TurnYourWorldAround's Connect-a-Kid and the OLPC

Tara Suri in Cosmo Girl
Tara Suri in CosmoGIRL as "The Giver"

Tara Suri has recently launched TurnYouWorldAround.org and Aandolan.org (which means a movement for change in Hindi) is an organization that "implements social-change initiatives and provides youth with the tools to become changemakers." I don't want to spoil the surprise waiting for you if you explore the site for a few minutes.

TurnYouWorldAround - Aandolan's recent project is Connect a Kid, where youth can create projects to fund-raise for OLPC's Give Many program through their school, community, or just friends and family:

[Connect a Kid] is an initiative of Aandolan, an organization started by teens that provides youth with the tools to become change-makers. Having partnered with OLPC, [Connect a Kid] works to raise funds to purchase laptops, and also aims to raise awareness about the need for global education. Youth register --- and then work with friends and family to help kids around the world!
Tara Suri on CNN's YPWR
Tara Suri on CNN's YPWR
The website and information packet you get post-registration provide fundraising event ideas, action plan outlines, and other useful tools to create, promote, and evaluate project(s). The groundbreaking part of this is that it's a youth-to-youth program, empowering both the recipient of the XO laptop as well as the giver to realize their ability to organize and enact change.

CNN's YPWR (Young People Who Rock) has a blog post up about Tara, and now an interview at cnn.com/video

Disclosure: I work at Youth Service America, where Tara Suri is a member of the National Youth Council, a collection of amazing young people who make the likes of most of us tired with just seeing the amount of good they get done on a daily basis. She's a co-founder of HOPE (Helping Orphans Pursue Education) (when she was 13). She was also named Cosmo Girl of the year for 2007.

1 Comment

Amazing people do amazing things. And Tara is obviously that; amazing.

Though there was something strange I did not find on Aandolan's website you would expect from a project absolutely commited to eliminating poverty through education (considering my knowledge of OLPC, it's mission, and supporters); there was an absence of an absolute and singular method by which that goal is achieved.

Or, in other words, there is no where on that site that says Aandolan will forgo their mission of educating poverty stricken children over a 1st world pissing match between Linux and Windows.

Please see Epaati for a case in point of why the FOSS purist argument is ridiculous to begin with - there will be committed groups of developers to produce educational software no matter what platform. For free, even.

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