Time and again, Meeting Point International (MPI) has been sought as an epitome of reality because of the diverse experiential education it has given thousands of people. In the bid to have a tangible experience, Emma (19) and Elena (16) from Italy decided to visit MPI between the 4th   of September 2023 and the 8th of September 2023.

Emma, who had heard about MPI during the meeting of Rimini in Italy two years ago could not resist her desire to visit Uganda. “What I heard about MPI sounded too good to be true,” said Emma while at the main offices of MPI in Kitintale. “The smiles I saw in the presentation at Rimini about Rose (the executive director of MPI) and the women were so real, “she proceeded.

Elena and Emma at the MPI main offices in Kitintale.

During the meeting of Rimini, Emma had an opportunity to hear the story of Ketty. Ketty is one of the women of MPI who are standing strong today despite their traumatizing past. Ketty was abducted at 14 by Kony rebels in Northern Uganda years ago. She was forced to kill and even eat human meat until she almost ran mad. Emma wanted to meet Ketty and establish the validity of this story and to her satisfaction, it was indeed true.

Elena on the other hand was advised by her parents to visit MPI after they, (Elena’s parents) had eavesdropped on Emma’s phone conversation with her friend about visiting MPI. “My parents deemed it important to visit MPI because I was going through a difficult time.” Said Elena, her eyes welling up with tears. “Out of the three children of my parents, I was chosen to come to Uganda instead of my two brothers. I did not know much about MPI so I decided to do some research. I hoped I would find hope again amidst my stormy life and indeed I found it. The women of MPI  welcomed me as though I was a very important person who had done a lot for them.” Elena proceeded.

“It was interesting talking to the women of MPI and being in their space,” said Emma as she made herself comfortable in the seat by crossing her legs. “The slogan of MPI, ‘One heart’ is true because I experienced it firsthand. I thought because I was an Italian, I had nothing in common with the women of MPI but I realized that our desires are all the same. We want to be happy,” Emma proceeded.

Posing for a second, Emma continued. “I have observed that life here is simple, not because it is perfect but because it is easy to love life here. I was provoked to believe we are the same and I want to love life like the women of MPI.

Elena and Emma with some of the employees of MPI.

Emma said that when she reverts to Italy, the first thing she will do is visit her friend who has battled depression for a while. “I will show her the beautiful pictures I have taken here and share hope with her,” said Emma. “I will tell her about the value she is because I have seen that there is a better way to love. In Italy, we cry about non-issues, and small fights make us enemies yet the women of MPI share Joy and they do not bother others with burdens. Today, I am done with self-judgment because now I know I am not defined by my past or what I have done” concluded Emma.

Written by Vancy Tomson.





My Internship journey with  MPI

When I prayed to God for an internship place, I did not imagine how kind he would be to me. I simply wanted a place where I would grow my journalistic and communication skills, and build lasting professional relationships that would make me a good fit for the corporate world after my graduation. It has been eight weeks down the road at Meeting Point International (MPI) as an Intern and I cannot ask for a better internship opportunity.

Before I started my internship, I was worried about what I would put on because everyone at the university was stressing about shopping for clothes. We were all trying to ensure we impressed people as much as we could. It was not that I was walking naked or my wardrobe was empty but the pressure from my peers could not let me rest. In my quest for a placement, I applied to different organizations but it was all in vain. To my dismay, my colleagues were even paying money in order to be able to practice their journalism and communication and it was frustrating.

When Alberto (the technical admin of MPI) interviewed me ahead of my placement, I was amazed by his interest. It was as though all I was trying to do was not helping much with the impression. He wanted to dig deep into my personality which I found uncomfortable at first. That day marked a new journey of self-discovery for me.

I answered all the questions to my satisfaction until I stumbled on a simple yet tough question, “What does it mean to you when they say you have ‘a value’?” asked Alberto. I started explaining my efforts in seeing to it that I have a meaningful life. I talked about how I have fought all my life to break the glass ceiling in my family by working hard in my studies and career. I can now imagine how pitiful I looked before Alberto that day as I explained the plight of a firstborn child who was trying to change his family’s story.

This is me at the MPI offices working.

Nothing I was doing was wrong in itself but I had reduced myself to how far I could go with my school and career. I had declared myself an unhappy young man because I later learned that none of these things would fulfill me.

Later when I met Auntie Rose (the executive director of MPI), I was even more enlightened, I realized that the education Auntie Rose was giving me was not because I had to fit into the norms of the organization but because these were things I would apply in my own life lest I cheat myself. She spoke to me like a mother who was offering their child an antidote to a slow-killing insidious poison. In my context, this insidious poison is the state of having our happiness hinged on what we possess. Auntie Rose said that the desires of man are infinite yet only God can satisfy them. We do a lot to feel fulfilled yet we never get there. I learned that happiness is free and you can choose to be happy every day.  I am content because where I am right now is somebody’s prayer request so I ought to be gratefully happy. Auntie Rose lives a life of gratitude where she does not grumble about what is going wrong. I have learned to not lose my peace amidst any storm because I know I am not alone, Christ is with me.

Thank God I did not get the money to do my shopping in time because it would have been useless. No one at MPI judges you because of how you dress, walk, or talk. Value is denoted from the standpoint of humanity. The simplicity that Auntie Rose and Alberto exhibit alone is awe-inspiring. It took me a while to accept that Auntie Rose was not faking her lifestyle but it was who she was from the time she also discovered her value.

A picture of myself with the Italian student visitors at the AVSI head quarters.

I wish I could explain my transformation in words. I feel new as though a burden was lifted off of my shoulders. I am free and happy because the happiness I encountered at MPI was in itself contagious. I was given an opportunity to learn things that my course mates are dreaming of doing in their final year. There is no doubt that I am going back to Makerere University as a transformed person. I have honestly learned more than I could imagine, above all, my heart has been educated on top of my skills being enhanced.

I am so grateful to MPI for contributing towards not only my career but also my personal life. I would be an ingrate if I complained about my experience.

Written by Vancy Tomson





Achan Agnes Aida’s Journey with MPI

Achan Aida Agnes alias Modello Agnes, a social worker at Meeting Point International (MPI) is one of the longest-serving employees of MPI. Her workmates call her ‘Mother ’not only because of her experience with MPI, the women, and Rose Busingye (the executive director of MPI) but also her never-ending loving guidance about work and life in general.

I was always intrigued by Agnes’ approach to discourses within the MPI sphere. The way she talked in the meetings of the MPI women and also the staff meetings expressed expertise in her profession backed up by a rich life experience. When I talk about ‘experience’, you must imagine a bed of roses. I thought so too until she took me down memory lane to her cradle land.

Agnes who was living in northern Uganda by that time was abducted by Kony rebels in 1997. Her life with her husband and their three children would be disrupted for the next three years. “I remember when the rebels ransacked my village and held many of us captive,” Agnes said. “We were made to carry food looted from our own families to the border of South Sudan (then Sudan) and Uganda.” She proceeded.

Showing me the scars on her arms, Agnes said, “Look at how they cut me to punish me for trying to escape from the rebel camp. A month after our abduction, we were brought back to our own village to commit atrocities. They made us burn houses, Kill and abduct children. On top of those who escaped from the rebel camp ratting us out to our village mates, the village mates themselves saw us do these terrible things. Honestly, I did not want to do what I did. I did not know how to explain to anyone that I was just trying to survive because the moment you did not obey a command, that was the end of you.”

With an aura of melancholy, Agnes proceeded, “Death in the camp was not far. If you wanted to die a fast death, you only had to complain about thirst or hunger and you would be sent to your heavenly father. We used to carry boiling food on our heads from Kitgum to Gulu, Apach, etc. while destroying property, killing and abducting people. Life in the rebel camp became normal to us. You simply had to be alert and ready to fight if you got ambushed by UPDF government troops. The UPDF troops would bomb us randomly from their helicopters when they found out where we were.

Frome left, Agnes and her work mates Margherita, Isiko, Irene and Hanifah on the MPI premises.

My life started taking a turn when we got ambushed by UPDF troops during a rebel operation in Gulu. I was sickly at the moment and we had walked for six kilometres from Sudan. We put up a fight from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. guns blazing. My body gave way because I was too sick to fight yet we never had medicine in the bush. The rebels would give us some leaves to chew on if they had some mercy. Otherwise, we were expected to heal miraculously. That was the time I surrendered and handed over my gun to the UPDF troops.”

After handing herself over to the UPDF troops, Agnes was taken to an organization called GUSCO that was offering relief to victims of the Kony rebel activities. She finally got some rest from her apprehensive three years in the bush. All seemed fine until Agnes was taken back to her village only to be rejected by her own people. “They could not allow an ex-rebel to be part of them again,” said Agnes. “My husband prevented my children from coming next to me,” she continued. It was unbearable for Agnes to live with her people so she decided to come and live with her Auntie in Kampala hoping she would be safe. To Agnes’ dismay, her auntie had already been briefed on her past life and she treated Agnes exactly like the people back home in northern Uganda. Agnes’ sickness was worsening by that time. She tried to get some work to do around Naguru where she was living with her auntie but her efforts were in vain. “I one time did some work for a certain lady and when it was time to pay me, she said she could not pay a rebel that would kill her,” said Agnes as she made herself comfortable in her seat.

“I was too depressed to the extent that I chose to change my name. I was never Agnes. I was Aida Achan. I thought changing my name to Agnes would help me get rid of my haunting background. Nothing was working. After I had coughed terribly one night, my auntie carried me from the main house and took me to a cottage outside where I stayed for a while.  They did not want to touch me or come close to me. My food would be put by the door. I contemplated suicide in those dark hours,” Agnes said.

One day, a social worker from MPI visited Agnes. Agnes would later meet Rose Busingye who would shine some light on her dark life. The next time the social worker came, she came with Rose Busingye. “ After I had told Rose my story, she did not judge me. She asked to take me to the hospital but I was hesitant because I knew I could not afford the bills. Even when she offered to pay all my bills, I still declined the offer because I was not sure anyone would be with me in the hospital for the time I would be there.” said Agnes.

Smiling, Agnes proceeded, “I later accepted to be taken for a check-up at Nsambya Hospital where Rose was working at that time. I was found to be having Tuberculosis. Rose would visit me every day in the hospital bringing me food. When I got well, I did not know where I would stay because I could not go back to my auntie’s place. Rose picked me up after I had been discharged from the hospital and took me to a house she had rented for me. The house had a mattress in and it was just good enough for me.

I started to suspect Rose had an agenda because she was too good to be true. I had experienced too much hate from the people I least expected so It was hard to believe in love again. I asked myself, ‘How is a stranger able to show so much love to me like this?’  I made up my mind to ask for 20,000 from Rose so that I could go back to my hateful home in northern Uganda. Rose looked at me for about fifteen minutes without saying a word. Later she said to me, ‘Agnes, I simply love you. Not because of anything but because you have a value.’ My mind could not comprehend what value she was talking about. I wondered what value an ex-rebel would have to anyone. My own family had disowned me so what kind of fallacy was I hearing?

The women of MPI would come and visit me once in a while. It took me a long time to believe what was happening to me. One day after several invitations by Rose, I decided to visit MPI Naguru. The happiness I encountered was unbelievable since I had expected to find sad people like me. What perturbed me the most were the similarities in our stories. They had gone through what I had gone through and worse. I continued attending the meetings.

Later Rose introduced me to Community School where I was even more shocked. I remember that day we were studying Luigi Giussani’s book, ‘The Religious Sense’. Everything they were speaking about honestly depicted me. I thought Rose had told people my story yet it was not so.  I did not attend community school again for a while but when I went back, they spoke about freedom and I was challenged. I began to see a reason to get myself out of the cage I had locked myself in.”

Because of this companionship, Agnes shared with Rose about her three children that she had left in Northern Uganda with their father since she was not allowed to associate with them. After getting legal documents from the police, Rose sent the social worker who first visited Agnes when she was bedridden to bring the children to Kampala. The children were put in school on their arrival to the capital.

“My husband later visited me on the pretext of seeing the children but I was so angry at him because of how he had treated me. The education I had gotten from Rose could not allow me to harbour my bitterness. Rose told me to look at him as the human being he is and not to judge him. I later forgave my husband and we started to live as a family together. We later got our fourth child who is now at university.” said Agnes excitedly.

Sighing deeply, Agnes said, “I have learned that our journey to self-discovery does not happen overnight. It takes time. I am also convinced beyond doubt that love is the greatest medicine. Taking drugs with no one smiling at you is insufficient, you can not respond as you should.”

Written by Vancy Tomson.





Alex Muleke’s Journey 

“I am not just an artist but a person who shows what I feel inside visually on canvas. Art is all about expressing feelings and emotions,” said Alex Muleke during a conversation with him at his workshop in Kireka which is close to his former school, Luigi Giussani High School (LGHS). Alex is currently waiting to graduate from Kyambogo University where he was doing his Bachelor of Education in Fine Art.

I had not met a good painter in person until I encountered Alex Muleke. The beauty in his workshop was awe-inspiring. Before we could even sit down, he started to take me through the mysteries of his paintings that were hanging on the wall.

“What makes a painter a good one is the ability to express him or herself visually on canvas,” said Alex as he showed me a sit. Leaning back in his chair, he proceeded “Artists include realists, impressionists, expressionists, perfectionists, etc. During my tough days, I am an expressionist yet sometimes I can be an impressionist. Whenever I have no one to talk to, I talk to my canvas by painting. Impressionism is there to just show people that you can do something for example by making it hyper-realistic. I express what I feel deep inside myself and I love to tell my story through my Art work.

Alex did not look to the heavens for a miracle to start working on his dream. He made use of what was available to invent himself.

With a wide smile, Alex said, “I knew it was not going to be easy for me to do my painting, especially in a country like Uganda so I started by thinking of what would make a great artist. I thought of the styles and techniques along with the content I needed to do. During the lockdown, I decided to make an iconic painting on one canvas so that the people that will be born soon will see this painting and remember the dark days.

Since I come from a slum where people use a lot of charcoal for cooking, I decided to try using charcoal dust to paint. I made some research and found out that people who use charcoal for painting smash it to make a powder which is used commonly as dry media to smudge and draw. I decided to use it in its very form without smashing it.

Because of the quarries and many types of soil, I looked no further. I had a variety of soils to choose from, some were in, yellow, brown, black, etc. I started to pick these soil samples, got binders for the canvas, and came up with a sample painting. I then made a portrait called “The Mask which was my first painting. I posted a video of the painting on YouTube and an American friend wanted to buy the painting. I however declined the money and kept it because I realized its worth.

This is Alex’s first painting called The Mask.
More of Alex’s paintings. The one on the left is called The Face and the top right is called The Family.

Meeting Auntie Rose, doing life with MPI, and going to Luigi Giussani High School revolutionized not only my talent in painting but my life in general. Beyond her title as the Executive director, Auntie Rose has been my friend since I met her in 2012. She is a rare epitome of unconditional love. She always reminds me of the value that I ‘am’.

Being reminded that you are great and that you have value is the best way of teaching because it communicates to the heart. Jesus Christ of course is the validator of your value and his answer is always YES. If you are at the mercy of people’s opinions to do what you have to do, then you are bound to burn out.

While at LGHS, I met an amazing man called Seve who was the educational advisor at that time He fell in love with my work and looked for me at my place. He took me to his staff and showed them my work which motivated me to work on my craft. I started getting gigs making portraits where I got some money that I shared with my family.”

Without the right people around you, valid dreams can die. It is important to speak genuine positivity to others when you also surely see it. If you do not see value in others, then you will become a stumbling block to them. Alex, later on, realized that chasing money is not the ultimate source of happiness and satisfaction even after he had seriously embarked on his painting journey.

This became clear to him when he stood face to face with a big East African musician called Diamond Platinumz to gift him with a painting of himself at a press conference in Kampala.”When I entered the press conference, I realized money was not going to be enough. I felt there was something more than money and it is that happiness that comes with being appreciated.

Diamond instructed me to talk to his Personal Assistant to be paid but I did not say a word at that moment. I missed the money but I was overjoyed by the fact that I was appreciated. I need the money but my eyes are set on something bigger than the money. Happiness is free so I will always choose it.

Alex Muleke in his workshop.

I always wanted to be an artist ever since high school. It was not a very strong motivation because all I wanted was to make some money off of painting to take care of my family. I want to be that  great artist like Benon Lutaya, and Luganzi Bruno my lecturer. I want to be the person who organizes a gallery and people turn up to marvel at my story. I know it will take time, but am not about to give up even though my journey feels lonely sometimes. I know I am not alone and I am made for happiness.

Written by Vancy Tomson.





A Poet’s Journey 

Moses Owori, alias Mosh the Poet, has journeyed with Meeting Point International (MPI) since 2014 when he joined senior one at Luigi Giussani High School (LGHS). He is the fourth-born son of Aketch Loyce (one of the MPI members). Loyce and her six children live in Kireka. Moses is currently doing a Bachelor’s degree in English and Literature at Kyambogo University where he has harnessed his gifts of poetry and acting from.

Like Rose Busingye (the executive director of MPI) loves to say, “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.”  MPI focuses on the value of the person as the center of its work, it denotes success through the holistic development of a person and not necessarily the accumulation of wealth or academic prowess. It is crystal clear that the Journey Moses Owori has walked so far with MPI is the epitome of success.

Going through LGHS was a huge bonus for Moses because the methodology there is similar to that of MPI. Moses said that the culture of MPI and LGHS has helped him a lot. For example, the paintings on the wall of LGHS, especially the one of the tax collector in the bible called Mathew being called by Jesus reminded him that God knows him by name and he needn’t be afraid.

“We moved to the slum of Kireka in the wake of serious financial constraints in my family.” Said Moses with a faint smile. “My mother tried so hard to keep me in Elgon Infant School but she failed in Primary five because she could barely afford school fees. It was at this point that I was taken to the village where I stayed for about three years not studying. When I came back to Kireka, my mother convinced the teachers to allow me to sit for PLE exams even though I hadn’t been studying the whole time.” He proceeded. By the grace of God, Moses was able to score 14 aggregates which qualified him for secondary school. Just in time, MPI came as a Godsend to cater for his secondary school fees.

“I count myself blessed to be a son of MPI,” said Moses as he reflectively peered into space thinking about how much MPI has helped him to grow into the person he is today. “I did not do any poetry or MDD (Music, Dance, and Drama) in my entire high school yet I am now able to express myself poetically. I struggled with self-esteem because of my deep voice. My friends used to make fun of me whenever I spoke and yet I felt there was something big inside of me that I needed the world to behold.” Moses said.

Making himself comfortable by pushing forward in the seat across the table, Moses proceeded. “While I was still at LGHS, I did not appreciate the education I was receiving from both MPI and LGHS until I left. I had taken a lot of things for granted during my six years of high school. MPI and LGHS have  educated me to reflect on life intentionally and to appreciate my journey so far. The ‘value’ they educated us about helped me realize that I can’t afford to listen to my insecurities. I understood that being a value meant that I was made for greatness.

It is this kind of education that pushed me to start doing poetry no matter what people said. This very motivation birthed my creative group called Zukuka (meaning wake up) which I started with my big brother Alex Muleke. We started this to remind our friends to wake up and come to a realization that they are beyond their circumstances which include their addictions.”

Moses Owori recieving his certificate after a poetry competition in which he emerged as the first runner up.

Just as it has been for Moses, life is a journey during which we discover who we really are. You do not have to have everything figured out to find a balance in your happiness. Moses may not be even an inch close to achieving his dream but he has chosen gratitude as the way to go.

“I may not have made it according to the standard of the world but at least, I know my dreams are valid,” Moses said.

Sighing deeply, Moses continued. “I find pleasure in reminding my mates that their aspirations matter. Sometimes it gets tough but I can’t resist the joy that comes with reminding others that they are greater than what they think they are and that they are a value. I have seen the same energy in my Zukuka team members whom I barely pay yet they come through and we do our Poetry together. I would like to share with them the Joy I have.

I have learned that knowing your value makes you sensitive to what is around you. This is when the lord’s commandment of loving your neighbour as you love yourself starts making perfect sense. You start to see God in your life and also your neighbour’s life.”

Written by Vancy Tomson.







Koreyo Phiona’s Journey with MPI

“When I joined Meeting Point International (MPI) last year as an employee, I faced a question that was simple yet tricky. Who am I?” Koreyo Phiona, a social worker at MPI remembered her first days at MPI. No one asked her this question but the atmosphere of MPI was communicating. The women of MPI, the children, and her workmates brought a new experience into her life.

“I wasn’t close to my mother like I was with my father. This gap has affected me until now, I am still fighting my past.” Phiona took me back to the genesis of everything.

“One Day when I was in the field doing my social work, I beheld a life-changing moment. I did not know a mother and a daughter could be so close until I saw Adoch Clare, my workmate embracing her mother, laughing and playing with pure happiness.” Phiona continued. “I envied Clare because my mother brought me up with an iron fist. She was a stranger to me. I remember when I was young, I loved to pretend to be allergic to millet bread. My father would buy me eggs every time they made millet bread. He would say, ‘Give her whatever she likes.’

It was not too long until my secret was uncovered. My mother prepared millet bread when my father travelled and she forced me to eat it. I tried to act as though I wanted to throw up so I stood to run out and she raised her voice ‘Do not dare move out!’. I ate the millet bread and nothing happened to me. From that time, it became so hard for me to be free with my mother. I could only share with my father what was going on in my life.” Phiona proceeded.

By the time Phiona was awestruck by the relationship Clare and her mother had, she (Phiona) had been taking even more than a month without hearing from her mother.

Koreyo Phiona in the MPI premises.

“When I asked Clare about how she maintains a beautiful relationship with her mother. I realized that it did not happen by mistake. Clare told me ‘My mother was the toughest woman I ever knew until she joined MPI. Something happened to her along the way. Before, it was as though she hated happiness and joy but new life sprung out of her. My siblings and I were fortunate enough to join MPI too and seeing our mother Joyfully dancing with her fellow women was a beautiful spectacle. The same joy was brought into our home. My siblings and I started to love each other more. We stopped reducing ourselves to our  mistakes and judging ourselves  basing on what we do. Right now we can turn on the music and dance as a family for no reason but just because MPI has taught us to love life and appreciate it. Happiness is free. The happiness the women of MPI have is contagious. How can one resist it?’

I made up my mind to rebuild my relationship with my mother at all costs after learning from Clare’s experience.” Phiona said.

Smiling, Phiona proceeded, “I decided to start by calling my mother. After calling her consecutively for a week, she wondered if everything was okay because she was used to the gap she had created. I told her I was okay and I just loved to check in on her. My relationship with my mother is not where I want it to be but I am grateful for the journey so far. Discovering my value as a person has opened my eyes to reality. None of us is perfect so why would I judge anyone for what they do? I look at Rose Busingye (MPI Executive director) in wonderment. I wonder how she can bring  people who have been deemed  ‘outcasts’ by society close to her and still look at them as humans that deserve all the love there is to give.

I had started transferring my brokenness to my four-year-old daughter when she schooled me about my harsh words and tone. When my daughter did something I never liked one day, I attempted to shout at her and she immediately told me, ‘Mummy, I don’t like the way you talk to me. If you are angry at me, call me and speak to me as a human being and I will apologize and do better.’ My eyes welled up with tears in a wink of an eye. How was a four-year-old more human than me? Where was this coming from? I broke down and started recollecting everything.

Adoch Clare and Phiona in the MPI premises.

I realized that my mother had grown up in the same environment as I and she passed it on to me. She was in an environment full of condemnation and reproach. I used to also beat my little girl sometimes to discipline her but I realised it was not working. Clare advised me to try a different approach by denying my daughter something she loved. When she failed to do her homework one day, I decided to buy everyone else ice cream except her. She was so disgruntled that she could not apologize enough. That was the last time we had a problem with not doing homework. I saw the insufficiency of brutality and harshness and I learned to educate with reason. Even the children we might look at as little know their value and they will demand it.

I was disappointed because I was passing on the same pain to my daughter. After encountering MPI, I made it my mission to break the chain. It is not easy, to be honest,  I sometimes fail at it. However, I pick myself up when my daughter reminds me, ‘Mom, you are shouting again.’

Do I know who I am now? Yes, I do. I am a value’, not because of what I possess or who I am but because I am a human being. Everyone around me is equally a value and I ought to treat them the way I would like to be treated.”

Written by Vancy Tomson.




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





Kafrika and Pascal’s Journey with MPI

At Meeting Point International (MPI), Kafrika Hannah (21) and Muhanguzi Pascal (19) are children. They are children not only because MPI has watched them grow but also because their mother Anyiri Sarah is one of the women of Meeting Point International (MPI) Kireka who prompted Rose Busingye (MPI executive director) to build a school for their children who were being discriminated against and wished them (the children) to get the same education they (the women) had received at MPI.

Although she was interested in building a hospital that would provide medical services for the women because she is a nurse, Rose listened to the women’s requests. The women insisted that a school would help them educate more doctors for the future. They decided to make beads and sell them abroad to raise money for the first block, this is how Luigi Giussani High School (the school to which Kafrika and Muhanguzi go) was started.

Kafrika is currently in her senior five and she would like to be a lawyer in the future. Pascal on the other hand is in his senior two and he would like to be an engineer in the future.

MPI accompanies its members to discover their infinite value and dignity.  No wonder Luigi Guissani High School (LGHS) operates similarly to its mother MPI. Kafrika and Pascal are witnesses of this accompaniment that is sought after by not only LGHS but also MPI. Much as both Kafrika and Pascal are beneficiaries of MPI, it is not enough to say that they have made it because they are going to school.

Kafrica and Pascal at LGHS.

“Here at LGHS, teachers dialogue with students to solve issues instead of beating us because of our mistakes. I have learned to treat others the way I would like to be treated. I would not even walk past rubbish in the compound because understanding my value can’t allow me to be in a dirty environment.” Pascal said while we were conversing. There is no greater gift than this education. It is evident that when you love yourself, the same love is spread to everyone and everything around you automatically. The teachers of LGHS love to say “We educate the heart through reason.”

“Luigi Giussani high school is dear to me because it has taught me not only academic things but also how to face life.” Kafrika continued. “There is a whole life out there. If you are not prepared by knowing how to live with people, then you’re missing the point.” Kafrika said.

The experience of Kafrika and Pascal indicates that one’s development comes from one’s awareness of his or her value. We can only think about embarking on a path where we become protagonists of our destiny if we know who we are. LGHS has brought this reality to life by educating reason so that students recognize the true meaning of reality and freedom to adhere to it, facing with certainty and hope every circumstance of life.

Written by Vancy Tomson.




















On the 28th of June 2023, a group of eight Italian students namely, Lisa, Francesca, Milena, Leonardo, Alice, Marco, Vittoria, and Giorgia visited Meeting Point International (MPI). They had been hosted by AVSI in a summer camp. Drawing from a conversation with some of them, it was evident that there was a deeper apprehension inspired by their experience with the women of MPI.

Francesca said, “I came to Uganda because a friend of mine had told me about her experience. She told me she had seen happy people with everlasting joy. These people had no material things but they were overwhelmed by joy. I asked myself, ‘How is someone able to be happy without material things?’ It dawned on me that I had all material things yet I had a sad life. It is after this that I made up my mind to come and learn how to be happy by seeing happy people. My favorite moment during our visits to MPI Naguru and MPI Kireka was the time we were dancing. I felt welcomed and comfortable. What stuck with me as a life lesson is the fact that our conditions don’t necessarily have to be determinants of our happiness.”

From left, Vittoria, Alice, Francesca, Giorgia, Milena, Lisa, Marco, Leonardo, and the Communications Officer of MPI, Vancy Tomson pause for a photo at the AVSI headquarters on the 14th of July 2023.

The conversation started gaining momentum at this point as the previously quiet students developed an urge to share more of their experiences. Milena had found out about the summer camp through a friend called Marco who was among the eight Italian students. He had been obsessed with coming to Africa and when he told Milena about it, she could barely resist the urge to visit Africa.

“It was challenging to process my travel documents in time because according to what I had been told, I had to get my passport in November 2023 which meant that I would miss the trip,” said Milena with a faint smile. “My presence here is a miracle because my passport came earlier than I thought it would. Oh, how special I felt while the women welcomed us. In ten minutes, we became children to these women and they became our mothers. The look in their eyes was pure and captivating. It was warm and it communicated utter Joy.” nostalgically, Milena went on. “I wanted to be like them. I wanted to look like them. I was in love with the dances. They were so beautiful. I learned to say YES and not ‘I am able or unable’ but simply yes. Yes, to love, and yes to happiness. These women from Meeting Point International taught me the simplicity of life.” She concluded.

Milena being embraced by one of the MPI women, Abeja Josephine during their visit to MPI Naguru on the 28th of June 2023.

Giorgia seemed to be the quietest and most soft-spoken of the students. But when she started to talk about the girl she is supporting in Uganda, she beamed with glamour. “I was not expecting people to be so nice in Uganda,” Giorgia said. “I thought that in Africa, people are jealous because we have everything they don’t.  However, I instead found the exact opposite here. They loved us like their own children. From where I come, everyone can help anyone but no one does yet here they don’t have much but they share the little they have,” Giorgia continued.

“In Italy, one would commit suicide if they had half of the problems some of these women have. I kept asking myself why we are so sad yet we seem to have it all figured out. When we reached MPI Naguru, I wondered why they were asking for our names at first. They never asked only once or twice, they rather asked until they could pronounce them. They were interested in knowing us. It was so warm. Through this experience, I learned to see the positive in every situation.” Giorgia toned down as she concluded.

From left, Giorgia, Vittoria, and Milena having a good time at MPI Naguru.

Alice kept interjecting parts of the conversation that were not clear because all her friends called her ‘Google’. This was so because she somehow knew how to expound her friends’ points.

Vittoria, who was listening to her colleagues attentively then decided to say something. She said she came to know about the camp through her father who works with AVSI. “I did not know Rose or MPI. During our visit to Naguru, I saw happy women dancing. Their passion and strength were inspiring. It was at this point that it dawned on me that I do not have problems. When I go back to Italy, the strength of these women will still encourage me to keep moving on.” Vittoria proceeded.

Leonardo was one of the gentlemen on the team. He said he had heard of the trip from Vittoria. When he met the women of MPI, their smiles amazed him. Leonardo said he learned to always smile in every situation no matter how tough.

Finally, ‘Google’ (Alice) was ready to speak on her behalf after representing her mates during the conversation.  Just like Leonardo, she had learned about the camp from Vittoria. However, she had lived in Africa, particularly Mozambique for most of her childhood. “I simply wanted to come back and see the happy lovely people I once knew. I did not know Rose, however.” She said.

Lisa too came back to Africa because of her nostalgia fuelled by her stay in Kenya for a while. She wanted to badly come back to Africa. What stuck with her were stories of the women who had a horrible past yet they were happy nonetheless. “It is paradoxical how the women who should be sad are happier than us who should be happier,” Lisa concluded.

Marco on the other hand was directly invited by Rose Busingeye (the MPI Executive Director) to come and have this experience. He had had friendship issues ever since quarantine in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic. He had started high school and this made it hard for him to fit in. He was so lonely. “I had a meeting with Auntie Rose over the phone. I don’t remember what exactly she said to me but what hit me was the fact that a person from the other corner of the world made me feel loved even though she did not know me.” Marco said.

With a deep sigh, he continued.“This kind of love made me curious. When a friend of mine also shared his experience, I immediately knew that this was where I had to be” I said a prayer to God that he may speak to me through this trip and he did. This was because I knew I wasn’t self-made but needed someone to get the best out of me. My experience with MPI made me realize I am nothing but someone who can love because I am beloved.”

Marco learning how to drum at MPI Naguru.


Written by Vancy Tomson



(Opiru Sunday’s Journey with MPI)

For a person who has not been part of Meeting Point International (MPI) for too long, it is hard to come to terms with the fact that Opiru Sunday alias Sanitizer joined MPI (Naguru) in August 2022. The popularity she enjoys among the women of MPI-Naguru is admirable. Thanks to her famous nickname, “Sanitizer” which she got from the MPI women during her first days.

While the women were discussing their ways of alleviating stress, Opiru quietly processed what she was hearing. When her turn to talk came, she said “Every time I am stressed out, I pull out my small sanitizer (to mean alcohol) and I drink it. Everyone in the meeting burst into a fit of laughter and started to call her Sanitizer that time.

Her nickname and the joy with which those that call her pronounce it will compel you to want to know exactly who Sanitizer is. She is a 30-year-old vibrant lady with an aura of youthfulness that makes her noticeable at all times. Opiru has five children in total and only one of them is being supported by MPI. It is hard to resist the temptation of asking why she is utterly Jovial. You might wonder if she has any problems until she shows you the scars of a hard life.

By the time Opiru joined MPI Naguru, she was selling tea by the roadside to survive. However, before she ended up by the roadside, she had already tasted the bitter side of life.

Opiru had quite a normal life while growing up until she got pregnant in Senior three in 2008. Because she was the last born girl out of three, her parents hoped she would at least get a proper education because her siblings never had a chance to go to school. Her parents were so angry to the extent that they denounced her. Meanwhile, her boyfriend, the father of the child had fled to Sudan because he was afraid of the consequences of his action. Her parents cut all sorts of support from her and they did not want her anymore in their home. It was at this point that Opiru decided to relocate to Kampala where she hoped she would find what to do. Life couldn’t get any worse when she came to the capital. The child’s father who was sending some financial help died in a motor accident while in Sudan.

In 2016, Opiru fell in love with a workmate in a security agency where she had been working. Unfortunately, it was not too long until all the workers of the agency were laid off because the company ran bankrupt. This meant Joblessness to the couple. By this time, Opiru had a child with her new man. When they were no longer working, it became hard to care of the family. Her husband did not want to work at all. He would simply stay home sometimes and Opiru had to wash clothes for people to get food. She would wash clothes at any amount no matter how many they were.

Opiru tried to connect her husband to her big brother for a job. Fortunately, he got the job and started to work. The saddening part is that Opiru would never see any of the money her husband worked for. Even with her husband working, she was the one feeding the children with the money she got from washing clothes. She thought she had seen the worst until 2021 when Opiru’s husband became abusive on top of being negligent.

Her husband stopped providing on the pretext of his company not paying him. Taking care of two children by herself became a huge burden. She barely had anyone to talk to.             “I even almost lost my life on various occasions” Opiru spoke as she showed me her scars. “My husband connected a coil to power so that he could beat me with it. Thank God my son had come with people to rescue me by that time.” She continued.

Opiru would make sure she spent wisely. “We could eat five thousand shillings for three days. We would buy Posho and eat it with boiled silverfish.” Opiru said. “The most annoying part is that my husband would come back home and eat that very food top of complaining about how it wasn’t prepared well.” She proceeded. Opiru was so distressed that she would cry every time. She would walk in the streets while wailing because it was too heavy for her to carry. She had no one to confide in at all.

“To keep my first child in school, the second one had to stay home because I could not afford to take both of them, to school.” Opiru narrated her story with a reflective tone. At this time, she had exhausted her capital for the tea business because she was torn between buying food for her children and investing in her business. She preferred to preserve her children by getting food.

One day Opiru decided to visit her brother to tell him what was going on. She was so broken that she could not stop crying. When she never found him at his place, she sat at his door and cried herself pale. A certain lady that was passing by came and asked her why she was crying. Opiru could barely express her pain in words. She was allowed by this woman to first cry then she will start to talk. Later when Opiru narrated her story to this woman a conversation about MPI came up. The lady offered to take her to MPI.

Before they could leave, the lady told Opiru, “I cannot promise you food or money but I promise you will be a happy woman when you encounter the people I am taking you to.” When she attended her first meeting, she was amazed at what she saw the women do. They were all happy and vibrant as though they lived in another world. She was introduced to the women.

“I am looking for nothing but peace,” Opiru emphasized when she was given a chance to talk to her fellow women. “I am tired of crying every day”. The women she found there that day for the meeting encouraged and advised her to trust God and be resilient in her battle.

Despite her newly found peace at MPI, Opiru’s husband grew worse in character. Opiru’s happiness became her husband’s source of bitterness. He beat her badly until she bled for a while. Her husband always accused her of being a prostitute saying she sold herself to get money that would take care of her children. He was angry at her because she had found happiness despite the status quo. Opiru was consistent with meetings at MPI that helped her to relieve her stress. “The songs we sing at MPI cannot leave you the same. As one of the senior song composers at MPI, I am always excited to get my creative juice flowing. The music isolates me from my stress.” Opiru excitedly told me in one of our conversations.

Auntie Rose (Executive director of MPI) one time offered to visit Opiru to speak to her husband. It helped so much because her advice and intervention tamed him for a while. Her marriage is not perfect but at least her sanity is protected.

Opiru Sunday when she was visited by Auntie Rose in her home.

Opiru started to learn more about who she was as she interacted more with Auntie Rose. “My biggest treasure is that I know who I am. I have no limitations even when life brings its ups and downs. The value that I have is more precious than my circumstances.

I am grateful to Auntie Rose and MPI for taking my son to school because I would have never been able to afford it. I am also glad I can look forward to facing another day by the grace of God.” Opiru concludes her story.

It is an absolute pleasure to behold Opiru smiling endlessly while with her fellow women at MPI who are now her “authentic sanitizer”.

Written by Vancy Tomson




Paulina’s Journey with Meeting Point International

Story by Lwamaza Isiko Shalifu

Kampala, 21st June 2023

Paulina’s journey with Meeting Point International (MPI) began in the a very difficult moment of her life. In the year 2000, she found herself trapped in an abusive marriage, enduring regular mistreating from her husband. Living with their six children in a small, unwholesome house, Paulina’s survival depended solely on the mercy of God.

The abuse Paulina endured was not limited to physical violence. Her husband’s infidelity exposed her to HIV/AIDS, plunging her into deep despair and hopelessness. The weight of her situation often led her to contemplate ending her own life.

However, one day, a ray of hope pierced through the darkness, when Paulina heard a radio announcement about an organization that offered support to HIV-positive individuals. That organization was Meeting Point International (MPI).

MPI’s social worker Shalifu talking to Paulina in Kireka

Summoning her courage, Paulina made the decision to seek help from MPI. To her relief, she was warmly welcomed by Auntie Rose Busingye, the executive director, and the compassionate women of MPI.

Being a resident of Kireka, Paulina was afraid of joining MPI Kireka because she thought she would be judged by her community. For that reason, she used to go to the Naguru offices. After some time, she realized she had no reason to be afraid because the women in Kireka were one happy family. She later was able to shift to Kireka and fully participate in the MPI activities.

Under the guidance of Auntie Rose and her teachings, Paulina began to realize her worth. She discovered that her sickness and circumstances did not define her or diminish her value as a person.

Motivated by this newfound self-awareness, Paulina committed to taking her medication consistently. Additionally, Meeting Point International provided education scholarships for her children, giving them opportunities for a brighter future.

Despite the painful loss of her husband, Paulina has emerged as a beacon of hope. She shares her story with others, offering encouragement and support to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Through her own transformation, she embodies the message that there is hope even in the midst of despair, and that this hope only comes from a relationship where one is looked at with infinite love.

Paulina’s journey with Meeting Point International has shown that with this love and this belonging, every person can rise above adversity and find hope, strength, and a renewed sense of purpose.

7 DAYS IN UGANDA – An article about the journey of an italian priest in Uganda

Massimo Vacchetti is a priest from Bologna, Italy. He came to Uganda to visit his sister who is volunteering with the italian NGO AVSI in Kampala, and he decided to take along some friends.

During their stay, they visited Meeting Point International’s headquarter, the women in Kireka and Naguru, the Luigi Giussani Schools, and COWA. They met Rose, who shared with them her story and the encounter with Father Giussani (the italian priest, founder of the movement of Communion and Liberation) which is the source of the whole experience of Meeting Point International and AVSI in Uganda.

Rose said: “The real poor person is the one who does not know for whom and for what he/she lives. The only thing I have understood and that I keep on repeating to all the people that come here to cure their bitterness, is that Christ came to affirm human kind. The value of each and every person is infinite. […] I tell what I live. Jesus took me as I am. I am nothing, but He loves me the way I am. I tell people what I have lived”. 

Here is the full article in italian:


The Story of Tina

Story by Achan Agnes Aida

Kampala, 20th March 2023

Tina is 64 years old. She is a mother of 4 children. She lives in Banda B1, a big slum in Kampala suburbs, her house is located near Meeting Point International (MPI) cultural centre in Kireka. She used to see women gathering and having fun at MPI’s premises. She was curious about who these women were, and therefore she decided to join them: it was 2003. That year Tina’s health conditions were not good: she was very thin and her body was full of rashes. In 2006, she tested HIV positive, and this made her feel deeply depressed and traumatised, because she was worried that she was going to die. After she tested HIV positive, she decided to attend the weekly meeting in Naguru, the other Meeting Point cultural centre, due to the fear that people in her community in Kireka could know about her status. 

At MPI, Tina met Rose Busingye, the founder and director. With time and with Rose’s teachings, Tina started discovering that she is not defined by the sickness she has, and this made her become aware of her value, which is greater than her problems. This companionship helped Tina to gain courage and later she started sharing her experience with the other clients of MPI. According to Tina, Rose’s teachings and friendship helped her gain confidence with time and she started attending the weekly meeting with Kireka members again. In her encounter with MPI, Tina received from Rose and the other members a love and care that no one in her family had ever given her in life. After she was found HIV positive, she even thought of being rejected and not expecting anyone to talk or move close to her. Surprisingly for her, Rose embraced her and loved her the way she was. Also the members of MPI welcomed her with much love that made her feel she was in the right place, a place she belongs

She has got friends who are accompanying her, journeying together with her to face the challenges of reality. Rose’s teachings about the importance of the value that every human has, made her aware of her value which is greater than the sickness she has or the problems she is facing in life. She took some time to understand Rose’s teachings, but later on she understood that she is not reduced by her sickness. 

Tina dancing at Meeting Point in Kireka

This was the beginning of her new journey, a journey of freedom… Journeying to her freedom, her mind opened up and she started thinking in a different way, she is now free to tell people about her status, to openly say that she is HIV positive. She even shows people the medicine she is taking, freely. From that time, she does not keep quiet about her status and in fact her story has helped other members who are in the same situation. She is always the immediate example Rose uses during the meetings with the clients. Many times the example of Tina’s life has helped many people to disclose to Rose their HIV positive status. People feel free to be themselves, because they have discovered that MPI and its people don’t reduce anyone to the circumstances they are living in, but they embrace them the way they are. 

Tina keeps on being an example and giving support to other MPI people who found themselves HIV positive: she is always there for them, giving them hope through her personal experience. Tina always tells the other members that her recent tests don’t reflect HIV in her blood (low viral load) and so she even gives members the hope of getting better. 

Tina is living a happy and free life where she has gained hope in doing everything to earn a living. She eats well, drinks a lot of fluids and is free from stress, as taught by Rose through food and nutrition programs. She, therefore, always keeps encouraging other clients to follow the doctor’s advice because that is what is helping her. Of the same importance are Rose’s teachings, another greater treatment according to her experience. 

Up to now, Tina still asks herself this question:Who am I to be welcomed the way I am?. Looking at her past and present experience, MPI is the home where she belongs.



The visit of our friends from Support International 

From the 20th to the 24th of February, our friends from Support International e.V. (, a German donor that has been supporting MPI’s activities for a long time, came to visit us. 

While in Kampala, Erica, Sabine, Gaby and Valentina visited all MPI premises: the headquarter in Kitintale, the two cultural centers and clinics in Kireka and Naguru, Sonde mixed farm and training center, and the Luigi Giussani Schools. 

They shared with us what impressed and moved them during  their stay with MPI: the staff and the beneficiaries. We are very glad for the time they spent with us and thank them for the support they are continuously giving to MPI. 

Left to right: Sabine, Erica, Gaby and Valentina visiting the women in Kireka


The atmosphere you breathe at Meeting Point International’s offices is really impressive. It is quiet over there, even though the office is full of people. It is not only quiet, but really peaceful, like a home should be. The way one is treated, the way clients are handled, the cleanliness of the premises, the attention to the guests… everything is a sign of a great respect for the person.

Nobody speaks of Jesus there, but you have no doubt that God is present at all times in this place: like a gentle breeze that you cannot see but you can clearly sense. For us as Support International these days meant more than a step forward in our collaboration with MPI. A confirmation that we share the same goals, the same method and the same heart. ONE heart! 

Sabine and Gaby dancing with the women in Kireka


The language of song and dance with which the women of Meeting Point Kireka and Naguru greeted us immediately overcame all differences between us. I could not imagine that they could be sick, because they were so cheerful and self-confident. When they took us to their houses in the surrounding slums, it was the first time for me. We were on the streets of red soil without the protection of walls or in a car. I understood this invitation as a sign of trust towards us and I was surprised about their freedom to show us their houses without shame. We were all the same, sharing one heart that longs for love and acceptance. I was impressed by the way they produce what they need in life from the little they have and do not waste their time with envy. Just before we left, I asked one of the women if they would dance the day after, even if we were not going to be there.  She said, “Yes, of course, we dance every day because that is how we can show Him our happiness. That’s our duty.” I was very impressed by this answer.

The friends from Support International walking in Naguru with the women


During our visits to Luigi Giussani Pre-primary and Primary and Luigi Giussani High School, the names of our sponsored children finally got a face. We were able to get to know individual children a little better. These schools are places we would love to send our children too, because the focus of education is on the child and not just on the subjects. The school is like an island of hope in the slums, because here a relationship is built with the children, a bond that continues even after they leave school.

Also the visit to Ssonde was very impressive, we were delighted to see how many young people were working there. Flavia made us tour the farm and gave us a very good insight of their projects (raising rabbits and chickens, growing vegetables and fruit trees). In addition, they had just trained some students in agricultural cultivation. We were impressed by how much work they have already put in on the large property in the last three years, all manual labor. You really can see that it is slowly developing its potential! It was nice to hear that the yields from the fields are for the children of the Welcoming House.


What has most impressed me in these few days I spent in Kampala is that everyone here is looked at for the immense value they have. And you experience this on your own skin, because the people who are looked at by this gaze look at their children, teachers, pupils and even visitors in the same way.

This is the gaze that has built and continues to build the MPI and its projects, and this is the gaze that I hope to have in my life.

The friends from Support International with the women in Kireka



Rocío’s YES to come to Uganda: the beginning of a new journey

Story by Irene Muto

Kampala, 3rd February 2023


Rocío Andreo de La Vega is the new Educational Advisor at Luigi Giussani High School (LGHS) in Kampala. She came from Madrid, Spain where she was working as a teacher, to continue the work that our friend Seve (Matteo Severgnini) carried out in the last 10 years.

The staff of Meeting Point International had a talk with her. Here is what she told us about her personal experience, the reason why she decided to come to Uganda and what she has discovered so far.

“I have been thinking about going on a mission since I was 15 years old. When I finished my university, I started working as a teacher in Spain, and I realized I was already on a mission in my school. Teaching is always and everywhere a mission.

While I was in Spain I got the opportunity to meet Rose and know more about the reality here, about Meeting Point International, the schools (Luigi Giussani Preprimary and Primary School and Luigi Giussani High School), the women. But I had never planned to come and work here.

Rocío with some friends (including Rose on the extreme left and Seve in the Middle) and students from Luigi Giussani High School

What happened was that in January 2022 Monica, a friend of mine who had worked for 3 years at Luigi Giussani Institute of Higher Education (LGIHE) in Kampala, took me out for dinner and told me that they were looking for someone to work at the Institute. They asked Monica if she had someone in mind, and she told me “Your name kept coming to my mind for a whole week, so I thought maybe this thought is not mine, it must be from Someone else”. So, she proposed it to me, and I SAID YES, because I realized that this thing had my name written on it, all around it, it was made for me!

Concurrently it happened that Seve was asked to go back to Italy and the School needed someone to take his place as Educational Advisor. Again it happened that someone thought that I would be suitable for that role. The people responsible thought it was a good idea for me to work at Luigi Giussani High School and I thought “Why do they think it’s a good idea? They don’t know me at all!”. But again, I said YES because the important thing is not if I am able to do this kind of job. Instead, it’s if I am answering and I’m saying YES to Someone, because I understand that this is a calling for me, here in this place.

So my journey in Uganda began and since I arrived I keep on asking myself: “What are you doing here?”. Because I need to rediscover this calling every day. Of course after two months here it’s not the same as it was the first day. I have two months of reason and two months of certainty that this place is for me, but I still need to understand it every day.
I’m still at the beginning of the journey, but up to now I am very happy to be here. It’s not easy, but every day I can say: “YOU really want me here today. I don’t know about tomorrow. But YOU really want me here today!”.

Working with children and teenagers is not comfortable, it’s a risk, because the human in front of you is growing very fast and he or she is taking decisions you cannot take on their behalf. But I know I am not here to solve the problems of the children and I know that real education speaks to their heart.”

Rocío during a meeting with the professors at Luigi Giussani High School

What I have been experiencing so far is that the students and teachers in Uganda and in Spain are the same, not because they do the same things or have the same kind of life, but because they have the same heart! I was struck during the dialogues some students had with Seve in the office regarding their problems: the students here remind me of some particular students I met in Spain. How is it possible that they need the same things and have the same desires, if they live two completely different lives? However, the needs of the kids are exactly the same. For me it’s also a relief because I am the same person I was in Spain. Sometimes I was thinking: “What if I cannot be part of this because I am different? What if I never feel at home?”

But I felt at home from the very first day, because of the way people were welcoming me and treating me. And the reason is that somehow we are the same. Of course here a lot of things are different but I feel at home because, even if I miss everything and everyone, I can say that here I’ve found the same gaze that tells me that my heart is not wrong for desiring so much, that I am beautiful and precious to Him, that I am loved even before I open my eyes in the morning”.


Seve during his farewell party at Luigi Giussani High School

The 10 years of Seve with the family of Luigi Giussani High School (LGHS) and Meeting Point International (MPI)

Story by Lwamaza Isiko Shalifu

Kampala, 23rd January 2023

Our friend Matteo Severgnini (Seve), former Educational Advisor at LGHS in Kampala, recently went back to Italy. Before his departure in early January, MPI’s staff had a meeting with him where he told us about his 10 year experience in Uganda. 

We thank Seve for the time he has been with us, accompanying our community in a beautiful journey of educational growth.

Here is how he answered these questions: “Why did you decide to come to Uganda and to stay here for 10 years? And why have you decided to go back to Italy?”

“When I was in High School, I had a problem which was: How to choose my next course at university? I was a smart student, I used to like all the subjects. So which to choose? I was a bit confused. At a certain point, I think that the subject chose me. I found that Philosophy had already chosen me, through the fascination I had for some particular philosophers. So I enrolled and started University. 

I studied philosophy for four years. After completing University I had another problem: Now, which job to choose? But, it happened the same as before: staying in University with the young people, I found myself chosen to be a teacher. Even if, when I started studying at university, I was thinking that I would have done everything but teaching! However, life it is not a matter of choosing, but realising you are being chosen every time. Therefore, all you need to do is to SAY YES. So I started teaching in a High School in Bergamo and I was very happy with my work, my students, and my colleagues. 

I am part of the memores domini (this means those who are living the memory of God), a laical association founded within the experience of the catholic movement of Communion and Liberation (CL). At a certain point, in 2011, I received an email from the directorate of the memores domini. In this email they were asking for availability of a person to go to work in Uganda, someone who could speak English and who was also somehow knowledgeable in the field of education. While I was reading this, I was shocked and screamed “Oh my God these people are looking for me!” and I remembered that it’s not a matter of choosing, but it’s about being chosen. There I had one option which was, again, to say yes.

I had met Rose (MPI Founder and Executive Director) years back when I was in University. Those days I met the movement of CL and my responsibles used to send me here in Uganda, also paying for my vacations. So my first vacation was here in Uganda in 2001 and that was when I first met Rose. After that first vacation, we kept in touch and when I saw the job vacancy to come to Uganda, Rose came to my mind and I immediately called her. When I told her about this possibility, she told me “God is great!”. So I applied and in less than six months I came here. The yes that you can say is always in front of Someone that has already chosen you. And the question about why and how I managed to stay here is the same: every day you are chosen and you just need to decide by saying yes to a God that is calling you.

Rose Busingye and Seve during his Farewell Party at Luigi Giussani High School

When I came here I knew Rose, but I did not know about the women. When I met them I was happy to see them and I loved it when they took me through the story of the origin of the school, of how and why the school was built.

So, I came and I decided to stay for the same reason. This same reason also applies to my yes for going back to Italy. Earlier this year, Davide Prosperi (the president of CL movement), who is a friend of mine, called me and asked me if I was available to work in Italy. I said yes. Again someone chose me, called me. Everyday life is about calling.

Staying in Uganda helped me to grow, because if you are loyal, with time you become happier with the people you are living with. When I came here, I thought I would need to live in the community in order to meet Christ. But then I realised that I needed to belong to Christ in order to live in the community. This helped me to always be available to God’s calling and to realise this belonging every day.”

Seve’s experience teaches us that it is important to know that every day in life we are being chosen by Someone else: we only have to trust and say our YES. Thank you Seve! 


Story by Adoch Mary Clare

Kampala, 16th December 2022


The Luigi Giussani Schools (Luigi Giussani Pre-primary and Primary School and Luigi Giussani High School) were born as a result of the experience of the women of Meeting Point International (MPI) after discovering their value and dignity. Rose (MPI director and founder) educated the women about their value and this is evident in the way they are living their lives. They have a place where they can experience love through the gaze of Rose and other friends. While they started experiencing this incredible love, they realised that their children were not living the same. Their children were attending schools where they were being reduced to their conditions like illnesses, performance, being victims of the war, poverty and many others. The mothers began to desire for their children to live the same experience they had found. They wanted a school where their children would be taught and treated as people who have value. Pushed by this desire, they made 48,000 paper necklaces and sold them in Italy through the help of AVSI (an international non-governmental organisation established in Italy in 1972) and other friends. This is how they were able to raise the finances to build the schools. 

A picture of Luigi Giussani High School

Luigi Giussani Pre-primary and Primary school (LGPPS) and Luigi Giussani High School (LGHS) have about 500 students each. The majority of the students are supported by MPI, but its unique way of education is now also attracting private students.

The desire of the women has been achieved. This is visible through a dialogue between the social workers of MPI and four senior six students (Kagame Christopher, Muganga Marvin, Nahwera Grace and Nabwire Ruth) who recently finished their national examinations. They shared the experiences they had as students of LGHS for 6 years. Christopher, Marvin and Grace are supported by MPI, whereas Ruth is a private student. 

As they narrated their story, their faces vividly showed gratitude for attending  high school at LGHS. According to them, this gratitude is born from the fact that they have been fully accompanied in life and as well at school. 

Muganga Marvin (left) and Kagame Christopher (right)

“We were treated for our value and each person was treated uniquely as they are. We were helped to discover our value. This value we discovered helped us not to be pushed to study, but to put in our own efforts to learn. We were always free to express ourselves and always free to ask questions, even about something that didn’t concern academics. In the schools we were before, once you asked a teacher a question, it was seen as you were negatively challenging them and you were beaten for confronting someone who is older than you.” 

“Am glad that we were also taught life skills! At LGHS, we were taught as a whole, it is ok to learn about Mathematics, but how will it help you if you don’t know how to behave in a society?” said Christopher

Ruth said: “I joined LGHS in senior 6. Where I come from, school is business: the better the school performs, the more customers it attracts. You had to maintain a good performance if you wanted to remain there, the moment you started performing badly, you were told to look for another school or given brutal punishments in order to perform better. This meant that you were always studying under pressure, and that consequently led to cramming. When I joined LGHS, I immediately felt at home, this is because we were not caned, which gave me a chance to actually understand what I was being taught. There was no segregation, especially according to performance, as it was before for me. Life became beautiful at school and School also became home.”

Grace appreciated the good friends who genuinely cared for her. Her friends were not only students but also teachers and the school rector (Matteo Severgnini) who also became like a father to her. She also learnt the virtues of self-drive. Marvin is a student who lives about 30 km from school. However, he said he was always welcomed at school even when he was late. The school rector always listened to him and didn’t chase him back home. He was also always there for him if he was facing any challenge. 

Nahwera Grace at School

Marvin and Grace also appreciated the fact that they could go to School of Community. This is an educational tool for development in the experience of the encounter with Christ born out of a catholic movement called Communion and Liberation (CL), of which father Luigi Giussani was the founder. It consists of reading and personal meditation of a text proposed to the whole Movement of CL, followed by community meetings. For them, it is a place where their religious life was shaped and where they were also able to learn about life through the experiences of their friends and guidance of the adults. 

In conclusion, through the dialogue with these four young people, one could clearly tell the general maturity about life they have attained, as opposed to academic gain that most schools in Uganda aim for. This is truly a gift that was born out of the desire of the women and that is being fostered by the teachers and administration of LGHS. The students speak fondly of the teachers and describe their school as home. This is because of the love and accompaniment they received from them.

Rose Busingye featuring in Tempi, an italian magazine.

Kampala, 21.11.2022

Tempi, an Italian magazine, yesterday published an article about the story of Rose Busingye, the founder of Meeting Point International in regards to the book by David Perillo wrote about her and her journey with the people living in the worst slums of Naguru and Kireka . The book is entitled  “Your names are written in heaven”. Please click the link below for the full story.

“You have infinite value.” The Story of Rose Busingye

Ugandan women regain hope to live thanks to nurse Rose Busingye

They were raped, they got HIV, they lived through the war. But now they have found the will to live again. Here is their story

EXPECTED ONLY DEATH – Ketty is 42 years old, with a round face, an endless scar on her leg and a story that takes her breath away: kidnapped by rebels in her village in Northern Uganda, she was raped, she got HIV, she lost a child. She forced her to eat human flesh and do horrible things in order not to be killed. When she managed to escape to Kampala, the capital, her body was full of sores and a patch of burnt skin instead of hair: “In the bush ( bush , ed) they made me walk with a brazier on my head and the stuff they cooked in the pot”. She no longer expected anything from her life. Only death.
She now she is there that she dances and she laughs and welcomes the guests who arrive at the Meeting Point of Kireka, one of the slums ( slums, ed) poorer than a very poor city, singing ” Now I’m free “, now I’m free. Next to her are Agnes, Teddy, Lilian. And dozens, hundreds of other women, almost all Acholi (a people of South Sudan) and almost all with a similar history. A good half have HIV. Many survive by breaking stones in a quarry, or by selling papier-mâché necklaces, wet and pressed into colored beads.

HAPPY FOR THEIR NEW LIFE – Yet, they dance and sing. And they are happy. The next day I see them doing aerobics. Now that Covid has let go, they have started playing football again and taking trips on Lake Victoria, piled up in broken-down vans “to see the beauty of the sunsets.” These are the same women who have set up savings groups and mini cooperatives. They founded two – beautiful – schools for their children. They made a collection to send a thousand euros to war-torn Ukrainians. You look at them, and you have a thousand questions: where does this strength come from? How can you be happy even like this?

THE TURN: IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO TAKE CARE OF THE BODY – It is to look for an answer that he was born Your names are written in the skies(Bur). It is a journey into the world of these women and into the life of another woman: the one that allowed them to come back to life. Her name is Rose Busingye, she is 54, she is a nurse. She and she is in charge of Meeting Point International, an association that helps more than 5,000 people in Kampala. She was born thirty years ago, when Rose started looking for AIDS patients in the slums. But she has deeper roots, she comes from her meeting with Pietro Tiboni, a Comboni missionary, and then with Fr Luigi Giussani, the founder of Communion and Liberation. It is he who makes her discover a faith “that has to do with every aspect of life”. “Many others had told me that God was made flesh, but not in that way there.” Rose’s story began like this. She is studying as a nurse. You enter the Memores Domini, the consecrated lay people of CL. She is dedicated to AIDS patients, when the emergency explodes in Africa. Around her, a little at a time, an important reality is born. But it’s not a linear story. In the mid-nineties, it went into crisis. The Meeting Point is efficient, it works. Still, something is wrong. «I gave the medicines to the sick, came back the next day and found them in the garbage. I said to myself: it’s impossible. That pill is to save your life. Because?”. The turning point came there. When Fr Giussani asked her to drop everything and come to Italy. Rose stayed there for six months. He, already old and sick, went to see her as soon as he could. “We talked. She told me about herself and his experience of her. He didn’t do anything else ». But they are not the words of that priest: it is he, his world of looking, of doing. To enjoy life. But it’s not a linear story. In the mid-nineties, it went into crisis. The Meeting Point is efficient, it works. Still, something is wrong. «I gave the medicines to the sick, came back the next day and found them in the garbage. I said to myself: it’s impossible. That pill is to save your life. Because?”. The turning point came there. When Fr Giussani asked her to drop everything and come to Italy. Rose stayed there for six months. He, already old and sick, went to see her as soon as he could. “We talked. He told me about himself and his experience of her. He didn’t do anything else ». But they are not the words of that priest: it is he, his world of looking, of doing. To enjoy life. But it’s not a linear story. In the mid-nineties, it went into crisis. The Meeting Point is efficient, it works. Still, something is wrong. «I gave the medicines to the sick, came back the next day and found them in the garbage. I said to myself: it’s impossible. That pill is to save your life. Because?”. The turning point came there. When Fr Giussani asked her to drop everything and come to Italy. Rose stayed there for six months. He, already old and sick, went to see her as soon as he could. “We talked. He told me about himself and his experience of her. He didn’t do anything else ». But they are not the words of that priest: it is he, his world of looking, of doing. To enjoy life. it’s impossible. That pill is to save your life. Because?”. The turning point came there. When Fr Giussani asked her to drop everything and come to Italy. Rose stayed there for six months. He, already old and sick, went to see her as soon as he could. “We talked. She told me about herself and his experience of him. He didn’t do anything else ». But they are not the words of that priest: it is he, his world of looking, of doing. To enjoy life. it’s impossible. That pill is to save your life. Because?”. The turning point came there. When Fr Giussani asked her to drop everything and come to Italy. Rose stayed there for six months. He, already old and sick, went to see her as soon as he could. “We talked. She told me about herself and his experience of him. He didn’t do anything else ». But they are not the words of that priest: it is he, his world of looking, of doing. To enjoy life.

NEW AWARENESS – From those six months Rose went out without instructions for use, but with a new awareness. Of himself, and of the other. The value of the person, therefore. Not confined to sermons or speeches, but witnessed, embodied.
It seems nothing, yet it is from this discovery itself that “Rose’s women” have started again, with the immeasurable strength that only women can have. And that’s where everything exploded: the Meeting Points, the medicines, the meetings, the cooperatives, the English courses, the hygiene courses … The schools, who wanted them “so that our children are educated as you are educating us” (Rose had plans to start a hospital, but she put her plans aside and went with them.) And much more: in the book there are dozens of stories and facts that forced me to rethink many things as I saw them happen.
Examples? What does it mean to help development: projects and financing are indispensable (important NGOs like AVSI collaborate with Rose), but if they do not help people grow, nothing changes. Or, how crucial is education, at school, and outside. Or, again, because the Church can only exist “outgoing”, as Pope Bergoglio repeats.
In the end, however, Rose’s story showed me one thing above all: a faith lived in this way can make you free. Even in the slums of Kampala.

Davide Perillo



“…I realized I had everything I needed within me, to be what God created me for but had not yet figured out how to actively be that person.” narrates Nalukwago Shadia, a Kireka resident sharing her experience upon encountering MPI and how recognizing her value moved her to forgive her husband.

by Kisuki Simon, MPI Social Worker
Kampala, 31.O4.2022.


My name is Nalukwago Shadia, a resident of Acholi quarters in Kireka, Kampala. I am a mother of two girls, Kemigisha Sharon (9 years) and Kengozi Natasha (7 years) who both now study at Luigi Giussani Pre-primary and Primary School (LGPPS) since they were enrolled after I joined Meeting Point International (MPI). I encountered MPI through members of the community during a time when my life had become really hard for my family both economically and financially.

Nalukwago Shadia, 2nd from right with her friend Nahayo Allen and her two children Sharon and Natasha leaning on Allen’s lap

However, the situation that started out as a negative occurrence ended up teaching me a lot although I had not yet realised it at the time because it seemed like my life had ended. Once rumours alleging that Sharon wasn’t his daughter were spread within the community, my husband Arinaitwe Humphrey and I got into several heated arguments in which he would even threatened to kill me. These rumours brought about serious emotional torture and endless wrangles within my household.



After unproductive efforts to explain my truth to him and his emphatic refusal to hear me out, I had to run away for my life. Being a member of MPI had already earned me friends like Nahayo Allen who had become more like family so much so she allowed me to stay at her place as I figured out what to do next.Life became even harder due to the lockdown restrictions after the Covid-19 resurge. As time went on Allen’s house couldn’t accommodate us all since we amounted to a total of over 7 people and her single tiny room that was also full of other items would simply not do.

We then moved into a neighbouring school room after sharing our concerns with one of the administrators since the schools weren’t operating. We found there another family that was in a similar situation. During that time, I was afraid of exposing what I was facing to anybody and it was Allen that forcefully made me visit Rose’s office and her social workers to explain what was going on in my life. Before gaining the courage to meet them, my children and I had spent nearly 6 months moving up and down with no solution. I had never worked before in my life and had always looked to my husband for our financial needs and at that time, this felt like a situation I could not overcome. I started picking plastic bottles and scrap to resell and get something for my little ones to eat.

Shadia with her two children Natasha and Sharon

After a series of visits to me by the social workers of MPI, one on one dialogues with Rose including the knowledge I got during the dialogues we have every Tuesday and Thursday in Kireka. I really felt like I had awakened from a very deep sleep. I realised I had everything I needed, to be what God created me for but had not yet figured out how to actively be that person.

The conversations with Rose gave me clarity about my role in of my children’s lives and my own plus what I had to do to avoid regretting some of the decisions I was making at the time. At the time, I was feeling guilty for leaving my hostile husband and rendering my kids homeless and had been seriously contemplating taking my children to their grandparents deep in the village in which case I would have forfeited their chance at any education.


Like a genuine friend, Rose listened to me, offered advice and paid three months’ rent for us to leave the school and get a place we could call home. To ensure sustainability, she also gave me capital in form of clothes that I could resell, make profits and then start a business and this paved a way for the next chapter of my life. As planned, I opened up a snack making business just within the market of Acholi quarters, made some profits, and even gave some small re-imbursements back to Rose to show my gratitude and prove to her that I was indeed doing better.

After about two months in my new home, the overwhelming love showed to me by Rose and MPI deeply moved me and further confirmed to me my value and the value of others that Rose repeatedly talks about because MPI had absolutely no obligation to help me out. It is at this point that I decided to forgive my husband and let him back into our lives. This was not because I loved him very much but because I love my children that much. I realised that for unity to be witnessed within my family, give him another chance especially because he had started apologizing to me saying his actions were not intended to harm me. His character hasn’t necessarily changed much, he still comes home drunk but the most important thing to me is that he always comes back and shares that sense of belonging with our children which is very important to me because it makes my children happy that he is around. We are all indeed meant for something greater.


Meeting Point International, as a founding member of AVSI Foundation celebrates AVSI’s 50th anniversary where they got an opportunity to address His Holiness. Below is an article from AVSI foundation about the address to Pope Francis and His response.


On Saturday September 3rd on the occasion of the Open Hospitals in Syria conference, AVSI was received in audience by Pope Francis.

Below, the greetings that Giampaolo Silvestri, Secretary General of AVSI, addressed to the Pontifex and the Pope’s speech.

The words of greeting that Giampaolo Silvestri addressed to the Pontifex

His Holiness,

I would like to thank you on behalf of AVSI, all the friends, supporters, and donors who are represented here, along with our colleagues in the field from the Middle East, Africa, Latin America: thank you for this audience and for the support that the Holy See has provided to the Open Hospitals project in Syria.

When we started thinking about this project in 2016, Syria was at the top of world emergencies: the Syrian people were asking for help right away. At the initiative of Card. Zenari, with the support at the beginning of Cor Unum, then the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches, we tried to respond.


Our intervention does not claim to “save” Syrians, but aims to help bring relief to the victims of a conflict and an economic crisis that make life more unsustainable every day.
The awareness that we cannot “save” those in need, that we cannot help everyone, has never been an alibi for giving up intervening in contexts of war or extreme poverty.

AVSI, which is celebrating 50 years this year, has always been interested in looking at reality in all its complexity and contradictions, and is pushed by this to translate its mission into concrete actions, together with different partners and actors.

Since its establishment on the initiative of a few people belonging to “Communion and Liberation,” who have been joined over time by many others from different backgrounds, AVSI has been working for a world where the person can be the protagonist of his/her development and that of his/her community.

Because, as the encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti indicates, building development requires social friendship and universal fraternity. It “calls for an acknowledgement of the worth of every human person, always and everywhere”.
This is the cornerstone of the Open Hospitals project, which has provided almost 80,000 free treatments and aims to take care of 140,000 Syrians by 2024.

There are countless testimonies from the people treated we receive: they mostly say they are grateful. Sometimes they are almost surprised to have found a loving welcome although they were of a different religion, as if the trust that the other can be a resource, not always a threat, has been lost in the country.

Some people, cared for by the project, return and ask to volunteer in hospitals. Like Hani, a young Muslim man who was badly injured and feared he would never walk again. Instead, he was back on his feet thanks to a series of surgeries, was able to start playing with his son again, and to work to support him. Such testimonies document how perceiving oneself welcomed is generative of good: it produces hope, social friendship and fraternity, which are essential for rebuilding a country wounded by war.
The project, made possible thanks to many donations, from the savings of a child – here today – to the millions from businesses and public and private entities, was also well received by local, civil and religious institutions.

The partnership between different hospitals provides a model to be inspired by: tackling the most critical situations together makes a good flourish that goes beyond the sum of individual efforts.

But we cannot stop. The Syria emergency has been joined by countless other emergencies, challenging the most fragile and those like us who work in development cooperation. They almost create a dispute: who “deserves” more help? Is there a hierarchy to be respected in need? How to be present?
These are questions that we ask ourselves every day and entrust to you, Holy Father, as children who do not want to lose sight of the authentic and original motive of their action.

Thank you.

Giampaolo Silvestri, segretario generale Fondazione AVSI


Pope Francis during his address.

The Holy Father’s speech

Dear brothers and sisters, welcome!

I offer you a warm greeting, as you meet in these days to advance the praiseworthy initiative of “Open Hospitals” in Syria. I thank Dr. Giampaolo Silvestri, Secretary General of the ASVI Foundation, for his kind words of introduction. I also cordially greet Cardinal Zenari, who has served as Apostolic Nuncio in Syria for fourteen years.




When we think of Syria, there comes to mind the verse of the Book of Lamentations: “Vast as the sea is your ruin; who can heal you?” (2:13). Those words refer to the sufferings of Jerusalem, but they also make us think of the suffering endured by the Syrian people in these twelve years of violent conflict. If we consider the number of the dead and wounded, the destruction of entire quarters and villages, as well as important infrastructures, including healthcare institutions, it is natural to ask: “Syria, who can now heal you?”

International observers tell us that the crisis in Syria continues to be one of the most serious worldwide, in terms of destruction, growing humanitarian needs, social and economic collapse, and poverty and famine at dire levels.

Recently, I was given a gift, a work by an artist who, inspired by a photograph with real faces, portrayed a Syrian father, physically exhausted, carrying his son on his shoulders. He was just one of some fourteen million internally displaced persons and refugees. That is more than half of the Syrian population prior to the conflict. It was a powerful image of the sufferings experienced by the Syrian people.

In the face of such immense suffering, the Church is called to be a “field hospital” and to heal wounds both physical and spiritual. We think of the words of the Gospel: “That evening, at sundown, they brought to [Jesus] all who were sick and possessed with demons. The whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases” (Mk 1:32-34; cf. Lk 4:40). It is the Lord who heals.

From the time of the Apostles, the Church has remained faithful to the mandate she has received from Jesus: “Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You have received without payment; give without payment” (Mt 10:8). In the Acts of the Apostles we read that “they carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, in order that Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he came by” (5:15) and might heal them.

Mindful of this legacy, I have frequently encouraged priests, especially on Holy Thursday, to touch the wounds, the sins, the anguish of their people (cf. Homily, Chrism Mass, 18 April 2019). To touch them. I have also encouraged all the faithful to touch the wounds of Jesus, that is, the many problems, difficulties, persecutions, and infirmities of those who suffer (cf. Regina Caeli, 28 April 2019; Evangelii Gaudium, 24), and the wars.

Dear friends, your project – “Open Hospitals” – is committed to supporting the three Catholic hospitals that have operated in Syria for a hundred years, as well as four walk-in clinics. This initiative came about with the patronage of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and is supported by the generosity of Church-related institutions – The Papal Foundation and several Bishops’ Conferences, and some government agencies – Hungarian and Italian –Catholic humanitarian institutions and a number of generous individuals.

Your programme is precisely that of “Open Hospitals”. Open to those who are sick and poor, without distinction of ethnic or religious affiliation. This is the hallmark of a Church that seeks to be a home with open doors, a place of human fraternity. In our charitable institutions, people, and above all the poor, must feel “at home” and experience a climate of dignified welcome. Then, as you have rightly emphasized, two things will result: people’s bodies will be cared for and the social fabric will be mended by fostering the exemplary coexistence between different ethnic and religious groups that is characteristic of Syria. In this regard, it is significant that the many Muslims assisted by your hospitals are the most grateful.

Your initiative, together with others that have been promoted by the Church in Syria, blooms, as Saint John Paul II said, from the “creativity of charity” (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 50).

Today, you gave me a beautiful icon of Jesus the Good Samaritan. The man in the Gospel parable, beaten, robbed and left half-dead by the side of the road, can serve as another tragic image of Syria, beaten, robbed and abandoned for dead on the roadside. Yet not forgotten or abandoned by Christ, the Good Samaritan, and by so many other good Samaritans: individuals, associations and institutions. Several hundred of these good Samaritans, including several volunteers, have lost their lives helping their neighbours. Our gratitude goes to all of them.

In the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, I wrote that, “The story of the Good Samaritan is constantly being repeated. We can see this clearly as social and political inertia are turning many parts of our world into a desolate byway, even as domestic and international disputes and the robbing of opportunities are leaving great numbers of the marginalized stranded on the roadside” (No. 71). And I asked everyone to consider that “all of us have a responsibility for the wounded, those of our own people and all the peoples of the earth” (No. 79).

In the face of so many serious needs, we experience how very limited are our possibilities for intervening. We feel a bit like Jesus’ disciples, faced with an enormous crowd that had to be fed: “We have only five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?” (Jn 5:6-9). A drop of water in the desert, we might say. Yet even the rocky Syrian desert, after the first spring rains, is clothed in a blanket of green. So many small drops, so many blades of grass!

Dear friends, I thank you for your work and I offer you my heartfelt blessing. Keep pressing forward! May the sick be cured, hope be reborn, and the desert blossom! I ask this of God, for you and with you. And I ask you too, please, remember to pray for me. Thank you.

(After the blessing)

This image, of the Syrian father fleeing with his son, reminded me of when Saint Joseph had to flee to Egypt. He did not go in a carriage, no, he went like this, fleeing precariously. The original of this image was given to me by the artist, who is from Piedmont. I want to offer it to you so that, looking at this Syrian father and his son, you can think of this everyday flight into Egypt, of this people that is suffering so much. Thank you.

Link to the speech


by Kisuki Simon Nimrod, DSP Social Worker.

Kampala, 03.09.2021


My name is Okello Raymond, a 20year old staying with my mother and siblings in Acholi quarters – Kireka. My family is originally from Pader district in Northern Uganda but we had to flee to Kampala due to the constant attacks and threats from the rebels of the Lord Resistance Army. I’ve been told I was 4 years old then. My parents, Owona John Bosco and Ataro Rose successfully led this journey to Kampala where we ended up settling within the slums of Kireka (Acholi quarters). Life has not been easy; however, the start was definitely the hardest part. Around 2011, my parents found out that they had contracted the HIV Virus and my father decided to go back to the village because he was becoming weaker from the virus. He felt that it was best to leave because he wasn’t contributing anything to the household anymore. He also said he needed a calmer environment to settle in since the war had stopped but to us it felt like he was giving up on life and us.

Raymond (extreme left) with some of his family members.

My siblings and I have since then been raised by our mother who has struggled to make ends meet through her alcohol brewing business. There was a time when life became so tough she nearly gave up on educating us and the only practicle solution seemed to be joining our father in the village. This was especially hard on mother not just physically but mentally as well because other than the dire financial situation, she had to come to terms with the fact that she now had  the HIV-virus to fight for a chance to raise her children herself. During this period, mom heard about how big an impact Meeting Point International (MPI) was making on the lives of the people within the community, decided to attend one of the meetings and our lives have never been the same. After a while, we started attending school in better schools, mom started looking forward to  the meetings with the women and was always happier when she came back home. Our relationship with MPI kept growing due to mom’s active participation in MPI activities  and the home visits carried out by MPI social workers to ensure we are doing fine. The women of MPI are invited to talk to Rose, the MPI Director whenever they have problems and with that we could easily access different forms of help like medical services from the MPI clinic in Acholi quarters (Kireka). During some holidays, we visited our dad in the village.

My educational journey as well as my  siblings’ has been going smoothly and success in some cases for example my sister Adong Florence just finished her S.4 with 13 aggregates. My family and I are extremely proud of her. The love and compassion MPI has extended to our family has played a great role in enabling us to face whatever we have been going through with courage because we learnt that we are not defined by our problems. One day, the MPI director during a speech at our school, Luigi Giussani High School said that “We should always find something positive amidst all the bad times that you we face. Be it a lesson or something to be grateful for”. I thought about that during the period when  schools closed due to COVID-19 and it reminded me to use that time to read given the bulkiness of my combination i.e. Biology, Chemistry, and Maths (BCM). I read hard and with the encouragement from my family, our teachers who used to check on us in our different localities and the consistent calls and visits from the MPI social workers helped me excel in my Advanced level exams of 2020 with 16 out of 20 points.

My dream has always been to become a teacher and it is something I even do now on a free lance basis  when students have holidays. I am however considering becoming a surgeon and hopefully improve my society by providing them with better health care services. I know saying thank you is not enough to fully appreciate all the beautiful souls that have made it possible for me to reach this mile stone, but it is the least I can do. I take this opportunity to thank God, my dear sponsor, MPI and its staff, my family, the reliable friends God gave me and my amazing teachers for doing everything within their power to help me reach my goals.


by Achan Aida, MPI Social Worker.

Kampala, 28.06.2022.


Okumait Daniel KIR-1783 is a 20-year-old boy whom, with support from AVSI Foundation, has been sponsored by Meeting Point International (MPI) since senior one at Luigi Giussani High School. He is currently in senior five offering Physic, Economic, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Okumait Daniel receiving his gift in 2019

In 2019, Daniel received a Ugx.206,000/= gift from his sponsor Cremonesi Paolo. When Aunt Rose called him to the MPI headquarters and asked him what he wanted to buy, he excitedly said pigs and explained that he wanted to start a piggery project. His gift managed to accord him two piglets, a female and male. After a while, the female gave birth to eight piglets the first time and nine piglets the second time.

When schools closed during the Covid-19 lockdown, he sold the first set of piglets that were 6 months old at the time and bought a smart phone that he needed in order to do academic research and receive school assignments online. Some of the money also helped the family buy food during the economically tough lockdown period. Daniel then decided to use the remaining proceeds of the sale to start a rabbit rearing (cuniculture) project and bought two rabbits, a male and female. As the piggery project expanded, space became insufficient so he made his second sale and opened up a bank account in order to safely keep and save his money for future use.

Luigi Giussani High School, all students attend community school where students are educated about their value among other important life skills in adherence to the social teachings of the Catholic Church. It is through these dialogues and how he is handled by his teachers that Daniel says he understood his value and the way he looked at things changed. Daniel was very happy with his project so he went ahead and gifted Rose Busingye, the MPI Director, with a pig. This humbled us as MPI staff and Rose was extremely happy to see that such a young person was so moved by his gift he thought about gifting her as well.


Daniel at MPI headquarters to deliver his gift to A. Rose in 2022.

Due to insufficient space where he is doing the piggery and cuniculture at the moment, Daniel plans to switch to cattle rearing. He has also been advised that cattle may also be a little easier to manage and require less attention because God willing, he will be a candidate in 2023 and will need more time to concentrate on his studies. He plans to relocate the project to the village where the space is big enough to hold more cattle since he is working towards expanding the project.

The gift money he received from his sponsor encouraged him to develop good ideas and further contributed to his awareness about who he is and his potential. Daniel says the gift to Aunt Rose was his way of showing gratitude for what his sponsor, Rose, and MPI in general has done for him since he joined the MPI community.


During the Easter Vigil of 2022, 15 widows of Meeting Point International (MPI) were received into the catholic church again after several years of cohabiting with their late husbands. We were able to have a dialogue with them and they disclosed to us why they had this desire to go back to the church.

Story by, Adoch Mary Clare

Kampala, July 6, 2022.


A war that killed tens of thousands and displaced more than 1.6 million people in northern Ugandan united very many women despite its horrendous consequences. Among the people displaced are some of the women of Rose (MPI director) who are united in a Kampala slum known as Acholi Quarters and others in Naguru. 15 of these women were welcomed back into the catholic church after renewing their baptism vows, the sacraments of penance and holy Eucharist. Some of them were not receiving the body of Christ before because they were cohabiting with their husbands. However, because their partners passed on and most of these women are above the age of 50 years of age, they decided they want to be closer to God by respecting Him and actively practising their catholic faith and this was the first step to achieve that.

The Baptised women at the MPI kireka centre for their celebration.

They wanted to do this together in each other’s company because they believe through this relationship with God, they will be able to set an example for both young and old within the community. They believe that if you are close to Him, you attract people who will hopefully trust you enough to approach you in whatever situation they are facing, be it good or bad. Through this, they wanted to show love to themselves first, then to those around them and the community at large.

Many of these women met through Meeting Point International and became even closer through actively participating in MPI activities where a bond was created. However, they share some characteristics like being widows, victims of war and agemates that brought them even closer enough to encourage each other to get this baptism. Another reason for the baptism was; during of the war, most of them lost their documents like baptism cards and birth certificates in the chaos yet these are documents essential in one’s life because in most of the offices that provide essential services, these documents are a requirement. They celebrated their return to the church with their fellow women of MPI and Rose who provided them with a cake that was inscribed with “we are now free”.

We were moved by these women, in their simplicity, to ask for baptism and the sacraments! “This achievement by these women was worth celebrating because we didn’t ask them to go back for the sacraments and this shows a kind of awareness within themselves which is a success for MPI. They are living in a natural way. MPI didn’t impose this on then and it implies that even when MPI ceases to exist, they will be able to do things on their own. They will be able to eat a balanced meal, cook well, take their drugs, clean their house because they have an awareness of their own.” said Rose on why we celebrated their achievement.

The women were baptised from their usual meeting place in Kireka where meetings with them are held. This place also acts as a church on Sundays with permission from Rose; the mass is usually held in a language they understand which is Acholi. Rose commented on the reason as to why she allowed the mass to be held from MPI saying; “Allowing the women to have mass from there is the same as allowing God to happen there. God is happening in our place where we sit, where we cry, where we are happy, where we are a mess, so the same way we can’t refuse that God is there is how we can’t refuse the priest to make Him happen in our place. Mass, a sacrament for us Catholics, represents the fact that God died, rose again and became flesh of our flesh through the holy Eucharist.   The value is God that is happening in us, when you talk about God, the father of fathers, our heart is vibrating, when we celebrate Him, its beyond something beautiful.”


“…knowledge acquired from the MPI dialogues and my conversations with Rose reminded me of my value and taught me that I needed to start being the protagonist in my life by…”

by Kisuki Simon Nimrod, DSP Social Worker.

Kampala, 03.05.2022

Life often has hard corners to maneuver but can be simple depending on one’s perspective. This is how Anyiri Sarah, a mother of 3, guardian to 5, summarizes her experiences and responsibilities today. Even without an education, she was the only child among her siblings with considerable success at a young age being the one that held her family together financially. Once she got married and a few years later, her husband impregnated a maid Sarah had employed for the sole purpose of giving said maid an opportunity to sustain her family.

Sarah extreme right with some of her children during a home visit by Simon (front), a social worker.

Once she found out about the pregnancy, she separated from her husband and left with their 3 children in the guise of visiting an aunt. Sarah describes leaving her husband as the most heartbreaking and painful experience she has ever been through not to mention the hardest choice she has ever had to make. Sarah’s Aunt allowed her to stay for as long as she needed. However, due to depression over the end of her marriage, betrayal, worry for her children, and the fear that she may be HIV positive, Sarah looked and felt sick, so much so she could neither stand nor sit on her own. This is when she was rushed to Reach Out for testing and later Mulago for treatment for different infections. Luckily she was HIV-negative.

This is the period during which she was introduced to the Meeting Point International (MPI) Executive Director, Rose Busingye having heard about how big an impact she was making in the lives of many of the women that resided around the Kireka-Acholi quarters. She says at first she thought her husband would come and take them back home, but due to his emphatic refusal to go for HIV testing with her till date, she couldn’t trust him enough to take him back.

Sarah had some little money left after her treatment that she used for rent and started a small retail shop that grew over time. She later joined a savings group where she saved consistently using whatever she could spare from her shop’s profits. However, she was unfortunately robbed and she didn’t get a single coin when it was time to share the money which led to all her plans like restocking her shop and buying out her landlord being cancelled which depressingly meant starting from scratch again.

Life became so hard to the extent that Sarah could not afford any underwear for herself and some days she couldn’t afford a meal for her family. By this time, she had started attending MPI dialogues but was still timid about confiding her problems to Rose. One day she followed Jacky, an MPI social worker at the time, and asked her for some money. Jacky gave her ugx.5000 and advised her to find a source of income because requesting for money isn’t sustainable. This encounter happened after Rose advised them to feel free to go to her with their problems. She gathered her courage and went to meet Rose who she says gladly offered her much needed advice and help. Sarah was at the time also suffering from a terrible skin infection and Rose gave her medicine to apply to her body and kept inquiring about how she was fairing, not to mention surprising her with underwear at a later date!

“Jacky and Rose’s eagerness to help, knowledge acquired from the MPI dialogues and my conversations with Rose reminded me of my value and taught me that I needed to recognize that one way of the ways I can be the protagonist in my life is by using my capabilities to survive in my reality rather than feel sorry for myself.” recalls Sarah. She then used the ugx.5000/= as capital to start up a cassava frying business which is still running very successfully to date. She is very proud of it because the returns have enabled her to sustain her family, made it a little easier to take care of 5 more children in need and contribute for their school requirements since MPI caters for their school fees.

From these lessons, Sarah now testifies and advises fellow MPI women during the community dialogues on how they can be more proactive in their lives. She encourages the mothers to be companions in their children’s lives the same way MPI offers companionship to them. She urges them to take responsibility of finding out if for example the school fees paid by MPI was cleared at the school, how their children are performing in school, make sure they do their homework, etc…and not leave the full responsibility of the child to MPI even if MPI already takes such responsibility.

“Rose’s words to the women are a very strong instrument that will always drive you to something great when fully understood” says Sarah. In one of the personal dialogues she had with Rose, she was advised to always write down her daily expenditure and then see how to narrow it down given the other demands she always has at hand. This taught her to be in control of what’s hers, to leave within her means at whatever financial position she finds herself because that is the only way she will not fail to fulfil her responsibilities.

All this combined with how loved Sarah has felt since the day she was welcomed into Meeting Point International (MPI), has moved her into being responsible for those she encounters. Not only her children but her relatives, MPI members, people in her community or any human being for that matter. She says that Rose’s constant encouragement to remind ourselves to not only be mindful about ourselves and what is ours, but for others as well, is what provoked her heart.

“I do not regret the day I decided to settle here because it has given me the opportunity to keep discovering who I really am.”  Sarah added.

Today, with the support from donors like AVSI Foundation and Support International, among others, MPI is supporting all her 8 children and this gives her some leeway to take care of their other needs. One cannot imagine that the story behind this woman’s life is hers because of how happy she is, and how she conducts herself despite her circumstances. This tells us that we all need to be loved and welcomed without putting anything but humanity under consideration.

A Token Representing Our Tears

“Ndi muntu, sili kabila”, meaning “I am not my tribe, I am a human being”, is how Acen Karamela Kasule, one of the oldest members of Meeting Point International responded when asked why she was the first person to contribute to the Ukraine cause once the idea to collect funds to support the war victims was suggested. The beauty in this statement is that many a time, we are more inclined to help people with whom we have personal relationships or similarities like ethnicity, religion, etc…, yet we ought to be moved by the compassion that should ideally come from recognizing that a fellow human being’s infinitely great value is in jeopardy.

Atimango Josephine (right) sharing what moved her to contribute to the Ukraine cause & Achan Agnes, social worker (left) during the handover of the contribution to Nuncio Luigi Bianco.

Who are we not to help or contribute something however small to those who are suffering, to offer them the companionship we have been shown by MPI and donors we may never meet. Watching the news about Ukraine makes me cry because those too are my children, they belong with me and the memories it brings up reminds me very vividly of how painful what those people are going through must be .We need to unite with the people in the war through prayer because we cannot live as if we are different and should love one another as human beings.  There’s nothing like this one is black or white, we are all one. And this is why we are sending our support. It may not be able to feed them but it is a sign of our tears to show that we are with them in these trying times.  If Ukraine or Russia was like in Mbarara (a Ugandan district), we would ask Rose to take us so that we can help however we can but we can’t due to the distance. said Karamela.

Karamela Kasule, like many of the Meeting Point International (MPI) women were victims of the LRA guerrilla war in Northern Uganda when they experienced first-hand the horrors that come with war and it is how they ended up relocating to the slums of Kampala. Watching/ listening to news of the Ukraine war brings back very painful memories for many of them.

Sometimes we watched as the rebels raped mothers in front of their children, cut off people’s body parts, buried people alive, among other inhumane acts that would make us so traumatised we lost hope and started doubting God’s existence. said Akello Florence, a 50-year-old member of MPI.

Today, I have learnt so much from MPI and from community school and I have the awareness that what we have contributed is nothing, but we want to help the victims with more than words of prayer and hope that this small token may remind even one person that God still exists. The money, above all, represents our voices and the cries of our hearts from the pain of what’s happening to humanity. I am requesting those who are fuelling the war to ask themselves “what is a human being?” because it should be only God that makes the decision to take away one’s life. We are praying that they recognise that what has already happened is bad enough and that God created us all with his love, not human love and they are eliminating this love forcefully. I call upon all of us and not just the war victims to prepare ourselves and our hearts, to ask ourselves, how I can clean my heart and make my life better? Am I worthy of God’s love? So that our hearts are filled with God’s love and when death comes, we are not scared because we know that we have a value and are filled with God’s love. continued Akello Florence.

It is very painful what is happening in Ukraine because those people are our brothers and sisters but also because it reminds us of the horrors of war we experienced and pray that God saves them like he did us. My heart is with MPI because I am grateful for the education on how to live with people and now am learning that when another human gets a problem, it is also my problem as well. We have to come together, unity is Golden, giving advice to someone is golden. In the past, different countries came together to help us during the war because their hearts moved for us, right now, they are also in our hearts and in my house hold, we include them in our prayers. May God bless and multiply the little we have given so that it can make a difference. said Anek Florence.

The people responsible for the war should remember the value of a human being. Covid-19 killed us in very large and we don’t need any more deaths. This money we have collected could take care of our struggling families because I personally take care of 4 orphans, however I understand the terror war can bring to people and I pray that this small contribution helps them so that they don’t lose faith in humanity and God. said Atimango Josephine, a 56-year-old mother.

Watching the news about Ukraine reminds me of my difficult childhood and watching children go without food bring tears to my eyes. My father passed away when my twin and I were 7 months old and after a few months, my father’s family chased my mother out of their clan.  My mother, having no stable source of income suffered terribly with us trying to find food for us and we would sometimes go a day without any meals. I feel so much pain because I know what it is like to be a hungry child but now that I have children of my own, I can only imagine the pain the mothers must be going through helplessly watching their kids starve all because of a war brought about by fellow human beings. When we started to contribute, I gave whatever I had in my pocket and keep praying to God that the people can unite so that the war can stop. contributed Nyangoma Mackline.

One after another, over 300 women of Meeting Point moved by the pain being experienced by the people in Ukraine and Russia managed to contribute Ugx. 3,000,000/=, approximately EUR.833/= which was forwarded through his excellence the Papal Nuncio, Luigi Bianco who was welcomed with music and dance by the MPI women on May 12th, 2022. He was thankful to the women and commended them on their solidarity for human kind.

Rose Busingye (extreme right) welcoming the Nuncio (extreme left) to Meeting Point International.

MPI women have however expressed this solidarity before after hearing of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. The women of Meeting Point International like now were moved to action. For weeks, they crushed truck-loads of stones in the nearby Kireka quarry and contributed about $1,000. “It may only be a drop in the ocean, but our donation proves that the human heart is international, and without our unity the human race would become withered like a plant without nourishment” said Rose Busingye, MPI Director.

by Mariam Asiimwe.


My name is Achan Priscilla, a 22-year-old teacher at Luigi Giussani Pre-primary and Primary school (LGPPS). I live with my two siblings Abraham, a 19-year-old, and Rovia, a 12-year-old in Acholi quarters. I just finished my degree at Kyambogo university this year where I was pursuing a bachelor’s degree of arts in education. I managed to get a first-class degree and am very happy about it. This would not have been possible without the support of my donors and Meeting Point International (MPI).

Having lost my father in 2003, a lot about my life became uncertain especially completing school. My mother struggled to raise us and got some relief when she discovered MPI and I was enrolled for support in 2008 when I was in primary five. Unfortunately, when I was in senior four, my mother succumbed to cancer and passed away. I now had a family to take care of and provide for yet I was a candidate that very year and I still had to sit national examinations amidst the grief and new responsibilities. I, however, managed to work hard and earn myself a first grade.


Overwhelmed with my new responsibilities, I requested Aunt Rose to allow me skip the Advanced level of secondary school and opt for a shorter course of one year and gain hands-on skills so that I could be in a position to support my family. She assured me that MPI would support my family financially and provide any help we needed. This gave me strength because I realized I was not alone. I attended Luigi Giussani High School (LGHS), a school whose focus is to help students discover themselves every day. The teachers helped me embrace the reality of my situation and I began looking at my mother’s death with positivity which paved way for growth and maturity. I completed my senior six in 2016 and emerged as the best student in my school.


I also wanted to attest to all the girls and orphans that it is possible to find success amidst the hardships we go through. I am very fortunate to have encountered MPI because they have continued to accompany me in my daily life even now by catering to my family’s education, health, and other needs. I was given a job at LGPPS, a school founded by MPI and I began volunteering there as a teacher. The same beauty I encountered at LGHS is what I found at my workplace which prompted more personal growth.


I decided to become a teacher because of the inspiration of my teachers at the LGHS. The teachers not only taught in a way that made me understand the subject but also addressed the needs of my heart. Their hearts were open to what was happening with each student. Mr. Wandera Joseph my History teacher inspired me with the way he presented himself and spoke in public. He had this self-esteem that I admired and wanted to imitate or even better.


My journey at the university wasn’t easy because I would go to work in the morning, go to study at the university in the afternoon, and later get home late in the evening and care for my siblings who would be back from school too. However, I had a lot of support from my colleagues at work, the LGPPS administration that allowed me to reschedule my timetable to study in case they clashed, my lecturers and course mates always helped me catch up through discussions because they were moved by my situation. This degree that I have achieved is not just for me but for everyone who stood with me.


“I want to thank MPI and all my sponsors especially Familie Zöpfl and Support International that accompanied me through my school journey. I wish that they could feel my love, excitement, and gratitude for them.”

They have accompanied me even in times when I had lost all hope. I don’t take for granted the fact that they decided to love me this way, that they decided to prefer me this way. In the absence of my parents, MPI and my donors have been the parents for it is usually only parents who would do what they do for me. They love me for who I am and their biggest desire was to see me happy. I am happy and grateful and I will always strive to make them proud. I am going to study and get a master’s degree in linguistics and P.H.D dedicated to them. I recognize the value in everything that they have done and I want what I have encountered to be able to help whoever I encounter so that the people out there also understand the value of life and its meaning.

Story written by Adoch Mary Clare



Below are link to story of Priscilla’s brother Aron’s story for more insight of her journey and that of her family.

“I thank God that He gave me you” – Aron