Christmas with MPI women

(Interview with Rose Busingye (Director MPI) with Lumanyika Bright)

Before this New Year of 2016, I heard about the Christmas Celebration that the women of MPI had at Luigi Giussani High school. What roused in me was the desire to know really what had happened on that day; I couldn’t hide from that fact that had happened, it was such a disturbance that left me yearning to go deeper.  It was for me too that moment and what dominated was nothing but the desire to relive those memories with someone who had witnessed that feast. So I asked Rose (MPI Director) to share with me about the Christmas with the women.

What was for you Christmas with the women?

When we talk about the women, people begin to look at what they do, their mistakes, we really don’t look where they are looking and we don’t see what they have found that is beyond the mistakes they do.

The preparation was on that morning of 24th, on 25th it was ready. If you ask our people who are working they say, “me I don’t have this, I didn’t budget” but imagine that evening the women budgeted, they contributed money, went for shopping and on Christmas; it was ready. They bought two goats and one pig then each one was bringing potatoes, chicken, rice and others. You would see that, the most important thing was not the preparation but something that was happening; that something that was connected with their lives. Maybe with friends we bargain, we buy this, we don’t buy this, and you would really understand that it’s something beyond friendship.  People who tell their children and husbands that “you remain home, I am going to celebrate with my friends” this is a wife telling a husband.

You can see that when one discovers a value; everything rotates there, everything serves what the person is, the value the person is, the problem is when we start the other way round, we start with money and forget ourselves. We think that the most important thing is money more than our lives and then we hang up there and we are not moved at all. Christmas is just a day like any other day, but for them what I saw that day was something beyond life. We stayed there up to 7 pm in the evening, and we ate while dancing because it became like Christmas is celebrating ourselves and what came is for me, is me. It’s not to have a new dress but to have myself. It’s to celebrate life that is what I witnessed.

I kept gazing at her while she was telling me all this, I felt as if nothing mattered any more than the desire to stay and look where those women were looking and to have what they found.

Written by

Lumanyika Jude Bright



My first glance at the invitation letter, I was inflamed by the words of Aunt Rose, when she said that ‘’I Invite you as a friend, chosen such that you go deeper into the Majesty that has come into this world, that the mystery manifests in the risen Christ and that there is a nothingness that is not lost, even my nothingness is saved’’. This made me, to take a very deep breath, my heart felt like it has reached the source of its origin and my whole day was full of burning desire to reach the day of departure.

We all gathered at Luigi Giussani Pre-Primary and Primary School in Kireka ready for the Journey at 6:00 and .by 6:30 am, the bus arrived and we entered happily in bus ready for the journey. This was a unique and special journey compared to all the trips that we made to Gulu. It involved us to really go deep in understanding God’s love and Mercy towards each one of us. It was accompanied by the singing of various songs that filled our hearts with Joy.

After a six-hour drive, we reached in Gulu Town and we were to sleep and spend most our time at Comboni sisters near the cathedral in Gulu. After dropping our luggage in our respective rooms, we set off to St. Mary’s hospital Lacor to pay a visit to our dear father (Priest) Tibon, who has spent a period of one year in the hospital because he is getting old day and day accompanied with sickness and general body weakness which requires constant medical attention and care. We saw him in his room where he was resting, we sang for him some songs like La strada, Il disegno and many others which made his heart full of gladness that he held the hand of Aunt Rose very tight. At that moment, my heart felt alive and desired the same charisma and faith like that of father Tibon.

After this event, we all left in silence to our bus and went back to Comboni sister’s residence which was near. Our evening was interesting because we started by the sharing of experiences about what has struck us, asking questions and helping each other to move on the same journey. We played football which was really so awesome after which we enjoyed our dinner joyfully.

That night after dinner, we also had a very mysterious moment in the main hall because Aunt Rose shared with us her encounter with father Luigi Giussani and how the gaze of this man changed her life completely, she told us that her first encounter with Giussani was in the lift in Italy, this ‘’man’’ looked at her with different gaze, not usually common, as if she already knew who she was. She shared with us a lot of her experiences with him which did not leave me the same way, I too desired this very same embrace. Full of the fatigue for the whole day, we all went in our Beds in silence, to go deep into the event that had just happened to us that very night.

We slept well like queens and kings and we were woken up by the morning bells of the nearby cathedral, we had a delicious breakfast after which we had morning Prayers and mass led by father Martin, a friend from Gulu. After this we had another moment of the interactive learning session, with our hearts full, we shared, communicated and asked various questions. In our interaction, I was able to learn the true method of following, to always listen to my heart and follow what really corresponds to it.

After all this, we had lunch together, sang songs and we finally went to St. Mary’s hospital to say goodbye to our dear father Tibon and to keep him in our prayers. We came back to our homes very tired because of the long Journey. However, the memories of the event that happened to us will never vanish from our hearts and we will keep on desiring the same for the rest of our lives.

Compiled by Gashumba Emmanuel.




My name is Gashumba Emmanuel. I am a Social Worker of Meeting Point International, following up children in the Distance Support Program Office (DSP) both at home and school to understand their social wellbeing, behavior and characteristics such that they are helped to discover their greatest need, desires and value. I attended my high school from Luigi Giussani High School, completed senior six and right now am studying at Makerere Institute for Social Development doing a course in Social Working and Social Administration and at the same time working at Meeting Point International as a Social Worker.

Meeting Point International (M.P.I) supports over 1700 children in their education and most of the children under support belong to the women of M.P.I. When the women of M.P.I, through their encounter with Aunt Rose discovered their true value, they wished that their children also discover the same value that they had discovered, everything they touched acquired a meaning and become present for them and so they wanted their children to also feel this total Joy and happiness that prevailed within their hearts. What struck me most and keeps on moving me every day is the great charism that the women exhibited through the selling of various paper beads made from recycled papers and provision of strenuous manual labor in the setting up of  a beautiful school for their children called Luigi High School and the Primary school called Luigi Giussani Pre-Primary school. Most of their children study in this two schools and they wish that their children can discover who they are, the love that their mothers have for them and God their creator through a beauty that is in front of them. Some other children, study in various schools surrounding Kampala and among these  schools we have; St. Jude nursery and Primary schools, Mivule schools, Nagalama secondary school, St. Kizito schools and many other schools to mention but a few.

Children have been in schools, a few months back and they were in their third term of the year, meaning a term that is supposed to determine their promotion to the next class; some have been candidates like the senior fours, senior six and primary seven. They have all been working very hard, reading day and night, consulting teachers in order to acquire good results that would enable them to move to the next level of education. At the end of the day, those who worked hard acquired good results and were promoted to next classes. For the candidate classes, they are still waiting for their National Exams to be released by the Uganda National Examination Board (U.N.E.B).

Most of our children are now in their holidays at home helping their parents in various domestic works like mopping the houses, rolling of paper beads, working in the stone quarry with their parents, selling charcoal with them, cleaningutensils and many other types of work.

Most of the homes of these children are located in the suburbs of Kampala City especially in Naguru and Kireka. Since this is, the longest holiday within the whole year, I Gashumba Emmanuel a social worker of Meeting Point International decided to carry out an interview on one of the students of Luigi Giussani High School called Namaganda Brenda who shared with me her experience at school and home. She said that “when the term is ending and am going for holidays I feel very happy, good and I feel like jumping to the sky because in the holidays, I become stress free from the books and exams. It’s the time I interact with all my family members with ample time and no interference at all. However with time, I become bored and start missing my school again. When she told me this, I posed a question to her [why do you get bored at home and after you start missing your school again? She replied to me saying that it’s because most of my friends are found at school than at home. At school, am more free and I express my self freely because am with my age mates and she added on saying I also miss my teachers at school, the good food, the good structures of my school and various school activities that take place at school like the Music, dance and drama, sports and many other school activities that keep me busy, happy and active. 

I replied to her, wow it’s a beautiful experience because, it reminds me of my school days in high school where by, when the time for holidays was approaching, I used to fill very excited because the pressure for reading books would reduce and that’s the time I would Participate more in various co-curricular activities like playing basket ball and football. I would also get excited to have much time with my family members but after a few weeks at home I would also again desire to go back at school to study and interact with my colleagues. Basing on this interview, I came up with a conclusion that most of the students when they are getting their holidays, they are very excited but when they reach at their homes, they get fade up of the life at home and they again desire to go back to their schools and even when they are at school, they feel like getting holidays. This is really so striking, hahaha oh oh oh…….


Namaganda Brenda



IMG_6356In this world everyone’s wish is to always be the first or on top of the others.This refers to the children who sat their Primary Leaving Examinations from Luigi Giussani Pre-Primary and Primary school. It was challenging at the start to convince the children to join the school but when their time came to leave the school, most of them felt like not leaving the school, yet they had no choice but to give room for the incoming candidates.

If anyone like me ( Adong Evelyn a social worker at Meeting Point International) had a chance to talk to these children, or see whatever they did, one could really feel that they were really going to miss the school because of the love, care and protection that they were always given at school.I had a chance to enter their classrooms and sawthe indicators and reminders written by them that Never forget the Pioneers of L.G.P.P.S I was really moved personally because in my years of Primary seven, we left no reminders as we were leaving the school butthis love that the children showed for their school was different. The pioneers never wanted to be forgotten due to the fact they are the first primary seven (candidates) to sit national examinations in this school.I had a chance to talk to one of the pupil (Carrado Corradini Joshua), he first responded with a smile and his face portrayed happiness. To me, his smile and face made me realize that there is somethingspecial about the school. He then continued telling me that.

I love the school and missed it because of the teachers like Mr. JohnBosco (head teacher) and Miss Monica who always spent their evening hours playing football, netball and also the gym activities like jumping, skipping, and others with us honestly, it is rare to find teachers in a school playing with the children. This is because most schools in Uganda are mainly academic based and they don’t care about the social wellbeing of the children. In fact the teachers from other schools don’t build relationships with their children.

Corrado continued telling me that “At times we are called to the staff room and given snacks,by the teachers”. “Mr. John Bosco was always after me to ensure that I eat food.Whenever I am not feeling happy teacher Bena (class teacher) was always concerned to know why am not happy but not only to me but also other pupils in school”. When I had these words, I remembered my school days where by the teachers never cared about the children and no teacher could take an initiative to know whether the children have eaten food or not. I must confess that L.G.P.P.S is really a school among schools that I have seen. The last thing that amazed me from Corrado was what he said when I asked him what he would tell other people about the school.” L.G.P.P.S is a good school. I will tell them to join the school because even the support staff try to ensure that children use the toilets properly and they don’t destroy things in the school compoundtherefore in L.G.P.P.S they not only care about the academic progress of the children but also their social wellbeing in the society.


Complied by

Adong Evelyn 



During Christmas holidays, a group of Italian sponsors came to Kampala to visit Meeting Point International and Luigi Giussani schools.  One of them is called Lorenzo; he started sponsoring Luigi Giussani schools before he even saw where his effort was going, all this was because of the friendship with Rose Busingye (the Director of MPI). He met her in Italy and he decided to involve himself with what this woman has built in Kampala. Reaching Kampala and realizing the concrete impact of his contribution surprised him. He was happy and he could not imagine the beauty of the experience he was supporting and all he could say was “I am happy to sponsor people who are happy”. Lorenzo was amazed in front of the way people live here: the community of Kireka and Naguru is composed of women who have incredible stories: “I am free” they sing. Free form all of the reductions that affect people’s life: they are focused, centered (as the Pope says) on the Christian encounter they made through Rose. It releases every woman from all the limitation they have: money, success, wellbeing are meaningless if a person does not get the value of life. Instead of taking these women live giving everything to the others and are happy and free. It really provokes all of them and me: I was accompanying them and I have never felt so involved like that moment because those women were changing the conception I have of happiness and well being. Lorenzo said “Supporting a school or an NGO does not help you to understand the fact that behind these institutions there are people and there is an experience that can change the world”. Why a group of women can change the world? Because the happiness they show among the difficulties of their life is the sign of the dearest thing they have: they meet Christ every day in the things they do: working, feeding children, crushing stones, making beads. Looking at them I realized that when the Pope says “When Jesus become part of our lives, we cannot longer remain imprisoned in our past. Instead we begin to look at the present with a different kind of hope”.

These women share an experience that make them friends, and this friendship is generating development. Lorenzo and his family were welcomed by the women of MPI in Kireka: they say it was like being welcomed by a family. Families of people who are free to give you everything, because they already have what really matters: the value of life and the value of the Christian experience. After dancing and singing with Rose plus the women, the visitors went for lunch with Rose.

This was an occasion to ask Rose about the story of Meeting Point International and to go in deep in the story of the women that generate this beauty. Rose told the stories of Teddy, Florence, Tina, Priscilla and many others so we could know in detail the past and the present of these people. Many stories were incredible for us because we realize that it does not matter what kind of problems or difficulties a person has to face: if someone in aware of his/her value can discover that this is greater than the issue or the limitations. This way every challenge can be the occasion to discover again that each person is loved and every instant is meaningful. Lorenzo repeated “I am surprised in front of the happiness of these people. They have lost many things, but they have what really matters: they know why they wake up in the morning”.

Rose told the visitors the episode of the Christmas Party at Meeting Point International. On the 25th the women celebrated the catholic feast in the field in front of Luigi Giussani High School. Teddy, one of them, said “We did not organize anything. On the 24th we realized that we want to spend Christmas together and even if we were many, all the hearts were turn to the same thing so we moved on as we were one; on the 25th everything was ready and beautiful because everyone brought the best she has. I brought the console and I was the DJ. We danced all day and at the end of the day I was not tired”.

Later visitors went to Welcoming House and the Children welcomed them: all of them were astonished because they noticed that nothing was missing in the life of those children. They are loved and accompanied in their growth: Apofia, Rose and the “aunties” take care of them. You can see that even if they are so young they are aware of the fact that someone loves them now and will never stop. This awareness can really make the difference. Children are hopeful and happy for what they receive every day and not sad for what they do not have. What Rose and Apofia give them is something that can change people’s lives. Apparently these children have nothing because they share everything and no one possess “things” but looking at them especially at the way they live, everyone can see that they have the love of someone who will never abandon them and it gives strength, hope and curiosity in meeting the others. The awareness of not to be alone in front of life’s challenges is what can change someone’s life. Here in MPI is evident: people do not need their problems to be solved, because these problems are challenges. People need to know they are loved and not alone.

The thing that surprised Lorenzo most was the happiness of the people he met: contributing to the development must be a contribution to the growth of people. The happiness Lorenzo noticed is the sign of the awareness that people have about the value of life. They are happy because they know that everything they do has a value. When someone understands that he or she has a value everything he or she does get meaningful because every experience becomes the occasion to discover the meaning of reality and of life. I work here since July, and accompanying the sponsors has been a great occasion for me to understand again what I can discover in my everyday life here.


Francesca Peverelli



Says Kabanda Edward, a 20-year-old student of Luigi Giussani high school.

My name is Mukunda Awaru, a social worker of Meeting Point International in charge of accompanying children supported by DSP program in their path of growth. During the past year I had the opportunity to interact with Edward; at that time, he had just completed his senior four examinations which will help him to be awarded a Uganda certificate of education. I felt happy about his goal and I decided to interview him because the pictures of our path are very similar. Our stories are indeed very similar: when I look back at the time I was Edward’s age, I realize that mine and his stories have many point in common. After the completion of senior six, I never had hope to join the university but as they say, Hope changes everything: I was failing at first but through constant hard work and determination, it was eventually a success for me that I completed. I really got moved by the way he passed through all the challenges up to when he was successful; this is our mission: not to reduce the person to the challenges he encounters but to let him discover that he has an infinite value as Rose Busingye (MPI Director) says it, “The greatest need of a human being is the need of belonging, which gives stability and certainty in all aspects of life. Meeting Point International has discovered that with a belonging you can approach others while taking into account their reality and you can be able to truly embrace him/her whichever are the differences that separate you. MPI creates simple environments where each person can find it easier to belong, and experience love.”

When Edward completed his primary seven, he was unable to join secondary school because by then his uncle Mukabiri Geofrey who was paying his school fees had lost his job. He sat at home for one year, all his hopes of continuing with studies was all gone. He is the fifth born in a family 0f 6 children with 03 brothers and 03 sisters, the other children were studying using the little saving that his uncle had accumulated while he was still in service before he lost his job, his uncle was looking for a way of supporting Edward in secondary school but he failed so Edward decided to sit for a year. His family comes from Iganga district found in the eastern part of Uganda. His parents came to Kampala in search for job opportunities and they settled in Naguru housing estate which was considered redevelopment and the tenants where displaced. Edward’s family relocated to Kiganda zone, a neighboring village to Acholi quarters where Meeting Point International has a center. His father earns very little income by making chapatti, their family burden out weights their income this is why Edward was being paid in school by his uncle. His father lives in the same place, so when he received help from his brother (Edward’s uncle) to support Edward in primary, he was so happy but when it came to secondary, it was a burden for all of them because the uncle could not any more afford to pay his school fees, so Edward did not give up, he knew one day, he would go back to school, the desire for studies kept him awake to focus on his dreams. His father is our client in Meeting Point International and he was active in all the activities of our organization.

During the time he stayed at home without going to school, Edward admired his friends who managed to join secondary school. He often visited them at their homes to try to understand what goes on at secondary level. His closest friend by the names of Tumwa Derrick had joined Luigi Giussani High school and his mother Apia Betty was a member of Meeting Point International. Apia Betty was moved when she got to know that Edward who is a close friend to her son had dropped out of school at primary level. She encouraged him to talk to Rose Busingye (Director of M.P.I) about his challenge because Rose helps needy and vulnerable children like Edward (she supports them). He first hesitated because he is used of hearing of corn men who promise that they are going to pay for people, then in return take their money and the promise becomes false. Apia Betty insisted and kept on telling him to go to Meeting Point International, so one time Apia Betty invited him to go to Meeting Point International Naguru. Edward agreed and went with Betty to Meeting Point International Naguru, when Edward reached, the other women attending the weekly meeting in Naguru wondered why Betty had come with a young boy because the meetings are usually attended by women and besides Rose was out of the country.  Apia Betty talked to Achieng Agnes (one of the field social workers in Naguru) about Edward’s challenge, Agnes called Edward and he narrated his story to her, Agnes was touched and she promised to tell Rose about his situation. Agnes also talked about Edward during the women’s meeting, they too felt concerned about him, however Edward doubted their reaction he thought that ‘’may be the women would isolate him because he was just a small boy’’ but he was surprised with the way he was welcomed and comforted with love and care like he was their own child. He stayed with them and enjoyed their dances, songs and drama when lunch time approached, he was very hungry yet he had no money on him however another surprise unveiled, two women invited him for lunch they bought for him a snack with milk for lunch.

This warm welcome made him feel at home, so every week, he would join them for the weekly meeting where Adult literacy is also conducted to give an opportunity to mothers who never had a chance to study to learn how to write and read.  Each passing week everything was so nice to Edward, he would come, listen to what they study, take breakfast, lunch with them and after go home. Edward that the weekly meetings became his home because he would wake up with no money to eat but the only thing he thought was to go and be with the women. He would come and sit with them, listen and watch what they study and after go home. One day, one of the women told him that she knew some history and geography, she asked him to come with his books so that can teach him geography and history. Edward was very excited he could not wait for the next meeting, when the day he was more than ready to learn, the lady taught him for two weeks. When Rose came back from her journey in Europe she was welcomed with dances and songs of joy often depicting courage and strength in the fight against AIDS. Rose did not realize the presence of a new family member until her next meeting with the women. When she came back a day after, Agnes introduced Edward to Rose and told her about his situation. She also told about the joy that he brings to the women whenever he attends their meetings. Rose asked Edward to go to her office located in Kitintale about five Kilometers from Naguru. When Edward reached Kitintale the next day, Rose asked him, “are you the boy who has been attending with the women?” Edward said he was the one. He wanted to tell her his story Rose kindly said, “Edward I know everything about you because Agnes has explained everything about your situation.  Bring your photos so as to fill a form for you to get someone to support your education”. He went back home very happy, and returned with the photos. Edward knelt down and thanked God for he has answered his prayers. Rose Busingye told Edward that we are going to request for support but it will take a while before the request is answered.  He went home full of gratitude and waited patiently. It was coming to the end of the year when his form was filled and it takes some months to find a sponsor. So another year began when he was still at home, first term elapsed; it was during first term holidays when he finally got a sponsor. He was admitted to Luigi Giussani high school where he has now completed senior four this year.

Compiled by

Mukunda Awaru