OLPC Oceania has won high level backing on the eve of the launch of One Laptop per Child in Samoa next month. At a reception at Parliament House, Sydney, to mark Commonwealth Day, Chairman of the Australian Youth Trust, Sir Ian Turbott AO, announced a donation of AUD$5000 to kickstart the OLPC program in Samoa next month. He said the grant would "send at signal of support to the Samoan people as they rebuild their country in the aftermath of the September 2009 tsunami disaster."
The Award was presented by AYT Patron, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales, to OLPC's regional director, Michael Hutak, and the Samoan High Commissioner to Australia, H.E Lemalu Samau Tate Simi. The funds will be disbursed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, which will buy school servers and other peripheral equipment to support the XO deployment in April in two schools in the villages of Paia and Laumoli on Samoa's island of Savai'i.
Sir Ian Turbott is also Honorary Consul to the Cook Islands, which commenced its OLPC program in February in schools on the island of Mitiaro.