The Peres Peace Center for Peace in Israel which is promoting global-good projects like Better Place is also coordinating the efforts of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)--an American based NGO with a mission to "create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning."
Om Malik wrote about the challenges in adopting OLPC Sugar OS and more analysis and critique of the project's strategy are plenty. OLPC has faced additional challenges this year with key players leaving the project and a difficulty keeping its proprietary XO laptop price at the $100 range first promised. Additionally, large technology and computer corporations like Intel, Dell, and HP are also working to make available extremely low-cost computers to emerging economies, motivated partly by philanthropy, partly by market entry and seeing strategies.
Regardless, two days ago in Jerusalem, I ran into a member of the foundation who told me computers will soon be available in Jericho schools. Israel may be a developed economy but there's still a great need among both Israeli and Palestinian kids. Through existing infrastructure, Israel is able to work with NGOs to provide some of the much needed assistance.
In emerging economies the situation is different. There's no established infrastructure and in many cases the government is unstable or unable to get involved in "non urgent" mattes like education. Through globalization the West has been tapping into the human resources at lowest economic stratas in these previously comletely isolated regions. The result is a change in our world--from more access to natural resources to cheap consumer goods to large scale manufacturing and services. But let's not forget that as we change our world we also change theirs. I believe it is our responsibility to assist these economies in transitioning into the world we've opened to, or forced on, them. Safe environment and food must come first for some regions but there are plenty of areas ready for the next phase...and that's where education and access to information must be made available.