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Sunday, January 31, 2010


Woke up Saturday morning to a handful of emails, all sent at about 5am our time. Looks like the students had class on Saturday!

This was my favorite email, received from one of the girls, Diana:

She says, "Dear Elizabeth. I'm writing you this message to thank you for everything that you did for us. Diana"

I would like to pass on the thanks to everyone who has been a part of this project, whether in STeP UP, São João, somewhere else on the island, OLPC, New Hampshire, California, Connecticut, Latvia, London, Afghanistan...all of the people around the world who have given me financial, technical, pedagogical, conversational and emotional support. Your compassion does not cease to work wonders.


Another One Bites The Dust

Actually, nothing bites the dust besides the slowly diminishing number of laptops that we need to get for São João!

Thanks to Lisa's generous contribution, I have just been able to purchase another used XO laptop for the kids at São João, for about $45 less than the cost of the computer sold brand new!

Please keep your contributions rolling in. If your place of employment does a matching program or is interested in doing a corporate sponsorship program, please be in touch. At this point I am looking for any funding I can get. I also have a beautiful funding proposal and no one to send it to!

Thanks so much to Lisa and to everyone out there donating and taking steps to make São Tomé (and the world) a better place for its children.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Got Another One!!!

Look how happy I look with another beautiful XO laptop!!

Thanks so much Dick from San Jose, CA for your donation. It is so generous.

Let's keep the donations, the finances and the emotional support coming!!


Finally finished with an inquiry letter and funding proposal...but not sure where to send them.

If you know of foundations or organizations that could give funding, please let me know. Also if you are willing to do a little bit of work yourself in sending out the proposal to the right people, you would really be lending a massive help. You can download the inquiry letter here and the funding proposal here.

Thank you!


PS No class last week due to a parent/teacher meeting. Hopefully will hear about how this week goes soon!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Another Donation!!

The boxes are coming in...and I couldn't be more thankful.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Look, We're Famous!

Read about my experiences meeting up with the OLPC team in Boston to talk about São João:

Check out Adam Holt's meeting notes here, that he posted to the web in real time:

Also, view my PowerPoint presentation online!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Another Laptop Donation!

It's when I see the big brown boxes sitting on my doorstep in Washington, DC that my faith in the world is renewed.

Have just received the third used laptop donation from another generous Give One Get One owner. This brings our current donation status to four computers!

I am almost finished with my grant proposal. With this I'm hoping to get donations in larger quantities (or the finances to purchase them). If you know of any organizations that might be interested in seeing a copy of the proposal, please let me know.

To past and future donors: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thank You, G1G1!

Though São João came in later and was never quite able to benefit from the Give One, Get One Program (where members of the public could purchase one computer and donate one at the same time), we are pulling in a small benefit now. Members of the public have been donating their previously owned computers to us.

The stories coming from these computers are beautiful. Some have simply been unused. Some were Christmas presents. And some were from deceased relatives that were deeply invested in the OLPC program and passed before it was able to take full force.

For these people we fight to learn!

Also thinking of developing some sort of "sponsorship" program so that people can donate a certain amount of money per month (think Children International or Save the Children) to finance the use of a computer. Then the student can email to them or blog with them and send pictures every once in a while. $23 per month could get a brand new computer into a child's hands in less than one year...and that's the same cost of Children International, no?

Update from Miguel: Class is going well (it started up again on January 9) and students are learning to create their own email addresses!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Meeting with OLPC, Program Movement, a New Year!

Had a great meeting with some of the OLPC people in Boston about a week ago. They gave some fabulous feedback about the program and we're very excited to keep it moving.

From there, one of the meeting's attendees suggested I post requests for computers on the OLPC donation wiki. It has been a great success- at least three people have gotten back to me with computers they want to donate! I can't wait until I have them in my hands so that I can tell the kids!

Mirian, one of the teachers at São João, emailed me yesterday. The teachers are continuing the computer classes but have decided to switch up the students for the second semester. I think this is a fair decision as there just aren't enough computers for everyone anyway, so at least a little knowledge is better than nothing. I am proud of the teachers for discussing a potential decision together, reaching a conclusion and carrying it out. In the end, it is their program-- and what they do is their decision!

This is what I told them. My job now is to just give them as many resources as I can.

Please keep those donations coming.


Please click the button below to donate to STEP UP OLPC to support the São João school's computer program in São Tomé:

Donate $200 and you will be paying for a computer for at least FIVE very special children at São João (as estimated computer life is five years). Thanks so much!

Want your donation to be tax-deductible? Send a check to STeP UP with OLPC in the memo. Then mail it to:

Eric McClafferty
Kelley and Drye
3050 S St. NW, #400
Washington, DC 20007