Dallas, Texas August 7, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MoneyGram (NASDAQ:MGI), a leading global money transfer and payment services company, celebrated a grant by the MoneyGram Foundation to the One Laptop Per Child Foundation (OLPC). The foundation and One Laptop Per Child hosted an event at the Masibambane Junior Primary School in the Orange Farm community to distribute 250 tablets to students attending the school on June 30, 2014. The event recognized and celebrated the Masibambane students as the first South African recipients of the OLPC's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Learning Environment program.
The MoneyGram Foundation's grant facilitates the initiation of the OLPC pilot program and provides access to technology to the Masibambane School as a way to support and supplement its existing curriculum. This XO tablet-based program is intended to combat social exclusion and to encourage individual empowerment amongst student users.
"The MoneyGram Foundation is a strong advocate for education worldwide and focuses on high-impact initiatives such as this one," said Anton Luttig, regional director for South and East Africa at MoneyGram. "We were especially intrigued and excited by the idea that each one of the 250 tablets distributed here today will be used and reused by so many deserving students, maximizing the reach and impact of the donation."
The XO tablet that the OLPC Masibambane Learning Environment program is centered on was developed by America's prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and features a 7.5-inch optical multi-touch display screen. It is loaded with an array of e-learning software that both enables and tracks each child's educational progress.
"The fact that Masibambane itself developed an overarching ICT development plan for learners and teachers is a key reason why we were attracted to this particular school," said Mark Kaplan, executive chairman of OLPC South Africa Foundation. "As of now, only a little over 6,000 of South Africa's more than 25,000 schools are ICT-enabled. If we are to conquer South Africa's growing digital divide, it is vital that more South African schools and their surrounding communities develop similar ICT educational plans and partner with sponsors like the MoneyGram Foundation and OLPC to bring that plan into action."
Along with Luttig and Kaplan, other attendees of the Masibambane donation event included Gabriel Wilson, senior marketing manager of South and East Africa at MoneyGram, Peter Mureu, marketing manager of South and East Africa, and other representatives of MoneyGram International and OLPC– along with members of the local community, the Department of Basic Education, and technical advisor Pendula ICT.
OLPC is the world's foremost non-profit organization dedicated to offering children in developing countries access to affordable laptops and tablets. OLPC strives to provide children worldwide with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, Linux-based, connected XO laptops. OLPC has designed hardware, content and software for collaborative and self-empowered learning. The laptops have wireless broadband so each laptop can talk to its nearest neighbors, creating a local area network for students and their teachers.
About MoneyGram Foundation
MoneyGram, a leading global money transfer and payment services company, established the MoneyGram Foundation in 2012 to help children around the world gain access to educational facilities and learning resources. Its mission is firmly rooted in the belief that education is at the heart of better economic opportunities, healthier families and individual freedom and empowerment. The MoneyGram Foundation is focused on inspiring minds and improving lives and grants funds to deserving organizations with this mission in mind. To learn more, please visit moneygramfoundation.org or connect with us on Facebook.
About MoneyGram International, Inc.
MoneyGram, a leading money transfer company, enables consumers who are not fully served by traditional financial institutions to meet their financial needs. MoneyGram offers money transfer services worldwide through a global network of 339,000 agent locations - including retailers, international post offices and financial institutions - in more than 200 countries and territories. MoneyGram also offers bill payment services in the U.S. and Canada.
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Source:MoneyGram International, Inc.