According to their mission statement:
From the Raspberry Pi 'About' page:
But the thing is, you can do this with any computer.The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity that works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world, so they are capable of understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world, able to solve the problems that matter to them, and equipped for the jobs of the future.
We provide low-cost, high-performance computers that people use to learn, solve problems and have fun. We provide outreach and education to help more people access computing and digital making. We develop free resources to help people learn about computing and how to make things with computers, and train educators who can guide other people to learn.
The notion of providing a "cheap" computer that "anyone" can afford, is bogus in my opinion.
If you cannot afford a computer then you cannot afford a Pi.
A Pi in and of itself is cheap, yes. But it cannot be bought in a store (in most places around the world) so you need to pay for shipping which in some places, doubles the cost of the Pi. For example, in Australia, a Pi0 will cost you $40AUD to buy it from the official reseller located 1 hour from me via highway. Thats a pretty hefty jump from the advertised $5USD price.
But a Pi alone does not a computer make.
If one cannot afford a computer, then there is a strong likelyhood that they also do not have the required accessories.
Keyboard, mouse, HDMI cable, monitor, usb cable, power supply, case, micro SD card, etc. These all add up to a hefty sum of money. It is not unexpected to see these figures run into several hundreds of dollars. In many cases, more than a cheap tablet or netbook.
So where does the Pi fit now?
If the aim is to provide the hardware to enable a person to learn to program, then would not a cheaper, more powerful and more widely supported laptop or similar device achieve that?
Why is the Pi necessary?
Essentially, I'm wondering how the Pi meets the Foundation's mission statement when so many other devices meet it at a far better cost efficiency and with wider support.