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OLPC UNRWA Gaza : After a long wait Rafah adopts the XO

Also in Arabic: في اللغة العربية Students with their laptops, after putting their names on them. After a 10-month wait for approvals, the UNRWA OLPC core team, administrators, parents and children of Rafah took part in a brilliant beginning to the UNRWA OLPC program in Gaza, with a celebration event on April 29th. I was fortunate to spend the days beforehand with this team and their community. They worked tirelessly - children, parents, teachers, developers, and administrators - and it was inspiring to work with them. The Palestinian people have the optimism, resourcefulness, and dedication to turn a speck of dust into a garden. Not just any garden, but one that the entire community shares. And the XO has a special feature beyond its tech specs and activities - it can energize a community to have hope for their children.  One member of the core team, Jamil, remarked;  "This is XO is a humble machine, we can take it and do great things with it." They did. In a mere 12 weeks after their first intro to the XO, the Gaza core and community team: - prepared infrastructure - designed and gave workshops for 200 teachers and 12 administrators - introduced the XO to 2000+ students - helped these children introduce the XO to their parents - created a digital library - ported their own ILP learning games to run on the XO - integrated Memorize, Chat, Browse, & Speak into classroom activities - helped teachers begin distributing homework via the XO - witnessed initially skeptical parents begin to advocate at shops and mosques for XOs for all the children of Gaza Read the rest of this entry