OLPC News Guest Writer Results in Ghana


My organization, Ghana Together, partners with Western Heritage Home, an NGO based in Axim, Ghana that focuses mostly on helping vulnerable and orphaned children. We partnered on building a Children's Home/Community Learning Center in Axim, and now work together to support 21 orphaned children.

olpc ghana
Together with one XO laptop

In April 2008 I had brought my own XO laptop to Axim, and demonstrated it to adult leaders in the community. They were very enthusiastic, and gave me the go-ahead to try to find enough at least for the children in the Home.

It had occurred to me that there must be some thousands of these in American homes, kind of sitting on the shelf by now, and since I "know my people", as the Ghanaians would say, I was pretty sure that given a good purpose, they would donate them. That would be so typically American. But, how to get their attention?? It's a BIG country we all live in.

I poked around on websites, and came across OLPC News. I was impressed by the honesty of the posts, the lack of "hype", and the fact that it is obviously managed carefully and in a timely manner. So, I got up my courage and emailed Wayan about the possibility of begging you all to donate your OLPCs for Ghana in a Guest Post.

I say courage, because it's not usually considered very appropriate for contributors on such sites to blatantly ask for "stuff" or money. Rude, actually, and most likely to get you kicked out for good. But, to his credit, he saw the possible good that could come out of my request and posted it as Donate Your Old XO Laptop to Ghana Together. I was kind of clumsy about it, because I'm not very experienced at guest posting and the like, but he shepherded me through it.

Well, 24 of you responded with XO laptop donations, and I can't help but think it was mostly due to the OLPC News posting. I just returned from Ghana on April 29, 2009, having deployed 24 of them (the 25th one, mine, we kept here in the US for demonstration and technical use). This was definitely one of the most exciting events of my life - he children just took to them, love them, and are, I am absolutely positive, being transformed for the better by them.

I see OLPC News site as having potential for those of us who are not working on the actual technical aspects of the OLPCs, are not developers, but have projects involving them.

Thank you Wayan for helping us and take a thank you from the children, as well.

And with this third post, Maryanne just graduated to Author status. Join her by writing a Guest Post today!

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