OLPC relaunches ‘Give One Get One’ offer through Amazon

November 17, 2008

The One Laptop Per Child organization received a massive boost in September when Amazon signed up to become a seller. That collaboration is now becoming reality, and to mark the next stage of the OLPC scheme, the Give One Get One program is being relaunched.

One Laptop Per Child is a charitable organization whose sole aim is to provide cheap, affordable laptops for every child in the world, even if they live in a developing country where computing takes a back seat to other daily necessities such as avoiding being killed and finding enough food and water to stay alive.

Initially, the organization aimed to be able to sell each laptop for $100, but that price has yet to become a reality due to not enough orders being placed. The more countries that buy laptops, the lower the cost of manufacturing.

This lack of take-up lead to the Give One Get One scheme being introduced which saw the XO-1 laptop go on general sale to the American public for $399. That price included one laptop for yourself, and one for a child in a developing country. The six week run saw 100,000 computers given to schoolchildren in countries such as Haiti and Rwanda.

However, many people keen to donate a laptop had trouble finding an outlet selling the low-cost machine, or alternatively, purchased one only to have to wait weeks due to a poor distribution system. Enter Amazon, which started taking orders today.

As detailed a few days ago, the new Amazon deal also sees people outside of the U.S. given the opportunity to buy an XO-1 laptop for themselves, while also helping their fellow man, for the first time. Amazon.com will be selling to everyone within the States, while Amazon.co.uk will be selling to those in the UK and beyond.

According to The New York Times, the relaunch of the Give One Get One scheme will also see advertising spots given over to OLPC on TV, on billboards, and in print, all donated by media companies such as Time Warner, News Corp, and CBS.

The OLPC initiative has been a small success so far but has really only managed to donate a small fraction of the laptops needed to really change the world. Now that the rest of the world is on board, and a household name like Amazon is involved, hopefully the 100 million donated laptops target will become a reality.

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