Some of you may already be familiar with the One Laptop Per Child Initiative at XOGiving.com.
The brainchild of MIT Professor Nicholas Negroponte, the mission of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is to provide a means for learning, self-expression, and exploration to the nearly two billion children of the developing world with little or no access to education. To do so they’ve created the XO Laptop… a specially designed, durable, energy-efficient and just plain fun looking little device. They are designed with children in mind, with a variety of games, tools, internet access and more.
Some of the critics of this project have had the same initial response as I did… should we be giving laptops to these communities when quite often they don’t even have enough of the basics? Food, water, etc…
And then I really remembered why I love the internet so much – the opportunity to connect. For me the internet has become a vital part of how I live and work… some of my best relationships (business and personal) have been forged online. And the amount of opportunity that has come to me over the past few years has all been made possible by these connections.
Plus it is easy to forget at times how we truly can access ‘anything we want at anytime’ online. Knowledge is a powerful thing that may be easy for those of us in the ‘developed’ countries to take for granted. I’ve been fortunate enough to be born in Canada, and have been brought up in a world of knowing the opportunities and options available to me in life. Without that first essential step of knowledge, would I be where I am today? Doubtful…
One of the stories I read on this project talked about how one child was looking up the price of rice, so he can turn around and have an ‘educated conversation’ with the buyers… setting a good price for the rice they sell so his family isn’t getting ripped off because they don’t know any better. How cool is that?
Needless to say i’m a fan… and for $200 you can donate a laptop to the project at any time. Between November 12th – 26th you also have the option of Give One Get One… for $399 you can buy 2 laptops and get one for yourself if you like, with the other being donated to the project. Being the nosy kinda gal that I am I had to go for this, as I really want to check one of these out for myself and to have for my daughter when she’s a bit older.
Check it out at XOGiving.com.