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Everybody by now has heard of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, and if a nonprofit organization called Worldleader is successful in its latest efforts, the One Kindle Per Child initiative will become equally well known.
A series of trials have already begun in Ghana, which involves giving students Amazon.com Kindles to read in school and at home. Worldreader, which is spearheading the project, was co-founded by David Risher, Amazon's former Senior VP who played a huge role in growing Amazon's operations beyond just books. Risher left Amazon before the Kindle came out, but sees huge potential in the device's ability to bring eBooks to students in parts of the world where getting them regular books can take months and months.
"There's a huge difference between able to read from a selection of the 10 books that you happen to have -- or that somebody donated -- versus being able to get your hands on a book that you are really interested in," says Risher. "When you combine that with very, very low distribution costs for additional books and falling technology prices, these are ingredients for doing something really special."
According to Risher, eReaders are particularly well suited to developing nations because of their low power consumption and use of the GSM network.
"Computers play a great role, but eReaders really sole the reading problem in a much more direct and simple way," Risher added.