You may or may not have heard of the “One Laptop Per Child” initiative – also known as the “$100 laptop” project (though it turns out that it actually costs $199 to make one).
I very strongly believe in this project. I’m donating to it this year, one of several donations I’m making for tax purposes. But even if I weren’t getting a tax break on it, I would do it. The laptop has completely open software on it. It has a static copy of Wikipedia on it. It’s powered by a hand crank and has incredibly long range WiFi. Its operating system is designed specifically for children as an innovative learning environment. Several of these laptops over a very wide area can form a mesh network and actually bring the Internet to the most remote regions of the world. It’s tough, water resistant, and ideally ergonomically designed for a child.
It’s a relatively small amount of money, but the impact that just one or two of these machines could make to a village in a third world nation is enormous. The educational value of the information in Wikipedia alone could change so many lives for the better.
Please consider making a donation of your own for this project. It’s not something I normally would mention in my blog like this, but as I said, I think this could really improve a lot of people’s lives.