Rodrigo Arboleda is the CEO of One Laptop Per Child Association, an organization that has distributed 2.7 million XO computers around the world, and which just marked a milestone in Colombia with the delivery of 11,000 laptops to children in public schools in Itagüí. He has also just been honored in Miami as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in that city. A special Colombian man.
Photo – La Semana.com Colombia
Translation from a post in REVISTA SEMANA of Colombia, the most prestigious magazine of the country.
The University of Miami’s Butler Center for Service and Leadership held an event this past week called “Canes for a Change”, the event is a week held annually in September where students are introduced to the ideas of volunteerism and leadership.
This year, several OLPC Miami volunteers:
Adriana Gonzalez; Yizhou Mao; and Lindsay Acton, took the initiative to set up a table on behalf of OLPC to inform local students about the work OLPC is doing in the community and to get UM students interested and involved in volunteering with OLPC.
The volunteers hosting the OLPC stand were surprised to learn many students already knew about OLPC and were very excited to receive such a positive response from UM’s student body. Over 40 students visited the table and signed up to be a part of OLPC volunteer program in Miami.
The Knight Foundation yesterday announced it would join community leaders from Charlotte, North Carolina in contributing to Project L.I.F.T., a 5-year $55M+ project to improve education in West Charlotte schools. (It began last January with a $40M round of fundraising; and this year raised another $15M.)
Knight’s contribution will fund a community engagement coordinator to keep parents and local communities in touch with the project as it develops, and for an OLPC program (including XOs and training) for all students and teachers in grades K-5 in the L.I.F.T. schools: roughly 3,200 in all.
This builds on our work together earlier this year, to develop a digital literacy program at Holmes Elementary School in Miami. Our experience so far suggests that giving elementary students access to computers – and letting them take them home and use them with their families – helps promote better informed and engaged communities.
We are delighted to see this new project take off within the framework of the existing L.I.F.T project. And looking forward to working more closely with the Knight Foundation, whose input has already informed some of our practices. Their background is in community engagement rather than education, which complements the viewpoints of our other partners. And the added focus on community engagement is one of those necessary elements that can make all the difference in longevity and impact.
Children receiving XOs in Miami’s Holmes Elementary School
One Laptop per Child Association was honored by the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s official economic development partner, for their contributions to the local economy in terms of job creation, business expansion, corporate citizenship and industry leadership.
The 10th Annual Beacon Awards were held at the new Miami Marlins Park and attendees had an opportunity to mingle with industry leaders and notable public figures. One Laptop per Child’s Senior Vice President of Operations, Roberto Interiano, accepted the judges’ special award, sponsored by Baptist Health Systems.
Names can be confusing at times. Take “One Laptop per Child“: should the per be capitalized? This was debated long after logos and t-shirts had been designed. OLPC has included two separate non-profits since its inception:
A 501c4 association, originally set up to execute the mission of the project (Formally: ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD ASSOCIATION, INC – no acronym, capitalization question avoided via ALL CAPS registration)
A 501c3 foundation, originally set up to receive tax-deductible donations to support the mission (Formally: OLPC Foundation or OLPCF – acronym, just to make things complicated)
At first, most OLPC work was associated with the Association (ha!) and the Foundation dealt only with fundraisers and the like. Last year, we started dividing effort between the two bodies. Our projects focused on the poorest countries, remote access, and rebuilding after disasters and conflicts, moved to the Foundation. Rodrigo Arboleda Halaby, a supporter of OLPC since its inception, was invited to lead the Association, which took more explicit responsibility for long-term support for stable deployments and work in Latin America. They set up headquarters in Miami, originally with a staff of two. Now they have a solid team, a new Board, and the first OLPC baby…
This week the Association hosted a coming out party in the South Floriday community, with a debut breakfast for supporters, featuring Samuel Dusengiyumva from the OLPC Rwanda team, who spoke about Rwanda’s plans for the future.