OLPC giving 5,000 laptops to Gaza children

Just two weeks after announcing layoffs and salary reductions, One Laptop per Child is donating 5,000 of its XO laptops to the United Nations Relief and Workers Agency (UNRWA) to give to Palestinian children in the Gaza strip.

UNRWA operates 800 schools for Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Labanon, Gaza and the West Bank.

The XO laptop itself features a screen built to be easy to read in sunlight and the ability to operate without access to electricity. A 12-hour battery charged with solar power and a long-range wi-fi antenna are also built into the machine, which is designed to operate using less than 1 watt of power.

OLPC faced its share of obstacles in 2008, culminating earlier this month with the announcement, made by the nonprofit’s founder and chairman Nicholas Negroponte, that the organization had to lay off half of the staff and reduce salaries for the remaining 32 employees.

Negroponte, an MIT professor, founded OLPC in 2005 with the mission of providing $100 laptops to those couldn’t otherwise afford them. Instead of costing $100, however, the laptops have hovered around $200 each since OLPC first started production in November 2007.

Leading up to the restructuring, former director of security architecture Ivan Krstic resigned as a result of conflict among the organization’s goals and aims. Last January, former CTO Mary Lou Jepsen resigned to form a company that commercializes OLPC technology, like the screen and battery. And also last January, Intel Corp. resigned from the OLPC board of directors.

source: http://www.masshightech.com/

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