(written by Susie Scott Krabacher, president of M&S, from newsletter)

On our January trip to Haiti we had a special treat to show the kids at our Mercy House Orphanage, the new XO laptop designed especially for children by the geniuses at One Laptop Per Child. OLPC had just announced the country recipients of the donated laptops from their Give One Get One program and, praise be, Haiti made the list. (Although as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere it’s hard to imagine how it couldn’t!)

After setting everything up with Tim Falconer, president of Waveplace Foundation, our Mercy and Sharing team met up with up with Bill Stelzer, a tech mentor and documentary filmmaker with Waveplace, on the tarmac of the Port au Prince airport. It was very exciting as he was carrying with him one of the very first XO laptop to land on Haitian shores. I cannot state enough the need for these computers for our children. Resources are extremely limited in the areas where we work, and these technological marvels will not only rocket our children’s education into the twenty first century, they will also give them a window to the outside world.

When we first showed the XO laptop to the kids they were completely captivated. Even though they’d never seen anything like it before, they took to it instantly as I showed them how it worked and explained the wonders it could do. They quickly mastered the camera program, as well as Tam Tam, a music making program, before I took it away to show our teachers.

After waiting patiently for me to finish my XO presentation to the adults, our little indomitable Jesse took off with the laptop and soon had a crowd of children around her as they put their heads together to figure it all out. (Get those adults out of the way!) It was incredibly inspiring to watch, especially as Jesse walks on prosthesis. The world that this laptop will open up for children like her in Haiti is incalculable.

I cannot put into words how important this opportunity is for us, and how thankful we are to be considered. Anyone who knows me knows of my heartfelt desire for our children at Mercy and Sharing to grow up as the future leaders of Haiti. Even more than charity, our foundation is dedicated to giving our kids the education they need to survive, and the mindset to lift Haiti out of the bonds that have chained it since its creation. Considering where many of our children started, this may seem a tall order, but I believe fervently that through God’s strength and our own, we can do it. We just need a bunch of those cute little da gum computers.

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