Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that all donations for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Australia fund will be tax deductible.
The announcement, meaning donations to OLPC over $2 before 30 June 2012 will be tax deductible, comes on the first anniversary of the delivery of the first batch of inexpensive laptops to underprivileged children in remote communities. The Australian arm of the organisation has so far shipped 1500 laptops to 20 schools in Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland, and aims to deliver 20,000 laptops by 2012 at a cost of $2.4 million.
The program offers a range of donation options, ranging from $25 to pay for shipping a laptop to $490 for a laptop purposefully configured to fit the school curriculum, with ongoing maintenance. A full laptop costs $300 under the program.
However, the Australian branch of the global initiative no longer appears to offer the Give 1 Get 1 program which allowed people to donate a first generation XO laptop and keep one for personal use.
The laptop's Linux-based user interface, Sugar, is currently developed by the open source community and has attracted interest from the global technological community since its inception.
The OLPC program was initiated globally in January 2005 in an effort to deliver inexpensive laptops to children in underprivileged communities around the world. The program had shipped 1 million laptops by April this year.
The United Nations has recently announced plans to purchase 500,000 of the laptops to distribute to children in the West Bank and Gaza.
Some criticism has arisen around the program, ranging from the cost and type of components used to the misuse of the laptops by children in some countries to obtain pornography.
Australian children that receive the laptops will also benefit from the Government's $7 million funding to improve Internet access in indigenous communities over four years.
Donations over $2 made before 30 June 2012 will be tax deductible.