one laptop + one child = change the world

One Laptop per Child: Give 1 Get 1

That’s the equation.

In September, I was lucky enough to travel to Ethiopia to assist with the Ethiopian government efforts of providing laptops packed with educational material to schoolchildren free of charge, as part of the One Laptop per Child program.

After “what on earth were you doing in ETHIOPIA?” one of the first questions people ask during conversation is “who paid for the 5000 laptops?”

The laptops were donated by generous Americans and Canadians as part of 2007’s Give One Get One (G1G1) promotion. These donors purchased 2 laptops; one for themselves, and one for Ethiopia (or another developing country such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Mongolia or Rwanda).

When Give One Get One was initiated in November 2007, OLPC was a new idea. Production of laptops had only just started, and while laptops were being loaded onto ships to go to schoolchildren in developing nations, the early timing of the promotion meant that there weren’t really any deployments of the laptops for people to read about. Despite this, a huge number of people demonstrated their belief in the program and their donations resulted in tens of thousands of laptops headed to schoolchildren over the course of the last year.

The first day of G1G1 in 2007 was supposedly PayPal’s busiest day in history. While the huge demand resulted in some fulfilment problems, I saw with my own eyes how the donated laptops sent to other parts of the world are making huge differences in the lives of the lesser fortunate. I wrote a bit about the amazing impact of the laptops on Ethiopian schoolchildren just a few days after they had received them.

Today, OLPC has projects in over 30 countries, and has relaunched the Give One Get One promotion across the United States and Europe. To Give One and Get One, the cost is $399 for Americans or £275 for Europeans (excluding delivery).

Orders from the United States are being fulfilled immediately by who have a large stock of XOs. To participate, head over to

Details of European orders are still being finalized, and you probably want to wait until we have more details on participating countries and delivery dates. However, if you’re really keen, you can pre-order at We’ll continue to update the G1G1EU wiki page and OLPC blog with any news.

There are amazing stories from OLPC deployments all over the web. Here are a few to start with:

And some excellent new media to help us spread the word:

9 thoughts on “one laptop + one child = change the world

  1. klon

    Hello. I’am so very happy, that there are so much people willing to help children in the lesser fortunate countries. Keep up the great work!

  2. Ivan

    I just want to point out that although the 2007 G1G1 was for North America, doesn’t mean that only US and Canadian citizen participated. I, for one, am Bulgarian and participated in the program through an American friend. I had to wait till the middle of February 2008 to actually receive the “get one” laptop.

    And I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only European to give one and get one.

  3. kang

    Hey, amazing work
    Do you have to know who’s in charge for the haiti deployment?

  4. Daniel Drake Post author

    Yes, I do, but I probably shouldn’t leave their names here. You’re welcome to contact me in private and I can get you in touch with people.

  5. Pingback: OLPC Give 1 Get 1 2008 « Feeding the Penguins

  6. Elias Probst

    Great to see the OLPC project going on so well.
    As G1G1 is now finally available in Europe too, I bought 4 of them – 2 for my little brothers – 2 as a donation.

    Congratulations on your great pictures being chosen by Amazon/OLPC as the ‘official’ ones showing how the Laptops are used by the kids.
    I really liked your articles about the deployment. Please keep the world up-to-date about all this as good as possible – it’s a really nice project.

    As I have never touched an OLPC before, I’m really curious how this device will look & feel in reality – they’ll be shipped 19-24th Dec – so still some time until I can hold them in my hands ;-)

    Regards, Elias P.

  7. Pingback: ConFigures » Blog Archive » Give One, Get One Solar Lantern/Flashlight (or Laptop)

  8. partoba

    Hey..this is a great job. I didn’t know yet that this OLPC has been running. This is great news that underdeveloped country’s children will get a chance to explore the world thru their laptop. Hats Off!

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