Wanted: Peruvian Folk Heroes.

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Sat May 10 08:57:58 EDT 2008

Don't forget that we need lots of other people besides techies. We
need help with
* rying our software and telling us what we got right and wrong (You
don't need an XO to do it.)
* convincing politicians and school boards to put XO laptops with
Free/Open Source software into their schools, and helping them to do
it right
* countering misinformation about the project in the media and online,
including misinformation from OLPC itself
* recording out-of-copyright books for children
* coordinating volunteer activities
* writing and illustrating textbooks and training materials
* getting existing materials relicensed for free distribution
* building windmills and other renewable power installations
* creating curricula and lesson plans that integrate laptop capabilities
* connecting children around the world
* picking up business opportunities that have been lying on the ground
around the world, in order to create jobs for the children
* fund-raising for microfinance and other purposes
* localizing/translating software, textbooks, training materials, and
much more into dozens of languages

Please spread the word in your communities and through your online
networks. Anybody can help in some way or other. See
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Participate for some of the entry points. If
you want to do something, but don't see it there, you can add it
yourself, or write to us about it. Join the discussions at
http://lists.laptop.org/. If your school, church, club or other
organization would like to take up a worthy cause that benefits
hundreds of thousands, and soon millions, let us know. I volunteer as
a Volunteer Coordinator for OLPC. I and others here can get you

On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 1:50 PM, C. Scott Ananian <cscott at cscott.net> wrote:
> Peru has ordered over 260,000 OLPC XO-1 laptops.  These machines will
>  be running Sugar on GNU/Linux.  Forty thousand of these are already in
>  warehouses in Peru, with Sugar builds 656 or 703 installed.  It's hard
>  to avoid disappointment when OLPC will not commit to this platform
>  for all future deployments, but let's concentrate on the present: over
>  a quarter of a million kids will use Sugar/GNU/Linux.  You can
>  directly influence their lives!  Your software, documentation, support
>  expertise, ideas and insights can improve the education of a vast
>  number of kids.  Many of you already are Peruvian Folk Heroes.  We
>  need even more.
>  I'm not trying to convince you that you need to pledge loyalty to OLPC
>  and not question its decisions.  In fact, we need more non-affiliated
>  developers and community, and more third-party infrastructure. You
>  don't have to agree with OLPC's press releases: OLPC seems intent on
>  making its own mistakes, but someone needs to keep doing the work that
>  will help the kids regardless.
>  But why invest in third-party infrastructure when we could just be
>  reusing OLPC's lists/servers/builds?  Because, in fact, OLPC is badly
>  resource-starved, and (believe it or not) doesn't actually have good
>  infrastructure to build on.  Even though OLPC is growing its
>  software team, it takes time to hire good people, and it will take
>  more time for them to settle in and be productive.  In the meantime,
>  the external mailing lists, code trees, build and test infrastructure,
>  generated API documentation, etc you create will help the core team as
>  well.  If you set up a healthy external development community for
>  Sugar/GNU/Linux, your work will directly benefit the folks who sit at 1
>  Cambridge Center and (despite recent distractions) try to write code to
>  change the world.
>  Please continue to rail and rally to get OLPC's leadership back on
>  track.  But don't let it distract you from the real task, or dissuade
>  you from pitching in: there are a quarter of a million Peruvian kids
>  who need your code, documentation, support and ideas.  Few people have
>  ever had the opportunity to make such a difference to so many.
>   -- scott
>  p.s. In the next two emails, I'll suggest (a) a mechanism for spinning
>  of 3rd party development and merging back contributions upstream, and
>  (b) a list of interesting projects you might tackle.
>  --
>   ( http://cscott.net/ )
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Edward Cherlin
End Poverty at a Profit by teaching children business
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay

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