“The time has come to move beyond broad discussions of the “digital divide” – the gap in communications technology between rich and poor – to outlining a specific plan to give people access to the technologies they need and the education to use them effectively”. Kofi Annan, Tunisi, 16th November 2005
At the end of 2005 a group of Italian managers working in the information technology sector decided to give an answer to this important message using their knowledge to help bridge the digital divide. They founded Informatici Senza Frontiere ONLUS (IT Without Borders), a non-profit organization with the objective of using IT knowledge and tools to provide practical help to those who live in a situation of poverty and marginalization.
In almost ten years of activity, Informatici Senza Frontiere has grown and has now ten regional sections with more than 300 members, men and women, computer experts and not, who are contributing to the association’s goals, in Italy and in the developing countries, through the creation of courses, the computerization of hospitals and reception centres, the creation of specific programs and computer networks, the collaboration with schools, universities and prisons and the realization of direct applications in the world of disability.
Computer Without Borders in this area of intervention is considered important and innovative. The United Nations in May 2013 called on the association to present part of its work in Geneva during the World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2013 ITU, recognizing it as a real representative on a European level of what the IT can do in the difficult field of disability.
In March 2014 the app “Paperboy” running on smartphones, tablets or computers and created for visually impaired and blind people to audio-read newspapers and textual contents, is award finalist in the world 2014 ITU WSIS.