Somewhere in Port-au-Prince lie 400 XO laptops donated to Haiti by North American XO owners after the 2010 earthquake. Until recently, these laptops were sitting unused in an OLPC warehouse in Texas. Last fall, OLPC agreed to entrust this last batch of donated laptop to Waveplace and Haiti Partners, a responsibility we’ve taken very seriously.

Over the last six months, Waveplace has interviewed 49 Haiti organizations to determine which were interested (half were) and capable of sustaining a laptop program (about a quarter were). Never have we vetted potential partners so thoroughly. We visited more than 30 schools. We met with dozens of people personally. We talked on the phone with even more. In the end, we choose seven new organizations to partner with, based upon our confidence in their ability to sustain laptop programs. In our experience, sustainability means much more than money. It means commitment, philosophy, responsiveness.

We see these 400 laptops, as with the 350 before them, as seeds of change that will inevitably lead to a much larger transformation. The catalysts, the caretakers, of this change will be our partners, which is why we spent so much time choosing who to work with. I’m very excited about the group we’ve assembled. In the end, it’ll make all the difference to have found such passionate, talented people.

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