100 XOs, Hardware, $10K stipend, 10-day training in Kigali, Rwanda, and an entire summer in an African country of your choice. Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not. OLPC has a revolutionary vision: an XO for every child. Crazy, right? Not crazy enough, since it’s becoming a reality. Country after country, children with XOs are learning more, finding new avenues of expression, and connecting to a global network of like-minded children. But we can’t achieve this dream alone, which is why we need your help in turning this idea into a global movement. Through OLPCorps Africa, we’ll provide the tools and resources to get you started if you can provide the time, energy, and dedication to change the world. This is a student movement, a learning movement, an education movement…The OLPC Movement.

OLPCorps Africa is a program run by One Laptop Per Child, which dreams of a world in which every child has access to the world through a laptop. OLPCorps is meant to jumpstart that process with thirty small-scale developments lead by ambitious college students, and that’s where we come in.

OLPC Ampitso is a team from two DC-area schools, the George Washington University and the University of Maryland. We submitted our proposal for the program in late March, and found out in mid-April that we’ve been lucky enough to receive one of the grants. We’ll be leaving for Kigali, Rwanda, in early June, where we’ll have 10 days of intense training with the technology, XOs (the computers), and pedagogical techniques for a successful project. We then head to Madagascar until the end of August. Our goal for our time is a sustainable XO program in Ambatoharanana that continues even after our departure. We’ll be fundraising to keep up with maintenance costs, and also with the hope of bringing VSAT internet access.

Our group is comprised of four people:

Michael Buckwald is a senior majoring in political science at George Washington University. He has eight years of experience managing Linux servers for online media start-ups.
Mary Yanik is a sophomore majoring in Chemical Engineering and Government & Politics at the University of Maryland. She is a member of Engineers Without Borders, a student organization which implements small scale technical development projects abroad.
Sean Robinson is a junior at George Washington University majoring in International Affairs. He has been involved in infrastructure development projects in the Middle East.
Kate Doyle is a senior at George Washington University majoring in International Affairs and Anthropology. Her concentration is International Development, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. She also speaks French, one of the languages of Madagascar.


2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Wayan  |  April 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Since y’all are local, would you come out to an OLPC-LCDC meeting? We’d love to hear about your project and see if we can help out.

    More about OLPC Learning Club DC

    • 2. ampitso  |  April 23, 2009 at 5:47 pm

      Wayan, we’d love to. I read OLPC News and looked into LCDC, but didn’t see future meeting dates. I’ll get in contact with you on that.


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