Before leaving for Kampala one year ago, an old Italian missionary told me, “The people you are going to meet in Uganda are going to love you not because of the things you’ll do but because of WHO YOU ARE. Remember not to judge but instead observe and listen”.

After my one-year experience in Kampala, I can affirm that it has been exactly like that!

In June 2022, I arrived in Kampala to work at Meeting Point International through AVSI and the Italian Civil Service. I had chosen to apply for Uganda because since I was a child I had heard a lot of stories about Rose and her women and I was curious to meet them in person and see MPI’s experience with my own eyes.

I have worked at MPI for  a year and it has been one of the most beautiful and intense years of my life, I’m deeply grateful for the people I’ve met and the love I’ve received both from my colleagues and from the women.

The women of MPI and I at MPI Kireka ahead of my depature.

The women taught me love and freedom and, of course, pure happiness. And that was not through any lesson or philosophical discussion, but through a friendship that goes to the heart of things, this ONE HEART that is the same for all human beings, despite differences in their origins, language, or culture.

This is (from left) Agnes, Magherita, Isiko, me and Hanifa on the day before i left for Italy. They were my workmates while i was still at MPI.

Rose and Alberto taught me that real development is not just delivering projects, and reaching objectives, by giving food, money, or education. What is at the core instead is the value of the person. The most important thing is then to offer companionship to people on a journey of self-discovery as they seek the unique and infinite. This has a multiplier effect on each and every single aspect of life, because knowing one’s own value pushes the person to take care of every aspect of reality: family, education, community, friends, etc.

I am glad I have worked in an environment like MPI where every relationship strives to look at the value of each person, and this is not only true for the women and the children MPI supports, but it starts with its employees.

At MPI I felt embraced and loved for who I am and not for what I can or cannot do. This taught me that life is not a matter of “doing” but of being present and being loved.


By Irene Muto



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