A group of Italian IT managers has been developing projects around the world to overcome the "digital divide".
The initiative started in 2006 with Informatici Senza Frontiere (ISF, or IT Without Borders), a non-profit organisation whose primary objective was to use information technology knowledge and tools "to provide practical help to those who live in a situation of poverty and marginalisation", in the words of its president, Mr Dino Maurizio.
The association, which now has 300 members, works on several fronts: projects in developing countries, initiatives in prisons throughout Italy and laboratories in the crime-ridden Neapolitan neighbourhood of Scampia.
ISF's crown jewel is a project implemented in the village of Bemaneviky in Madagascar, where electricity is spotty and Internet connectivity is a pipe dream.
Thanks to ISF, a computer classroom has been born: 15 laptops, a projector, a multi-function printer and an Italian teacher, Mr Nico Tordini, who spent nine days training his staff.
To raise funds, the group allied itself with Monclick, an e-commerce company specialising in the sale of computer products and electronics. Together with the non-profit organisation Futuro Down of Benevento, ISF volunteers teach children with disabilities how to use computers, from e-mail to applications.
In another project, Bambini al PC (Children on PCs), young hospital patients in long-stay wards are able to continue to communicate with family and friends, as well as play games and keep up with lessons at school.
GIUSEPPE BOTTERO/ LA STAMPA (ITALY)