One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a non-profit organization focused on providing educational tools to help children in developing countries "learn learning," announced today that the state of Caldas, Colombia, has signed a purchase agreement for 65,000 XO laptop computers to be distributed to children in one of the country's most important coffee-growing regions.
Upon signing the purchase order, Caldas's Governor Mario Aristizabal, said, "My government and our state legislators are fully committed to giving each and every child of primary school age the same opportunity to access knowledge as the most privileged children in New York, Berlin or Tokyo. The One Laptop per Child program is the right vehicle to reach that goal and its potential socio-economic impact cannot be under-emphasized."
"We are very pleased that Colombia has committed to working with us to in order to bring a modern education to their primary school children," said Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of One Laptop per Child. "OLPC is now gaining good traction in signing up countries to undertake significant deployments."
The first wave of 15,000 units to be deployed later in 2008 will be in Caldas's smaller towns and rural areas. For the capital Manizales, a separate agreement is being discussed so that total coverage of the state is achieved. Governor Aristizabal is spearheading a local team that will provide support and implementation capabilities to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project. The remaining 50,000 units will be deployed in 2008 and 2009.