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Soapbox

September 25, 2007

www.laptop.org 

The XO computer ‘One Laptop Per Child’ (OLPC) program has been all over the news today and I just can’t stop thinking about the possibilities…

Essentially, starting November 12, the OLPC Foundation will sell TWO laptops for $400. The idea is that affluent individuals will buy one computer for themselves and the other will go to a kid in a developing nation. Isn’t that amazing?! Think about it – a laptop for the price of an iPod.

I dont’ know why, but this really struck a cord with me. I mean, when you donate money, how often do you know where is is really going? Or who it is really helping? And how? Here – you KNOW it’s going to a kid in a country where maybe $20-50 is spent on their education for the entire YEAR. Plus, for all the people that complain about “why don’t we worry about helping our own kids at home” you could give the other computer to local after-school programs, inner-city schools, women & children shelters, kids in hospitals. You could set-up a “Computer Buddy” program where the kid in the US is a pen pal of sorts with the person who got the other computer. The possibilities are both endless AND tangible.

I just wish I could do something more with it… if I were back at school, I’d know just who to talk to and what organizations to approach to start a Christmas Computer Drive or something like that… Here, the best I can do is talk to my dad to see if the Rotary would do something about it (they are thinking about it) and maybe Deloitte? Perhaps my friends have some latent do-gooder-ness in them?

I’ll have to think on this…

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