Friday, November 30, 2007

Give One Get One

Picture a child in a Haiti school room where kids are using their own laptop computers. A little girl is using her laptop's calculator. The student next to her is recording his poem that he just wrote onto his computer. Another student is drawing a picture on her laptop. All of them are connected to each other, as well as the teacher on her laptop.

Does that sound too good to be true ? Perhaps, but with the "Give One Get One" program that scene can happen. When a donation is made to One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) they will send an XO Laptop to children in either Afghanistan, Cambodia, Haiti, Mongolia, or Rwanda.

The XO Laptop is designed for kids to learn while they have fun at the same time. It’s designed to be used in some of the world’s most adverse weather. Here are some of the features I think are important:
  • Word Processor
  • Music Program- The kids can be very creative and compose their own music.
  • Built in Camera/Recorder- New friends can be made by sending their photos and recordings to those on the network.
  • Mesh Network- All of the computers in range can be connected. If one is on the internet than the others will be also. Teachers can supervise and assist their students while connected.

Let’s take a few minutes to watch a video by David Pogue in his review “Laptop With a Mission Widens Its Audience", NYTimes, October 4, 2007. The video is opposite the fourth paragraph. His column is quite thorough and gives us a picture of the XO’s features. It's loaded with software for learning.

How does the “Give One Get One” program work? When you donate $399 (plus shipping for your XO laptop) one XO Computer will be sent to either Afghanistan, Cambodia, Haiti, Mongolia, or Rwanda.

To place your order click here. Donations can be made by phone by calling 1-877-705-2786. For general questions please phone 1-800-201-7144. For other questions see FAQ. Since OLPC is a non-profit organization $200 of your donation is tax deductible. This program ends December 31, 2007.

Perhaps $399 is beyond your giving budget then consider asking your church, synagogue, mosque, employer or community organization to take on this project. There are other things that can be done to promote this worthy program. Send this link to others who might be interested.

The kids are our future whether they be in the U.S.A. or in other parts of the world. When children have their own XO laptops they will learn how to learn and be creative in ways they would not discover otherwise. An XO will be their window out to the world and a tool with which to think. Furthermore, independent interaction and exploring are a wonderful way to learn.


Joared said...

This is really a good idea for Christmas giving as you've described it here, Bob. Our young people all over the world are our future, I agree. If they can be exposed to a broader world of ideas through other cultures via the Internet, maybe we'll have a better chance at understanding each other and peace.

Recall seeing some stories on "60 Minutes" about this special computer's initial introduction in Africa. Nicholas Negroponte, MIT, the inventive creative man behind this computer, described his hope and expectation for its worldwide distribution. He wanted the cost to be $100, but gather it just wasn't possible to produce the quality product that was needed at that price.

kokopelliwoman said...

What an inventive and loving approach to giving, Bob. Even with the price escalating to accommodate the cost of producing and transporting, it is still an attainable goal.

Last Christmas my sister and I gave our family shares from the Heifer Project. Perhaps this is an alternative for those who can't afford to donate the full $400. Go in together with family, church, friends, and spread the joy :)

Wonderful blog, thanks to joared for introducing me--looking forward to more of your humane ideas and centered, peaceful writing style.

Bob said...

Joard-- On the "60 Minute" show Negroponte talked about big for-profit corporations have undermined his negotiations with developing companies with competing laptops so these countries have backed away from his program. I believe the interviewer Blithely stated something like wouldn't a competing laptop accomplish your goal? Well perhaps but let's keep in mind that Negropointe worked hard to gather 30-35 million dollars from Google and others to get his project off the ground.

kokomelliwoman-- It's good to hear from people who share their money with others. I did struggled with letting others know about 'Give one Get one' because for many $400 is beyond their budget. I appreciate your kind words about my blog. Your comments will motivate me to post more often.