After seeing OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) and other highly-designed and technology-focused products for the developing countries fail one after another, it's quite clear that most designers and technologists have difficult time understanding what the people in developing countries really need and are struggling with.

Aarambh, a nonprofit organization based in New Bombay, recognized the disconnect and created a clever dual-purpose desk/backpack from a cardboard designed to address basic necessities needed for education -- a backpack to hold books and a desk to study on.

Relevant Articles:
In Philippine Slums, Capturing Light in A Bottle (example of how a simple, affordable solution can make a worldly difference)

Kids Don’t Need Equipment, They Need Opportunity by Ellen Ruppel Shell (originally published July 1994 from Smithsonian Magazine)

via Dornob