In memory of Paolo Brunello
Good deeds should not be forgotten.
Back in 2010, a guy I had known online for a few years and I became the two freelance tutors for an online course managed by an NGO.
In that period we had to interact a lot, even meeting personally one or two times, to prepare the courseware, discuss how to handle tests etc.
He was kind, energetic, always good-humored, very competent, had worked years in Africa doing very interesting ICT4D projects, had tons of ideas on everything related to using ICT for social development (that’s how and why we had met online).
That’s why during that course we ended up playing good cop (him)/bad cop (me) on the students naturally, without conscious decisions, but good results for the students. A great nice guy, overall, really: his name is Paolo Brunello:
After the course ended, we almost lost track of each other. Then, exactly six years ago today, Paolo ended his life, because of a long-standing depression. I got the news a few weeks later, through Facebook.
It turned out the depression had been going on since well before that course of ours, but he had successfully hidden it from all his online contacts. Only his close family knew, and had tried for years all ways to support him, to no avail.
Discovering Paolo’s death was shocking. I remember writing really heartfelt condolences to his family, on his Facebook wall, as there was nothing else I could do.
Whenever the occasion comes, I still quote Paolo’s work and ideas about “ICT for Development” (ICT4D) in my own activities. Today, I wanted to do it even here. To know more about Paolo’s work, and get inspired by it, do read:
- (if you understand Italian) his biography, or this project to end digital divide in Burundi
- a collection of some his works
- Paolo Brunello’s page on Google Scholar
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