Children in the football pitch

In most Ugandan schools, there is a day that is dedicated to sports activities, it is called “sports day”. Usually, the students are divided into groups called houses to which a name is dedicated. The students compete through these houses in co-curricular activities organized by the school. On such days, students show their talents, strengthen their relationship with teachers and express their love and passion for the houses they belong to. Usually, after such days, vivid memories remain in the minds of the students and conversation among friends about the day continues for weeks and even teachers go to classes and have conversations with students about the day.

A student holding a poster

This year Luigi Giussani High School had a sports day and its houses were; St. Agnes, St. Kizito, St. Savio and St. Theresa. Social workers from Meeting Point International, staff from Luigi Giussani Pre-primary and Primary school and some old students were invited  

The day began with a speech from Mr. Kawuki Michael, the head teacher. Who recalled students to participate by saying, “The awaited day has reached for us to bring out the talents God put in us”. Two categories of games were to be played: football and netball.

The day was officially started with the prayer, the singing of the national anthem and then the head teacher declared the competitions open.

“We are not here to compete, but don’t be fooled that we are here to loose”. These were words written on the yellow posters held by the students who were chanting in a loud voice and if somebody whispered, you could barely listen.

The first game was a football match between houses (St. Kizito and St. Theresa), during which students cheered vigorously as the players counter-attacked each other with goalkeepers making saves and others missing precious chances to score. House Patrons were on the touchline giving instructions and encouraging their players. When a goal was scored, you could see teachers and students celebrating hand in hand with each other! And the game ended in favour of St. Kizito; 1:0.

On the netball pitch, the game was between St. Agnes and St. Kizito and St. Kizito emerged winners with 11:6 points. Several houses kept competing throughout the day following the fixture that was made. They were all competitive and all the students participated fully in the competition.

The air was filled with Music which put life in the competition leaving students entertained and happy. At 2:00 pm, lunch was ready, all the players and other students got their food, sat in the Pavilion of the football pitch and were entertained by their fellow students who danced. It was a great moment that left everyone smiling.

After lunch, the games continued until 5:30 pm, everyone gathered in the Pavilion, to listen to the outcomes of the competition, and were so anxious to know how their houses had performed. All the players accompanied with their house patrons were requested to present themselves in front of everyone. The master of ceremony, Mr. Wandera Joseph along with the referees made some few remarks. Outstanding students in the different fields were awarded some gifts and congratulated for their performance and was a lesson for everyone to always aim for greater things.

St. Savio holding a trophy

Before Mr. Komakech Fredy, a sports official count read the final results, he read details of the games and this left everyone barely sitting, anticipating and calculating. Finally, St. Savioturned out to be the first, followed by St. Theresa, St. Kizito and finally St. Agnes which took the last position. The members of the winning house were so happy and excited and could not wait to hold the trophy in their hands. A social worker from Meeting Point International and a guest from Luigi Giussani Pre-primary and Primary School handed over the trophy. Upon receiving the trophy, the DJ played a congratulatory song which left students running all over the football pitch. Other houses were left with a task of becoming champions the following year.

One would ask, “Why someone would hit a ball, the round bouncing solid, try to get it, fall down trying to save it? Why this day?”

According to my observation and judgement, this event was so important in the life of many students, through my interaction with them, many of them told me that it has helped them to refresh their brains from books, helped them become flexible and physically fit, discover what they had in them, created an avenue for them to be so free with their teachers and with this, their performance in school will also improve.

The day closed with everyone dancing to Music without focusing on the results of the sports day rather living the moment happily.

Compiled by Gashumba Emmanuel.


lalam MPI
LALAM FLORENCE standing at her two room House

For 25 years a widow, at the time when Lalam’s husband died, she was pregnant with her second child. That tragic experience not only brought sorrow but Left Lalam a single mother. She had to look for work in order to meet all the basic needs of her two beautiful daughters despite the fact that she had just lost her husband.
Lalam was born in the northern part of Uganda but due to war which lasted for over 20years, Lalam and her husband had to move and seek shelter elsewhere and in this case they ended up in a place called Naguru Kasenke that recently has become a suburb of Kampala where she lives up to now with her two lovely daughters.
Lalam after the death of her husband realized that it was because of HIV/AIDs she had lost her husband; another heartbreaking experience that made her living a life of uncertainty. When the symptoms began to show on her body, she went for testing where the doctors confirmed that she was positive and broke into tears.
She was 36 years old when she heard about Meeting Point International, and the possibility to be welcomed. Then she went and joined the women, dancing, but she was still uncertain of the place asking herself “what is the meaning of going to dance when at home there is no food?” It was the same year 1992 and she started creating time every day, until when she met Rose, who put her on treatment and supported her children in order to join the school
For 25 years she has been in Meeting Point International in Naguru. In 2014, Meeting Point International started financial literacy training through score (to put all the sentence of score) project and women were encouraged to save the little money they earn. Lalam started to save in NEN ANYIM WOMEN’s Group. In the same year 2014, with these first savings, she managed to rise the wall fence and start the foundation of her two-room house, in her owned small plot of Land that she had failed to develop for lack of money till that moment.
She is now a 60 years old woman still living with her children who are in their 20’s, and her fellow women have nicknamed her “the chairperson of Meeting Point International”.



Top left, children in class during a lesson . Bottom left , children on the veranda playing lego. Right , Andrea standing with his children.
Top left, children in class during a lesson . Bottom left , children on the veranda playing lego. Right , Andrea standing with his children.

On Wednesday 15th march 2017, I interviewed ANDREA NEMBRINI, the that LUIGI GIUSSANI PREPRIMARY AND PRIMARY SCHOOL. He studied at UNIVERSITÀ CATTOLICA in Italy (Milano) and for seven years he taught at FONDAZIONE SACRO CUORE, MILANO. Andrea was sitting in the head teacher’s office… his office was still under construction.

During the interview, he spoke about the hope he has for both the teachers and the students...  

Why did you decide to come to Uganda?

I am a teacher, I have been teaching for seven years in Italy. I was invited here by one of mygreat friends who has been working here since 2012. When I heard about the story of the womenof MPI, Rose and the school, I decided to come here to see, enjoy this experience and to work with the certainty that it is a great possibility for me for growing as a teacher and as a human being.

Can you tell me about the last five months you have been here?

These five months were very nice because there has been all the beauty of the beginning… when you start something new it is always amazing because you don’t know what is going to happen! All is a surprise and for this reason every new beginning is wonderful! The challenges are many,but the beauty remains the core of this school.
is the situation? Can you tell me something of what is happening in the school?


The most important aspect of the school are the teachers, as they are the ones moulding the shape of the school. That’s why, we are working a lot with them. We are having many training coursesand collaborating with some Italian schools. We are trying to help the teachers to improve their job.

Even the walls and the building must communicate the beauty that generated the school. That is why we are trying to renovate the infrastructure; because a beautiful environment is a help forthe teachers, students and the life of the school.

The setting of the school is wonderful, when I came here, for the first time I was really impressed. But it was clear that some changes were needed, for making a better use all this plot, Idesired the best!

Of course, running a school while carrying out renovation works is not easy, but the works are almost completed and the general outlook of the school has changed a lot. I think that the children with time will be able to enjoy the new pitch, all the external works and the new toilets. I think they have understood that we are making new things for them so they are bearing with the situation. I am so happy for all these improvements; having two sports fields, shelters where children can stay during their free time or while having lunch… Even the secretary and head teacher are going to have a better place where to work.

You mentioned how pivotal is the role of the teachers in a school, may you tell us something more about the work you are doing with them?

Recently, at the beginning of the year, we held two training courses for them, and we are going to add more training sessions during the year. We are working with teachers according to the level of their pupils (nursery, lower classes and upper classes) trying to help them to grow professionally by accompanying them, since most of them are young teachers. And they are wonderful because they want to learn and they are eager to work together and collaborate with me and Ruka John Bosco, the head teacher. We are trying to become more aware of the importance of our job. We spend a lot of time together, sharing experiences, advices, tools and speaking about the various aspects of this job. All we are trying to do is to become more and more aware that starting point are not the children but ourselves. A teacher can teach only if she knows what her need is.

What is your hope for the teachers?

My hope is that teachers can become men and women certain of the reality and of themselves. The way to reach this certainty is through their job; teachers must be serious with their job as we ask our children the same.

Children in Class

How are the children welcoming or facing these changes taking place in the school and inthe teachers?

It is too early to say… because this kind of job is like farming, you sow the seed in the soil but you will see the fruit in a long period. What I can already tell you is that, there is a nice atmosphere of trust on the side of pupils. Particularly we are trying to change the educational approach in nursery and in the lower primary; I feel they are enjoying it. They aren’t scared because they trust their teachers and they feel what is happening is a good for them.

it is the beginning, they are little sparks we need at least one year to see if it works! I feel also the parents are going to help us in this.

Now that you spoke about the parents as a school, how are you going to engage parents to help you in this work?

We need the parents! We are not mothers and fathers and at the same time they are not teachers. Our task is different and the most useful thing for me is that a mother, in her house, with herchild, is a mother and a father is a father. I think this is the best way, for a parent, to help us in our daily work. In the educational path, it’s very important that parents and teacher speak to each other. This means I will talk more with the parents to understand their feelings and their questions not because I want to hear all their complaints but cause I need their feedback. It is very important because they can see something that we cannot see as we see some aspects of their children they do not see.

The hope I have for the teachers is also the hope for I have the parents. The time children spend in school is important for the parents too, for they can also learn.

Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon. 

Thank you.

Meeting Point International | Lumanyika Bright

Luigi Giussani Pre-Primary and Primary school (LGPP)| ANDREA NEMBRINI