Children in Peru write their own history on Wikipedia —
Over a million children in Peru have access to an offline Spanish Wikipedia snapshot on their OLPC laptop. The Wikimedia Foundation is e-mailing its supporters a link to a trailer of a documentary called Web that shows the effects of these laptops with Wikipedia on children in the remote Amazonas town of Palestina, Peru. I was involved in creating the Wikipedia snapshot, so it’s very rewarding to see the video.
I especially love that the film shows the children editing Wikipedia as well as browsing it, so that we’re involving new parts of the world in the Internet’s global conversation instead of merely giving our own knowledge to them.
Four of us (three OLPC volunteers and I) worked on this offline Wikipedia snapshot for less than a month in 2008, through ten releases and 190 Git commits, and then shipped it to Peru. It wasn’t something anyone asked us to work on — it just seemed like a good idea, and it remains one of the most important things I’ve worked on in my life. It’s a reminder to always be looking and ready for unexpected opportunities to make a large difference.
Excellent work! Kudos to you and all who are doing this, it is important! If I had an old laptop kicking around, where could I send it? (I’m in Canada).
Steve, you can send it to us at the Cambridge, MA address on http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC:Contact_us and we’ll pass it on to a deployment. Thanks very much!