OLPCorps Africa

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This is a draft proposal for a summer project initiative

Welcome to OLPCorps Africa, a new student-based grassroots initiative supporting OLPC.
Can't find what you're looking for below? Try our Frequently Asked Questioned page.

100 XOs, Hardware, a $10K stipend, 10-day training in Kigali, Rwanda, and an entire summer in an African country of your choice. Sound too good to be true? Well, it's not. OLPC has a revolutionary vision: an XO for every child. Crazy, right? Not crazy enough, since it's becoming a reality. Country after country, children with XOs are learning more, finding new avenues of expression, and connecting to a global network of like-minded children. But we can't achieve this dream alone, which is why we need your help in turning this idea into a global movement. Through OLPCorps Africa, we'll provide the tools and resources to get you started if you can provide the time, energy, and dedication to change the world. This is a student movement, a learning movement, an education movement...The OLPC Movement.

  • Undergraduate or graduate students from all fields of study and nationalities are eligible to apply. Students entering university in fall '09 or graduating in spring '09 are also eligible to participate.
  • English proficiency is required.
  • Minimum number of people in a team is 2.
  • At least 2 team members must be present in Kigali, Rwanda June 8th-17th for training with the OLPC Learning Team. Teams will then depart for their specific destination.
  • Deployments must occur within one of the African countries. Preference will be given to deployments in rural areas.
  • Minimum of 9-10 weeks commitment (the duration of your summer break).
  • Each team member must have their immunizations.
  • Each team member must hold a valid passport.
  • Each team member is responsible for acquiring a visa, if needed.
  • 1 member of each team will participate in a workshop at MIT/OLPC in Cambridge this October 10-12 (all expenses covered by OLPC).

Thinking about starting your proposal? Not sure where to start? This section should answer some of your questions. Don't be afraid to ask questions & collaborate - we're better as a team. Keep in mind, up to 100 teams are receiving 100 XOs each. This isn't a competition between teams, but a group effort.

In the end, all teams will be working together for 10 days in Kigali before deploying. Our goal is to form a network of African deployments which support learning for years to come. Before your team applies, consider the following suggestions we've outlined below.

Proposal deadline is March 27th. Send yours to OLPCorps@laptop.org with the following title: "OLPCorps_YourUniversity_CountryinAfrica_LastName". Proposals will not be considered if they exceed the 750 word limit (hyperlinks are ok), are submitted in a language other than English, do not mention technical and NGO support, or do not focus on children & learning.

A few helpful recommendations and items from the OLPCorps Team which must be covered in designing your proposal:

  • Submission due March 27th.
  • Winning teams announced April 10th.

Proposal formatting:

  • Proposals must be in English.
  • Length of Proposal must not exceed 750 words.
  • Hyper-linked text is allowed throughout the proposal.

Proposal contents:

  • Answer the basics: who, what, when, where. Most importantly, KEEP IT CONCISE AND DIRECTLY TO THE POINT.
  • How will you work with children? Are the children in school from June-August? Are they on summer break? Address how you will deal with children and learning with their schedule.
  • Who is the local partner? How will you follow-up? Partner with groups capable of maintaining the deployment after you leave. Is there an academic institution, NGO, community organization, etc. willing to oversee the project after the summer? Do you have family ties in the community? What's going to happen when you leave?
    • Include a letter of support from the local partner (this doesn't count towards your 750 word limit). Make sure you show that together you're capable of handling the receipt of a 230 kg package of laptops and equipment. Where will you store the equipment during the deployment?
  • How will this impact 6-12 yr old children? All proposals must be about kids 6-12 years old and their learning. A proposal gets stronger as soon as the group can show that children are the agents of change, not just the objects of teaching.
    • Stick to OLPC's Core Principles: child ownership, low ages, saturation, connection, and free and open source.
  • How will you provide financial support after you leave? OLPC is awarding up to 100 teams roughly $35,000 each (total value of XOs, stipend, etc) to create learning environments throughout Africa! How can you show that your team can provide financial support after you leave?
    • Research your university's grant programs, student associations, alumni networks, and other avenues of funding to sustain your deployment.
  • Communication - do you share the language of the school or community where you will be working? If not, how will this be overcome?
Note: Upon acceptance, you will be asked to provide proof as a student. This will be verified by the dean of your department, for instance.

Below is a regularly updated list of teams across the globe applying to OLPCorps Africa. Missing a key component to your proposal's design? Need a technical lead? Need a pedagogical lead? Working in an off-grid environment? Here's your chance to partner up with like-minded students to change the world. Power in numbers, right?

Indiana University (IU)

Under the auspices of One Here...One There, a non-for-profit org. driven to mitigate educational disparities in sub-Saharan Africa, the Indiana University OLPC chapter is comprised of mostly liberal-arts students with an interest in alternative learning environments and international development. With technical support through the Kliptown Youth Project (KYP), the IU OLPC chapter distributed 115 XOs (15 thanks to Larry Weber) to 3 separate rural primary schools in Limpopo, South Africa from Aug-Sept '08, in addition to establishing power and internet. The team continues to support South African OLPC deployments in various ways, including its first XO Camp in Johannesburg, networking and support for future deployments, and the like. IU OLPC is applying to the OLPCorps Africa program with the hope of saturating the already participating schools in South Africa. Contact Joe Peoni (jpeoni@indiana.edu) for any questions relating to our program.

IU OHOT is looking for a team member to assist in translation, specifically to/from Sepedi.

Your Team Here!

Put in your team's information: where you're from, where you hope to go, any specific interests you have, and any special skills you have. Be sure to include an e-mail address so other teams can contact you. Not sure how to use the wiki? It's easy, learn enough to get you started here.


  • Your Name Here!
    Don't have a team? Put a short bio about yourself, what you are looking to do, what skills you have, etc.

We're looking to reach university students across the world to participate in the OLPCorps program - this is a global learning movement. If you can translate a short one page letter from English into any other relevant language, e-mail OLPCorps@laptop.org to help out. You can also edit these wiki pages, too.

This is a wiki page which allows you to edit or add information. We do this because we want to hear from you! If you have a comment, feel free to leave it on the discussion page. But if you want to add your group to our growing university list or share your story go ahead and add it in! Just hit edit on the tab menu above. To learn how to edit, click on the side bar tab: Help Using the Wiki.