wikiHow:OLPC Ideas to Inspire


Stumped for how to help create great articles to assist the OLPC effort? Here's a cheatsheet of ideas - the substance is up to you.

Don't forget the cross-linkages with the UNICEF project as a source of ideas as well. Remember to add templates for both {{LC}} and {{UNICEF}} where relevant to both projects. Thanks!


Many of the following ideas were inspired by Klaus Leiss. If Klaus happens upon our site again, please drop Flickety a hello so that we can both thank you and also ask you a few more questions! Thanks!

More ideas will be added here. Please continue to check back in.


Ensuring children's health is priority number one. Consider articles on how to avoid diseases, maintaining hygiene, sterilizing water and utensils, long-term health preservation, nutrition etc.

Food preparation

Preparing food can consume a lot of energy and if alternative means can be found to make use of natural resources such as the sun and wind, these will help children in developing countries a great deal. Also consider that wood smoke is very dangerous to the health of children and their families; not only does the smoke affect health but it also causes deforestation. So all alternatives for cooking and heating are much needed!

  • wood conserving stove made from stone and clay
  • simple but secure chimneys
  • solar stove (from simple to elaborate)
  • solar baking oven
  • hygiene in preparation

Food preservation

When you cannot access a fridge or other electrically powered storage method, food preservation becomes very crucial.

  • food chiller (build from two clay pots and some wet sand)
  • solar food drier
  • simple meat or fish smoker
  • making jerky or similar basic food items that last a long time
  • use of products easily available and safe for preservation purposes
  • recipes that are easy, culturally broad and readily available food


Energy is expensive for most people everywhere. It is even harder to get energy in the first place when you live in areas where infrastructure isn't even in place. Anything that can inspire energy creation from readily available resources is fantastic.

  • building a small wind- or watermill hat
  • can charge a car battery
  • how to do illumination with a car battery and some lamps
  • various solar projects
  • low heat cooking
  • build you own windmill from scraps

Daily Living Issues

Yes, daily life throws all sorts at us. Imagine having your food garden trampled by elephants - your only food source. Or having lions make it dangerous for you to fetch water. What about the problems associated with daily pests such as mosquitoes and flies? There is no limit to the helpful advice we might be able to come up with to alleviate such problems.

  • Use bee sounds or bees to deter elephants - SMH

Financial, Business and Saving for Children

Articles that teach young people how to save money, start and run their own business and help communities to save and raise funds are ideal additions.

  • Saving
  • Starting a business
  • Making money from handcrafts etc.
  • Community savings bank - starting one, running it etc.
  • Loans

Water Conservation

Water is a very precious resource. If you just happen to live somewhere that has lots of water, you may not have ever considered it but when there is little or no water, life becomes very, very difficult.

  • ways to purify water
  • ways to access water
  • ways to recycle/reuse water
  • ways to make water usage go further

Practical Things Around the House

OLPC has specifically requested a good selection of practical things to help out around a very basic house such as:

  • fixing cement cracks
  • rigging blinds or rugs
  • making a broom / dustpan / bucket from scrap materials
  • salvaging 'ruined' nails/wood
  • repairing different kinds of clothing troubles
  • fixing various kinds of cars, etc.
  • fixing bicycles
  • creating useful things from scrap

Children at Play

Don't forget the magic of play. Remember that the simple games are always the best - wherever a child is in the world! Here are some helpful ideas:

  • games
  • magic tricks
  • board or natural object games that children can make themselves from easy-to-find objects
  • card games (child appropriate)
  • nature crafts
  • educational games


Reading, writing, speaking publicly and drama are all important elements of boosting the confidence and knowledge capacity of children.

  • Writing petitions for school and community improvements
  • Writing plays that discuss important daily topics (often the easiest way to transmit information clearly)
  • Creating posters to promote awareness
  • Awareness campaigns
  • Using and making blogs - this is fast becoming an important source of information in Africa

Article Info

Categories: OLPC