An Extract of Rose’s Speech; At the Origin of Gratuitousness, Florence Italy

Rose Busingye was in Florence, Italy for the event At the Origin of gratuitousness, in which she was handed keys to the city. This is an extract of the speech she made at the event which occurred on 1/12/18;

What is at stake is man! Always, when it comes to a human being, we must start with themselves. In the beginning, I thought this was selfishness, but it is true that we cannot give what we do not have. Who am I and who is this man I have to take care of? It is not enough to do an investigation on existence, even an instinctive reaction is not enough because it does not make it out of the Confusion that characterizes our days, does not bring out the “I”, its face. The analysis is never enough. Apparently, man can seem to be nothing in front of his problems, illness, poverty and even death.

Let me quote a great Italian poet, Giacomo Leopardi:

«Niuna cosa maggiormente dimostra la grandezza e la potenza dell’umano intelletto, né l’alte‘zza e nobilta dell’uomo, che il poter l’uomo conoscere e interamente comprendere e fortemente sentire la sua piccolezza. Quando egli, considerando la pluralita de’ mondi, si sente essere infinitesima parte di un globo ch’e minima parte d’uno degli infiniti sistemi che compongono il mondo, e in questa considerazione stupisce della sua piccolezza, e profondamente sentendola e intentamente riguardandola, si confonde quasi col nulla, e perde quasi se stesso nel pensiero della immensita delle cose, e si trova come smarrito nella vastita incomprensibile dell’esistenza; allora con questo atto e con questo pensiero egli da Ia maggior prova possibile della sua nobilta, della forza e della immensa capacita della sua mente, la quale rinchiusa in si piccolo e menomo essere, e potuta pervenire a conoscere e intender cose tanto superiori alla natura di lui, e puo ‘abbracciare e contener col pensiero questa immensita medesima della esistenza e delle cose».

“Niente mostra di piu la grandezza, il potere dell’intelletto umano, I’altezza e la nobilta dell’uomo, della capacita che egli ha di percepire e capire la sua piccolezza; quando considera la pluralita dei mondi, sente se stesso come parte infinitesimale del globo, percependo questo profondamente confonde se stesso con il nulla e quasi perde se stesso nel pensiero dell’immensita delle cose, si trova quasi perso nell’incomprensibile vastita dell’esistenza.”

Nothing more demonstrates the greatness and power of the human intellect, nor the highness and nobility of man, that man can know and fully understand and strongly feel its smallness. When he considers the plurality of the worlds he feels himself to be infinitesimal part of a globe that is minimal part of one of the infinite systems that make up the world, and in this consideration amazes of its smallness, and deeply feeling it and intently considering it, it is almost confused with nothing, and almost loses itself in thought of the immensity of things, and finds itself lost in the incomprehensible vastness of existence; then with this act and with this thought he gives as much proof as possible of his nobility, of the strength and immense capacity of his mind, which is locked up in a small and small way to be able to come to know and understand things so much superior to his nature, and can embrace and contain with thought this immensity of existence and of things “.

Nothing shows more the greatness, the power of the human intellect, the height and nobility of man, of the capacity he has to perceive and understand his smallness; when considering the plurality of gods worlds, feels itself as an infinitesimal part of the globe, perceiving this deeply he confuses himself with nothingness and almost loses himself in the thought of the immensity of things, yes he finds almost lost in the incomprehensible vastness of existence.

What is the nature of the human person? And what makes him happy?

I began to work enthusiastically, willing to help, if possible also to heal everyone that I met. I work with HIV/AIDS patients, their orphans and their families in poor neighborhoods of the city of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. I equipped myself with all the knowledge I could and the tools I had at layout. I thought this was enough but what seemed obvious was not; for example, the cards to mark when taking TB (Tuberculosis) drugs or the retroviral drugs came to compile very well, but the tablets ended up in the trash! The same for food: it was sold to buy alcohol or other things. The boys I sent to school preferred to stay in the streets rummaging through the garbage to find things to sell. Those who said they were my friends, even worse, made me suffer more, so much so that, to a certain point I wanted to escape on a deserted island with some animals but without men. Every day I saw people dying or people who disappointed me, but what I had studied and designed it was not like that. I went into crisis!

My teacher “fished me”, educated me and taught me what I was missing: who is man and who I am. Man is a relationship through which he screams of being someone. Don Giussani has revealed to me who I am and the man who I have to take care of! He established the content and method of my work: to communicate to everyone the greatness, the value and the dignity of every single person.

In this way, we started the Meeting Point International. First, it was called Meeting Point Kampala, but then we wanted to call it “International” to show that the heart of man is international, and the same for everyone and that each person must be watched in its entirety. We are involved in an adventure with HIV/AIDS patients, orphans, the poor, the mad etc, and we want to make them understand that they are not defined by the situation in which they live, but that they are greater than whatever their condition is.

Our work is based on education at all levels, because we consider education as the privileged way of discovering oneself. The method we use helps us not to solve the situation, but to go beyond and, as Fr. Giussani teaches, to look for correspondence between the reality and self-awareness, allowing the discovery of the unitary hypothesis that explains everything.

Why this method?

I began to live and work when someone told me “you are mine.” Don Giussani had not known me; it was evident that I was nothing, but I felt wanted and desired. It was as if his gaze told me, “I want to be with you, you have an infinite value”.

From this gaze everything was born, I discovered that I was not defined by my limits and my faults. From this gaze, I began to sense a meaning for my life. It is as if a light had enlightened everything, I discovered the truth of my existence and from here began an attraction, a tenderness for my life and that of others.

I began to live and work when I was able to respond concretely to the question “who am I”, this question has been answered in precise faces that have a name and a surname; so I became free. Paradoxically I became free belonging, that is, having a link. When you are free you can finally face the whole reality without fearing it, you can face everything because you know who you are! And whoever is free does not demand any more from others because he/she already has everything.

I felt free, great and the protagonist of reality because Fr. Giussani revealed to me who I am (example; meeting with Don Giussani, he said that if I were the only man on earth, God would have come all the same. Then he immediately stopped and said “No! He came for you because God does not come on earth for a group of men, before God every man is unique as an only child! He came for you, died for you, so that your nothingness is not lost “). Then a friend, Pope Benedict, in “Deus Caritas est” spoke of the love of God as a “divine madness“.

This has messed up my life, what I thought of myself and others, of eating and drinking, of the sleeping and waking up, crying or laughing; everything has gained a density, a value that you cannot imagine. Don Giussani, revealed to me that God has done for me more than what was necessary, that he gave Himself to me, a gift of total self.

Charity in its essence is this! God comes out of himself, divine madness! You act in a certain way because inside your humanity there is this origin that vibrates in your bowels. If there isn’t this charity in the instant, none of us here present or out of here can exist. He is given to us because we are happy and fulfilled.

What is coming up in my work is the truth of the value of the person. In this way, I can offer a clear and identified friendship to which everyone can belong. The “I” that is aware of belonging to this friendship becomes a protagonist, the lord of the reality not because he owns it, but because he discovers that the One making the reality is also making him.

This is why I chose as a symbol of MPI the picture of Matisse’s Icarus: I wanted that everyone could look at the red heart. The small dot which seems nothing, yet instead gives meaning to the whole painting! A man who looks like nothing, with all his problems, miserableness, poverty, death to him every day, is great. My “I” is a dot, a grain, (Don Giussani called me a black dot!) a breath that fails to be herself without belonging. Without belonging, the “I” grabs here and there. It clings to what happens, but this over time, leaves bitterness around in the mouth, as Carron says.

I saw the others happen again to me. For example, Lucy, one woman who suffered all sorts of violence, her body and physique had been disfigured by the rebels. She found herself when I told her, “you’re not the horror that happened to you, you’re an infinite value that comes from God who makes you be and who loves you!” Today she says that the only pain she has is of those she killed but can’t go to kneel down before them to apologize.

We use everything, music, and dances of every culture, trips together to valleys and hills, Lakes and rivers, football etc. We work in groups, to introduce people to the meaning of everything that surrounds them and this leads to a wonderful burst of discovery that becomes an educational chain.

This shows that it’s not enough to do projects, but its necessary the presence of a person who loves and that helps to give the true meaning to the standards and the indicators. Otherwise one suffocates while trying to measure or track progress in the projects.

Note: Not reviewed by the author.



Rose Busingye has been interviewed by an Italian journalist about the visit of the Holy Father in Uganda; listening to her has been a great occasion for having an overview about how the presence of the pope in Africa is relevant for the circumstances that the “first and the second world” are living now.

The real challenge to face is linking the interest of the pope for every person in the world to the challenges that everyone faces in daily life.

Rose Busingye has focused on this point clarifying that what really matters is the meaning that every human is looking for in his/her life.

  • Our gaze was fixed on that man

The first question of the journalist was about the meaning of pope visit. What does the presence of the pope in Uganda mean for her and for her People. Rose said «the thing that I really realized is that Christianity is done for the every human being. Christ comes in man’s life because it is what every human being is done for and looks for».

This was not the first time Rose met the pope, but is the very first time that it happens among her people. In front of Francesco there were people of different confessions and religions, all in front of him. What allows us to stay in front of a meaningful presence beyond all the differences? It is that we are all done for the same purpose: recognize the One who can give meaning to every aspect of life.

  • The “European” image of the pope

Rose was asked about the perception that African people have about the pope. Sometimes in Europe, public opinion try to reduce the Holy Father and what he does to political leanings, but Rose simply affirm that for an African things are simpler. He is the responsible of the Church: from Peter to Francesco he is the one God has chosen.

  • African Anthropology

The journalist asks Rose’s opinion about the “interest” that the pope is focusing on Africa. Rose underlines that every person here is looking for God. There is no atheism in Uganda because the fact of living, here, corresponds to the awareness that our life is linked to someone who can make it meaningful. Everyone in Uganda knows that is made for something greater that what himself or “the world” can provide.

  • What is “poverty”

The next question focuses on the theme of the third world: the journalist underlines that the presence of the pope can be link to the needs of this continent, but Rose explains what poverty is underlining the real nature of it. There is a difference between poverty and misery. A person can be poor even if is covered of money. Being poor means that not to be aware of what really give a meaning to life. If someone takes care of the poor, he does because has been educated to recognize that the value of that person is greater that the material condition and the challenges his/her has to face.

  • Martyrs and terrorists

Here in Kampala the pope visited the places where Christians were martyrized. It is strange to compare this way of giving life to religion to the fundamentalist way of kill themselves for the faith. Here Rose explains how «who loves life gives it as a gift because it is full of meaning, who think to kill someone else is because has think to kill himself. The emptiness in people’s heart provokes violence, it’s not religion but lack of meaning»



Rose’s speech at the 30 years celebration of Avsi in Uganda.

Who is Man?

MPI entered into an adventure with the sick, the poor, the old and the orphans to make them understand they are not defined by the situations they find themselves in!

Together we wanted to discover the meaning of life, suffering and even the meaning of death! MPI works with the people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and their orphans.

MPI invest on education in all levels and ways as an instrument for self-discovery, the method we wanted to discover is something that goes beyond school itself, discovering the correspondence between the real and our consciousness, discovering unitary hypothesis in the explanation of things.

Why did we start with this method?

I began to live and work when somebody told me “You are mine!” He did not know me; it was evident that I was nothing! But I felt wanted and desired. It was as if his gaze was telling me, I want to stay, you have infinite value!

From this gaze everything was born. In fact, I discovered that I was not defined by my limits and shortcomings! From this gaze I started foreseeing meaning for my life; it was as if light shown on everything. I started discovering the truth of my life, and here started attractiveness, a tenderness for my very life and for the life of the others.

I started living and working when I knew how to respond concretely to the question of whom I am! When the question have precise faces with names, I became free!

Paradoxically I became free through belonging, having a link, when you are free, finally you can stay in front of all the reality without fear, you can  face everything  because you who are! Who is free don’t pretend from others, because he or she has everything!

I felt free and protagonist of the reality because Fr Giussani revealed and educated me who I am, his gaze stablelised the content and the method of my work, to communicate the greatness and the value of the single person, my work is to make clear the coming out of every person value of the person.

That is why in MPI we use so much the symbol of I carras

Sometime ago in Uganda everyone knew he or she belonged to a tribe, a family. According to African tradition, the children, women and men belonged to entire community, the individual grew in a bond having a consistency and a dignity, and everyone knew that his or she is somebody!

Now days frequently families are broken due sickness, war, divorce and other family conflicts, the family bonds has been overstretched to breaking points. HIV/AIDS has also denied Parental love care and guidance, which used to determine our social character in the society. Some end with crippled behavior, low self-esteem, self-pity feeling of rejection and inward hatred.

Men and women grow without defense without points of reference without a value, sadness and solitude as if their existence no meaning they stop to live. What dominates is insecurity and instability in all aspects, incapable of constructing and responsibility and they treat themselves as things as instruments.

One could say that we are living a time where civilization seems to be ending; because civilization only evolves in fact to the degree that the value of every single person, every single “I” is helped to emerge and become clear. We live in an age when this does not happen,

Man does not know who he is, where he comes from and where he is going. He does not know the meaning of the things great and small that happens to him. Confusion and bewilderment prevail due to the lack of clear points of reference, a lack of clear criteria by which to make operative decisions, to assume responsibilities of life.

It’s a world in which the identity of the “I” seems to be daily placed in crisis; an inconsistent I, incapable of creation and responsibility.

Who is man then, how can he be helped to know who he is? Allow me to quote an Italian Poet Leopard’s note book! “Nothing shows more the greatness and the power of human intellect neither the height and the nobility of man, than the power he has of knowing and completely understanding and feeling  strongly his smallness; when considering the plurality of the worlds, he feels himself an infinitesimal part of the globe, feeling it deeply and observing intensely, he confuses  himself with nothingness and almost loses himself in the thought  of immensity of things and finds himself as it were lost in the incomprehensible vastness of existence.

What smallness! Who are am i? What is the nature of a human person?

Lucy, Everyone come to me to see all what happened to me, am like a container full of problems, but who is Lucy! I have become famous because I carry with me strange, strange sickness, strange problems but me who am I? Julius, you look at me as a dead person, am going to live to tell everybody that life have a value even death has a value if not why is it there.

The nature of a human being is a need for a meaning, for the truth.

The need is man’s structure, man’s nature

What am I, coincides with the urgency of a meaning, starting from what touches my flesh, the definition of me.

Icarus, the red pulsating point, the endless desire for happiness a plea for a meaning, for happiness

Francis, with my mother, I felt somebody, but now she is not there, so why should live, it was the only relationship that I felt somebody, now I feel nothing without a value.

The nature of the human being is that bond, the fusion of two lovers, this is where development starts from conception up to old age, even scientific studies have demonstrated that a person deprived of love and belonging causes physical and functional harm, specifically the results can be reduction of the size of the hippocampus  a fundamental cerebral structure that regulates the body’s response to stress and reduction in the numbers of connections among the neurons which impact the evolution of logical thinking and the capacity of reflection, this may cause lasting consequences that may shape ones destiny.

It’s evident that the fundamental element of the development of the person lies in the mutual conjugated belonging of the two factors, man and woman! It’s in this bond that the true belonging reveals itself as freedom, the capacity to adhere till identification and assimilation to what makes us be.

The first aspect of freedom is affirming a bond, otherwise one does not grow, he or she stops assimilating.

Every human being needs a guidance beyond oneself, that is something on which one would really depend on. If not the personality under formation is impaired and confused! If not guided, one day everything will boil down to giving in into reactions or being drugged by external forces.

Jane (welcoming house), fathers are those who put on trousers, without a relationship one ceases to exist, nothing last, Jane was always absent minded, distracted……and many others! And she had abandoned to reaction instead of choice, and one reacts to an impression and becomes a prisoner to it.

Man reveals his true nature in every action, nature thrust a person into precise being, into a perfectly defined positivity, so a person encounters, and compares everything he meets with a precise predefined positivity until his real nature is unfolded.

To educate to this sense of belonging that defines the human person a process is almost necessary, that is to say, education takes place if the awareness of belonging to someone else is transplanted in the adults that educate not through a speech; without that osmotic pressure, speeches create only obstacle in the consciousness of the listener.

MPI avails a relationship where one discovers again his value, he or she discovers that somebody, discovers a consistency, a dignity. Its educative un tiring relationship helping them acknowledge life’s total meaning, continuous provocation to their consciousness so that they can regain that sense of the dependence that was mishandled.

We use everything, music and dances of different cultures, we go together by valleys and hills, lakes and rivers, football teams for women,

So that adults and children can come across the spectacle of the human emotion, a fascinating stimulus to proceed with their implications, even should that person later deny them,

Groups are formed among the women and men, to introduce to the meaning and the sense of things that surround them, and this draws them to a marvelous of eruption of discoveries which becomes a chain of education.

This is to prove that its not enough to make projects, but a presence of a person who loves and allows you to give a true meaning to the standards and indicators, allowing you to go beyond the false opposition between data and the person.

We tried to form simple srt