event are proud that we are able to impart our knowledge to others through this event.
Interested in helping out your local community’s charitable organization to have a web presence by running a do_action hackathon? Check out the community guidelines to get started.