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A Tribute to Paul Murphy
(1980 - 2023)

Our friend, co-founder and trustee Paul Murphy passed away on 19 March 2023. Paul was passionate about science, loved technology and believed in the transforming power of education as a passport to dignity and independence of thought. He will be very much missed.

Paul joined the University of Manchester in 2008, where he teamed up with Celia Russell and Yin Min Tun to start the first eTekkatho project. Paul developed the original technologies that powered eTekkatho and founded the Tekkatho Foundation in 2013. He travelled across Myanmar the same year, setting up our very first digital libraries at Mandalay University, Yangon University, Dagon University, Myitkyina University, UDE in Yangon and the Myanmar Environment Institute.

In 2012 Paul joined Co-operatives UK where he was Head of Digital for the next eight years, a hugely valued and popular member of Co-operatives UK's Management Team. In 2014, our new Head of IT, May Thet Khine Nyein joined Paul in Manchester for her initial training. In 2020, he moved on again to pursue a PhD in AI, Machine Learning and Advanced Computing at Cardiff University.

Throughout all this time, Paul was an active Tekkatho Foundation Trustee, joining the regular weekly team meetings and leading on the technical strategy and governance of the Foundation. He returned to Myanmar over the years, setting up new libraries in Chin State, Kayin State, Shan State and Kayah State. He was part of every decision, and thanks to Paul’s inventiveness and determination, there are Tekkatho libraries in every state and region of Myanmar.

Paul died on March 19 2023 aged 42, after being diagnosed with lymphoma. He had joined his last Tekkatho team meeting just a few weeks before. With his usual diligence and care, Paul took steps to hand over his role to ensure the work of the Tekkatho Foundation will continue.

Ten years ago, Paul drafted our guiding mission to improve access to education in Myanmar, irrespective of where people live, their ethnicity or faith. We remain committed to his principles of keeping the door of education open to all.

“ကျွန်မတို့ eTekkatho အဖွဲ့လို့ ပြောလိုက်ရင် Paul ကို မြင်မိကြမယ် ထင်ပါတယ်။”

2014 with librarians of Loikaw.jpg

 The picture shows Paul in Loikaw, one of his favourite places in Myanmar.

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