Change the World

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The OLPC "Change the World" program, also known as "Give Many", ended in February 2009.

Historical information about the program follows


Change the World

Donate 100 Laptops and decide where we send them.

For the first time ever, OLPC is offering individuals, companies and other organizations the chance to send laptops to the country or classroom of their choice. With a donation of 100 or more XO laptops, any group can give children in a specific place the chance to learn, share, dream and connect to each other and the world.

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the Change the World program. We hope they provide you with more information, encourage you to initiate your own Change the World program, and help you learn more about XO programs around the world. Thank you for your interest in bringing an XO program to a school community in your life and your continued support of the OLPC initiative!

Change the World Program Overview

Who can participate in the Change the World program?

For the first time ever OLPC is offering individuals, companies and other organizations the chance to send laptops to the country or classroom of their choice. With a donation of 100 or more XO laptops, any group can give children in a specific place the chance to learn, share, dream and connect to each other and to the world.

Where can Change the World donations be provided?

Anywhere! From the country your family is from to the neighborhood school just down the road, you or your group can give hundreds of young students this amazing tool for learning. You can also choose to direct your donation to an OLPC partner country to help strengthen existing programs. Our current partners include Haiti, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Peru, Uruguay, Afghanistan, and the UN Palestinian Refugee Camps.

What is the cost of a Change the World donation?

The price range for the Change the World program, including shipping to an international airport, is:

Each donation of 100 or more laptops includes spare parts, participation in workshops, and on-line technical support. Donations of 1,000 or more include the above, plus on-site assistance from OLPC staff.

Where can I learn more about Change the World programs around the world?

The Change the World community is growing around the world! To learn more about these gropus, visit our Change the World stories page. To learn more about the XO programs in OLPC partner countries please visit our deployments and country information pagesfor more information.

XO Availability

What XO laptops are available?

English keyboard XOs are available for the Change the World programs. If you are donating laptops to an OLPC partner country we will provide the appropriate language keyboard for that specific country. If you are interested in donating 10,000 or more XOs to a location not in a partner country, OLPC is happy to discuss localized keyboard options with you. Please contact <email> for more information.

What XO chargers are available?

US and EU chargers are available for Change the World programs. If you're interested in a Change the World program of 1,000 laptops or more and would like an alternative charger please email us at <email> and we'd be happy to discuss additional options and availability.

Placing a Change the World Donation

How do I place a Change the World donation?

If you are interested in donating 100, 1000, or more laptops, please send an email to <email> with your contact information. We will contact you as quickly as possible to learn more about your laptop project.

Delivery Timeframe & Shipping Terms

How long will it take to receive my laptops?

OLPC aims to ship Change the World donations within 4-6 weeks of receiving payment. Larger orders or orders with a new keyboard may take longer to ship.

Is the cost of shipping included in the price?

Yes. The Change the World donation price per laptop includes CIP (Cargo Insurance Paid) shipping terms and conditions to a major international airport. For a list of major international aiports see an airport codes list. If you are donating to an OLPC partner country, your donations will be included in our next shipment bound for this location.

What are the shipping terms and conditions?

Change the World shipping terms include CIP (Cargo Insurance Paid to) to any major international airport. OLPC will arrange the shipment of your donation to any major international airport in the world. The consignee will be contacted when the shipment has arrived at the airport and will be responsible for customs duties or fees and local delivery to the final destination. OLPC will provide shipment details to you and/or the consignee. Please note that Change the World donations are not shipped with door-to-door delivery terms. Please contact <email> for additional questions on Change the World shipping.

What about customs duties and fees at the laptop’s final destination?

Local customs duties and fees are not included in the Change the World price. Please research the customs regulations of your designated country to learn more about possible fees. OLPC is unable to provide local customs clearance assistance, but will ship your donation with an OLPC notarized letter stating the shipment is a donation and not for resale. We highly recommend contacting the local customs office in your designated location to learn more about their customs process.


A laptop is the most flexible learning tool. It allows you to be creative and productive and fit into today’s digital world while being yourself. Children can take ownership and craft the laptop to their various needs such as write stories, take pictures, make movies, explore scientific phenomena, invent learning games, or solve mathematical problems.

What ages? Why?

We are targeting young kids, ages 6 to 12. We strongly believe that by giving young kids access to digital technologies and information, and by introducing them to powerful ways to use them, they will be in a better position to make a difference in their futures and thus change the world.

Does the XO laptop come with a Curriculum?

People mean different things when they use the word, curriculum. They may be referring to instructional software about a specific topic or instructional plans allowing teachers to facilitate a learning experience. At OLPC, we are not defining what children should learn with the XO because we believe that those decisions need to be made at the local level. We offer support by providing tools (in the form of activities) as well as concrete ideas of how to become familiar with those tools and how to use them to facilitate a meaningful learning experience. The tools can be single purpose activities such as Record, Write, Chat, Calculate, Paint, etc.; games such as Maze, Memorize and Implode; content specific activities such as Moon and TamTam; or more sophisticated and open ended activities such as TurtleArt, Etoys, Scratch, and Pippy that allows users to design and create projects about a variety of topics. We also make it easy for people to package digital libraries of reading materials or books in the form of “content collections.”

Why the XO laptop rather than other computers on the market?

There are several reasons that make the XO different from other portable computers in the market. First, the XO consumes only a fraction of the energy of any other regular portable computer and so minimizes implementation costs. The XO works with alternative sources of energy (solar, eolic, etc.) and thus allows us to give access to children who would otherwise not be able to use the technology. The XO has a unique physical design (resistant to water, dust, and extreme climates) and a screen that can be used to read in daylight. These qualities make learning possible, not only in the classroom, but also at home and in communal areas where meaningful learning experiences also take place. And finally, the XO comes with free and open-source software, and digital content, which gives children, their parents and teachers, as well as other members of the community, the freedom to change, create, and share their own solutions with others.

How success is measured?

People have come to understand that standardized testing is not the only dimension to measure the impact that 1 to 1 initiatives have on children and the communities where they live. Other factors such as the ability to solve problems, develop critical thinking skills, use multiple sources of information, be reflective, and communicate with multiple media (visual, audio, interactive, etc.), work individually and in a team, be a self learner, and be able to bring significant changes to the environment in which they live are new dimensions to measure impact. We are working together with a community of people worldwide to define this new framework of dimensions and indicators to be able to measure their success. One thing we need to remember, every OLPC experience is different and should be measured according to its specific goals.

Tech Support

Doing your own OLPC school deployment

If you want to use your laptops in a school deployment either locally or remotely, please look at the Deployment Guide for information to ensure your deployment is successful. Also, make sure you let OLPC know about your trial so we can add it to the global OLPC success stories!

Does the XO connect to the Internet?

The XO comes with a built-in wireless card that not only allows the unit to connect to the internet, but if an internet connection is not available the XO machines can still communicate with one another by using the mesh network. The Mesh network is capable of allowing a few XO units at a time to share some information between each other, collaborate on various activities or even pass along photos to one another. Its a great tool for teachers and students!

To connect your individual XOs to the internet, visit Wifi Connectivity.

In order to create a secure and constant network for your XO deployment, you may want to consider a School Server and multiple Access Points for you laptops to connect to. For information on how to set up such a system, visit School Server.

What kinds of activities come on the XO?

The XO ships with 30 preloaded activites including word processing, painting, music mixing, web browsing, and programming; along with activities for collaborative writing, painting, distance-measurement and more. It also comes with a number of collaborative games, collections of books and encyclopedic articles, and a software updater that allows children to download dozens of other activities from online repositories. For more detail on these tools and materials, visit the Activities and Collections pages.

What kind of software runs on the XO?

The XO runs the Linux operating system and includes open source software components and Activities. The Activities are programs specifically designed for children and for the XO's interface. The source code for the system and all of its components is available for review, modification, and localization. For more information on the classes of programs used, see our page on OLPC software.

Other desktop environments are also available for installation on the XO: you can download and run Debian OS, Fedora Core, and Ubuntu desktops from a USB or SD card, or from the internal flash drive. Microsoft Windows has been ported to the XO, but is not currently available for individual use.

Am I able to upgrade the machines when newer software comes out?

OLPC is constantly updating and perfecting the software we ship with the XO. You are able to upgrade your units whenever newer software is available. There are simple ways of upgrading that can be done with either an online connection or without internet. You also have the option of upgrading by cleaning the unit to factory settings or you can choose an option that allows you to upgrade while preserving the work you've already done.

There are a few different builds that the XO may be running when you receive your shipment. In order to unify the software you may want to consider upgrading to the latest stable build 8.2.0-767.

Why is the XO's Hardware unique?

The XO was designed with kids and the environments of developing countries in mind. It's durable, rugged, and can hold up in extreme weather conditions. The XO hardware is unique from its screen that can be viewed in direct sunlight, to the spare screws that are built into the XO, and the green rubber border or "bumpers" that help minimize damages from wear and tear. To learn more about the XO's hardware visit our hardware specification page for more details.

What about the batteries and power?

The XO laptop is green friendly, generally using only 5-10 % of the average energy consumed by a standard laptop. OLPC designed the XO laptop with the consideration that in many parts of the world power resources are scarce and inconsistent. We've also designed the XO to be solar powered with the use of low-cost solar panels. While Change the World donations are not shipped with solar panels we're happy to provide you with more information on this alternative energy source to help you make an informed decision on whether solar power is an ideal option for your XO program. For more information and specification on the XO batter and power options please visit battery and power.

Can we change the language of our XOs?

Yes! The XO was designed as a global laptop and OLPC values the use of local languages in classrooms around the world. The XO has a unique feature of allowing the individual user to change the XO laptops default language with a few easy steps. This feature is made possible by the free and open source community which provides translations for many languages. OLPC relies on a global community to help maintain and provide new translations for languages from around the world. To learn more about the XO languages and changing language settings please visit Language for more information.

Is it possible to receive XO laptops with non-English keyboards?

For Change the World donations of 1,000 or more we are happy to discuss your options for localized keyboards. OLPC will provide you with detailed information on this option to help you make an informed decision on your needs for a customs keyboard. There are a number of things to consider for non-English keyboards such as technical support, lead times and translations. If you are interested in a non-English Change the World donation please <email> with your request and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. For a list of keyboards which OLPC has developed for the XO please visit Languages other than English for more information.

I haven’t found the answer to my question yet!

You can send your questions to <email>, or post public ones here.

Online Resources

How do I get started using the XO unit?

Understanding how to use the XO to its fullest potential can be made easy by using our Manual or our Getting Started Guide. Learn about the basic function and features of the XO unit and how your deployment can use this educational tool to revolutionize learning and create a classroom both in and out of school for your students!

Are there manuals I can use?

We have many manuals to help you navigate the XO unit, learn how to use the Sugar interface, and start developing or localizing your own activities and collections. You can even develop your own manual and add it to the site to share what you have learned with the rest of the community.

Where can I learn about other OLPC programs and share my Change the World story?

Please feel free to share your story if you have started a program or have donated to a school or organization by going to Stories. Let's continue to expand the Change the World community together.

General & Miscellaneous

Why is the cost for Give One and Change the World different?

The $199 laptop donated through Give One is subsidized, as we can often add it to existing shipments. The Change the World programs can be directed anywhere, and the price includes spare parts and delivery to a major airport.

What if I’m interested in fundraising for a Change the World program?

We encourage you to fundraise for a Change the World program and connect with a network of supporters. Identifying and building relationships with others that are interested in supporting a Change the World program is a great way to create a sustainable program. OLPC is a small non-profit organization with limited resources, we regret that at this time we are unable to provide one to one support for fundraising but encourage you connect with others that are interested in supporting your Change the World initiative.