One Laptop Per Child – Give One and Get One Program

Christmas started early in the Humbarger household today when I bought my first present of the 2007 Christmas season – a new XO computer.

XO ComputerActually, I bought 2 computers.  One for me (and my 7-year-old son) and one for a child in a developing nation under a new program from the One Laptop Per Child initiative.

The mission of One Laptop Per Child or OLPC is to “empower the children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child. In order to accomplish our goal, we need people who believe in what we’re doing and want to help make education for the world’s children a priority, not a privilege.”

OLPC is the brainchild of Nicholas Negroponte, founding director of the MIT Media Laboratory. The initiative, which provides fully loaded laptops to children for $200, kicked off in 2005 at the World Economic Forum.  Negroponte’s vision is finally coming to fruition, and the Give One Get One program is a way to let ordinary citizens participate in this worthwhile initiative.

The OLPC “Give One Get One” program started today and runs through November 26th.  For a donation of $400, anyone in the United States or Canada can purchase a laptop for a student in a developing nation and another laptop will be sent to the child of your choice.  This is the first time that the laptops have been offered to the general public and the laptops may be delivered in time for Christmas – but no promises.

I can’t wait for my new XO to arrive, and I can’t wait for my other laptop to land in the hands of some future Bill Gates, Nicholas Negroponte, Mozart or someone else who is going to change the world – or just be a better educated citizen of this world.  I hope others are inspired by this program to help children in developing countries have the same technology benefits that our children have and make education a priority for all.

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