Betty Crocker helps kids give back through OLPC

General Mills is reprising their “Win and Give” program from last year to help kids win an XO laptop and give one to a child in an African deployment. Last year this resulted in almost 1000 donated laptops.

From now through May, specially-marked packages of Betty Crocker fruit snacks will feature a “Win & Give” campaign, giving people a chance to win laptops themselves and donate laptops to children in Africa.

The campaign shows moms and kids that even the smallest act can make a big difference, and that giving to others can be fun. “Research shows that providing children with opportunities and experiences to feel the joy and impact of giving to others helps them grow into kind, empathetic and respectful adults,” said Dr. Michele Borba*. “The ‘Win & Give’ campaign truly makes a difference and it’s so easy for kids in the U.S. to get involved.”

Having a giving heart is important, as 93 percent of moms would exude more pride if their children grew into giving adults than if they were wealthy, according to the Kids’ Altruism Indicator**. But, between work, school and after-school activities, it can be hard for families to find the time to give back. Dr. Borba recommends five ways families can incorporate giving into their everyday lives: Tap into kids’ passions. For instance, an animal lover may get excited about helping at a local animal shelter. Encourage children to become involved in causes they care about. Let them lead the charge and follow-up with support. When watching the news, take the time to explain hot button issues and how people have been affected by local disasters, like hurricanes or tornados.

Kids are compassionate and may proactively want to help by donating clothes or writing letters to those affected. Especially when they know they can make a difference. Take that moment to mobilize compassion – “What can we do?” is a great question that empowers children to lead the way. Be on the lookout for local opportunities to help.

Each package contains a code that can be entered at WinOneGiveOne.com to see if they’ve won an XO laptop; for every laptop one, another is donated to a child in Africa.  The website allows parents and kids to see the impact laptops have on kids in Rwanda with videos from the students and teachers who received the laptops, and includes tips and comments from Dr. Borba.


* Michele Borba is an educator, author, and parenting expert working with General Mills.
** The Kids Altruism Indicator survey was conducted by Kelton Research in December 2010, among children ages 7-12.

Happy New Year! Reflections on OLPC in 2011

As we prepare for 2012, here is a quick look back at the past year of OLPC. We distributed our two millionth laptop (now 2.5M), and our largest programs in Latin America (Peru) and Africa (Rwanda) grew steadily. Austria’s Julieta Rudich and Journeyman Pictures produced a fine documentary about Plan Ceibal in Uruguay (the world’s first complete olpc program), and Peru provided XOs and compatible robotics kits to all of their urban schools.

In East Africa, we expanded our work with African nations and donors to improve education for children across the continent. We were invited by both the African Union and the UN to open an OLPC office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Addis is a major hub for African diplomacy, and the support there for our mission has been stunning. We have become a full partner of the East African Community in Tanzania, and our recent country report on Rwanda has driven further interest in the region.


A Rwandan student workshop in Kigali

In the Middle East, we continued working with the Palestinian Authority, Israel and the UN to provide thousands of Palestinian children with XO laptops, integrating them into schools. It took ten months to work the laptops through customs in Gaza. But at a forum in Ramallah in June, teachers from Bethlehem and Gaza showed how OLPC was helping to end isolation and to excite learning for their children. Third grade girls in refugee camps are teaching others and writing computer programs. The testimony of these women to the power of persistence was extraordinary.

In Afghanistan, we founded a regional OLPC Afghanistan office, and briefed General Petraeus on the project. We believe that one laptop per child and connectivity, across the country, will transform this generation and their communities. Today we are working with the Education Ministry to support four thousand children in 10 schools, and are looking into expanding in Herat Province.

On the technical side, we focused on driving down laptop power needs by switching over to ARM chips in the XO-1.75 and upcoming XO-3 tablet. The tablet should be chargable by a solar panel that could serve as its carrying-case. We are studying new ways to help children learn to read, including where there are no schools at all.

In society, the idea that every child should have access to their own computer and to the Web – as a basic part of learning, whatever their family income – continued to spread. In addition to ongoing national programs in Argentina, Portugal, and Venezuela (for secondary students), two full-saturation laptop programs for older students are developing in India – an inexpensive tablet is being distributed to university students, and in Tamil Nadu dual-boot laptops from six different manufacturers are being provided to secondary students.

Reaching the least-developed countries in the world remains our goal and our most difficult challenge. While our largest deployments are funded directly by implementing governments, rural successes may be driven by foundations, NGOs, and individual donations. OLPC Rwanda, today one of the largest educational technology projects in Africa and part of a ten-year government plan, was seeded with ten thousand laptops given by Give One, Get One donors.

So to our supporters: thank you for your development, contributions, and collaboration, your feedback from the field, and your encouragement! This is all possible thanks to you.

Happy New Year to all — may 2012 bring you inspiration and discovery. We have some excellent surprises planned for the new year. And we would love to hear your reflections as well — please share stories from your own school projects in 2011.

Change the World program wraps up

We have been running a Change the World [CTW] program since November, which (along with the Give Many program which preceded it) allowed groups that wanted 100 or more XOs to get them at close to their raw production & shipping cost.

This was a nice way to engage potential G1G1 supporters and others who were interested in supporting an entire school or educational work done by local charities.  It has had only limited popularity, however, and minimal overlap with our goal of getting countries and districts to embrace olpc for their children at scale.  As part of refocusing on our mission this year we are wrapping up CTW.

This is a program we would love to support if we had time to do everything — it has produced some lovely stories, and on rare occasions starts a process that leads to larger, lasting commitments.  In time we may make a similar program available again, and welcome feedback here from those who have taken part, or considered taking part, over the past year.

If you are waiting to finalize details on a Change the World request, including longer-term fundraising plans, please do so this week (emailing us; those who have written in already should have received similar updates by email).  The page describing the program will stay up for a short while longer, and all current CtW conversations and transactions will be completed, even after the program has ended.

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G1G1 International Update

The first round of international Give One, Get One orders have been shipped out — every order placed before December 16 should have arrived by now, in time for Christmas.  Some were sent from Miami, and the European orders went out from Brussels with EU adapters and a special G1G1 Europe thank-you note.

Orders between now and December 31 should ship out by mid-January.  We are able to ship to all of the 45 countries mentioned in the original announcement, and are investigating and adding more countries as there is specific interest.  If you want to send laptops to a country not currently on our list, leave a comment here, and I will see what we can do.

Barring an extension, International G1G1 will end on December 31st.  Be sure to place your orders now if you are interested.

It currently still appears that one is preordering on Amazon, and that the XO is “available January 15″ — that means that orders made now will be shipped by Jan 15 or else refunded.  This is the way information is sent to us for fulfillment – a compromise we have made to cover countries everywhere, since AMZN was only able to handle shipping within the US.  Donors in a few specific countries (Australia, Hong Kong, France) can choose to take part in G1G1 directly through a local site, as a tax-deductable donation.

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Dailymotion update: Site Skins

Nice!!!

As part of our fabulous contest with Dailymotion, they are skinning a few of their sites to promote the the contest and Give One Get One program.

Dailymotion's banner for their Poland site

Dailymotion

So-far Dailymotion has skins up in the following countries:

http://www.dailymotion.com/br Brazil
http://www.dailymotion.com/pl Poland
http://www.dailymotion.com/nl Netherlands

I am really impressed browsing around DM. They have videos and portals for more languages/countries than I realized.

Mesh News makes the first Knight News proposal cut

Todd Kelsey, long time OLPC volunteer who has helped with documentation and translation projects in the past, has a mesh proposal in to the Knight News Challenge.  He writes of his proposal:

Mesh News is an entry on the Knight News Challenge, which has received a request for a full proposal. As of 12:30pm EST on 11-20, the 2000 entries have been narrowed down to around 350, and Mesh news is in 8th place in terms of overall number of views, and dropped from 3rd to 5th place in terms of “ratings”. If it does make it past the full proposal stage to the “final 50″, and then to the “final 20″, I think it could help a few kids out in various parts, provide a bit of employment, and help to get some additional publicity for OLPC.  Go G1G1!!!

Take a look at the proposal at http://www.tinyurl.com/meshnews, click on the “sign-in to comment” link underneath the title, register, and leave your feedback and rating.  The # of views / ratings don’t determine acceptance, but objective reviews can help make the proposal better.

Why XO?

Special commentary by: Paul Fox

Most of the marketing and message surrounding the OLPC project, and the G1G1 fund-raising effort, is centered on the kids of the world who are our true mission. And that’s as it should be — you only have to look at some of the pictures from the deployments to convince yourself of that.

But let’s face it — if you’re going to donate enough money to both “give one and get one”, you might want to be convinced that the “get one” half — i.e., _your_ cute little green machine — is actually going to be useful. Call it enlightened self-interest. (I’m assuming you’re thinking of this at least partly as a toy for yourself. Go ahead — admit it — it’s okay.) I got my XO during last year’s G1G1 promotion. Maybe I can help convince you.

One of the best parts, for me, is the screen. Shirtsleeve season always feels too short here in New England, so I like getting outside as much as possible when it’s practical. Being able to walk outside to surf the web is a great feeling. Another screen feature: by flipping the laptop into “e-book” form, I take less space on the subway while reading email (offline reading, of course).

Another XO plus for commuting: the extra wireless sensitivity offered by the cute green antennae makes it possible to hit the web, courtesy of a nearby open access point, from my bus stop.

More OS tips and tricks after the drop.

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G1G1 : the XO is the best-selling computer on Amazon

The XO has been in the #1 spot for computers and PCs yesterday and today.   Rock on! I’m slowly moving away from my Thinkpad to my XO for development and other work, as I improve my setup with keyboards and monitors, get more frustrated with this power-sucking device, and as the 8.2 interface improves.  Once I can switch freely b/t Fedora or Debian and Sugar desktops later this month, I may stop using my Lenovo entirely.

As usual, please send people to laptop.org/xo when telling them about our program; that way we capture the referral fee and any questions about giving more than one, or simply giving a laptop, are answered from the main OLPC information page.

G1G1 goes international

One Laptop per Child: Give 1 Get 1

Update: We are shipping G1G1 Internationally to 45 countries, through December 31st this year. See details on the late-November countries post.

We have spent the past two weeks preparing for the Give One, Get One fundraising campaign starting on Monday.  Last year’s donors (thank you!) were critical to launching projects in Rwanda, Haiti, Ethiopia, Oceania, Afghanistan*, and Mongolia.  This year’s campaign will begin a new wave of OLPC projects.

The biggest difference this year is that G1G1’s donors are also going global — we are launching the campaign simultaneously in the US and Europe at 11am UTC (6am EST) on the 17th.  (UPDATE: Amazon.com information pages are up, and it is possible to put in a G1G1 request now, but the Give Only and other pages will not be up until later this afternoon.)

Donors in the US will be able to donate and Give a laptop through Laptop.org/xo.  The Get laptops going to recipients in the US will be fulfilled right away.  Donors outside the US will be able to donate through Amazon.co.uk, where G1G1 will cost £275 (currently just over 322 Euros) plus shipping.  The Get laptops for recipients outside the US will be fulfilled as soon as possible.  stay tuned to this blog for more details in the coming days.

Update: the Christmas round of shipments was sent out last week; everyone who donated by December 16th should have received their XO by now, unless we are still waiting on clearance to ship to their country [sorry, Japan!  Fumi, where are you when we need you?].  A final batch of machines will be sent out in January; the program is expected to end on December 31.

Update 2: donors in Australia, Hong Kong, and France are encouraged to donate through pages specifically set up for your country for a tax deduction.

The benefit of working with leading industry partners like Amazon to expand our reach is that our mission becomes clearer, letting OLPC focus on its real purpose: giving One Laptop per Child — at a global level.

Party this Sunday in Harvard Square

The Boston-area OLPC crowd are organizing a launch party for G1G1 this Sunday night between 7pm and midnight in Harvard Square. The party will be at John Harvard’s Brewhouse.  If you’re in the area, it should be an amazing time — come say hello!

XOs welcome; the first 10 people to bring a G1G1 machine from last year will get a sweet G1G1 2009 t-shirt.  No word yet on whether any velociraptorz will be present.  I’ll update with more info and photos once I have them.

Recruiting: OLPC Social Media Warriors

Thanks to Joshua Gay of CK-12 for his help in crafting this posting!

Help us spread the joy of education to children all over the world by becoming a Social Media Warrior. At OLPC, we have the tools, the educational materials, and learning resources to help transform the lives of millions all over the world. To do so, we need thousands of volunteers to understand what we have and what we are capable of doing for the lives of children everywhere – and we need three of you to help us get the word out to them using the social networking and media sharing sites that pervade our lives.

Video Ninja

  • We’ll hand you the keys to our YouTube, dailymotion, flickr-video, and myspace-tv accounts; work with our marketing team and branch out to other video networks at your discretion.
  • Promote videos from media.laptop.org, olpc.tv, and other sources, including training resources for volunteers and staff in third-world deployments.
  • Track down celebrity speakers for original source material and permission to use it.

Facebook Rockstar and Myspace Maven

Details after the fold.

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