I’m sure many of you have heard of the One Laptop per Child Program.

The premise is that if you introduce computer literacy and internet access to children in the developing world, you can actually give them a fair shot at making it in the world. Often their teachers are volunteers or not properly trained themselves, and poor education is the strongest link in the cycle of poverty. With a laptop, eager students can help themselves.

The laptops are specially designed – touchscreen, waterproof, shock-resistent, powered by a hand-crank, and networked to be able to access the internet as long as they are within two miles of another laptop that is within two miles of another laptop (and so on down the daisy chain) which is in wireless range. Critically for developing countries, if the laptops are reported stolen, satellite communication turns it into a worthless hunk of metal and plastic within seconds. All for just under $100.

At la Fundacion Paraguaya (where I work), a group of us are working on a project to appeal to the International Monetary Fund and other international holders of Paraguay’s foreign debt. In the past, the IMF has been able to arrange “Debt-for-Nature” swaps, in which they forgive debt equivalent to the amount of money a government spends on new ecological preservation efforts. We are trying to make a case for them to administer a similar program here, the difference being that debt would be relieved as money is put towards buying 1L-P-C Laptops.

Sounds like a plan, huh?