Although it received quite a lot of (somewhat just) criticism on OLPC news (here and here with the second post trying to make sense of the first one), I think this is quite an interesting move on behalf of OLPC. I think there is a lot of the youth potential, which the author of the blog post is overlooking and I would like to share this opportunity with those of you who are interested in OLPC-related activities. For example, I think it may particularly interest those of you who were at the last ITU YF in Bangkok and had an opportunity to be thoroughly introduced to the XO laptops.
Here is the gist of the initiative:
OLPCorps Africa is a unique grant program focused specifically on learning in Africa. Student teams are equipped with the tools, resources, and know-how to develop grassroots learning environments in an African country of their choice. OLPC is drawing upon the world’s student leaders to spark a university-led grassroots initiative in this global learning movement. Through OLPCorps Africa, OLPC is creating a global network of student leaders who will create a lasting impact at the local level, build a network of student activists, and initiate a grant program that will become renown. (source)
Eligibility? - Undergraduate and graduate students, over 18 years old, from any country.
$3,500,000 for 100 teams of college students to get $35,000 in support for 10 week projects in Africa. Each group gets 100 XO laptops, assorted hardware, a $10,000 stipend, and 10-day training in Kigali, Rwanda, before being sent out to projects. (source)
The workshop will begin June 8th and end June 17th. Teams should arrive at least 1 day before. However, teams are encouraged to arrive as early as the 6th in order to adjust to the time-difference and leave room for flight-delays or any other unexpected circumstances which may arise. (source)
The duration of the Grant Program is 10 weeks (June – August), including the orientation in Kigali. Teams should arrange with their local partner to stay for at least 9 weeks. (source)
Proposals deadline is March 27th.
Please consult the wiki of the project for further details. Note that there are many people there who are looking for local partners to form a proposal team. So, if you are in Africa, you may find good partners there.
I was also excited to see that there is a group of Cornell students who have applied for this opportunity. I hope to get in touch with them and offer them my help. If any of you is applying, I would be also glad to hear about that! Please let me know if I can help, particularly with linking people who are looking for partners.
Good luck everyone!