A photograph exhibition showcasing an Italian helping hand in Uganda health sector has been mounted for public viewing for the next three months at the Arts Building, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS).
The outstanding and inspiring work of Italian NGOs and Associations dubbed, “In Sickness and In Health”, was on Friday 28th October 2022 presented by the Italian Embassy in collaboration with Italian Agency for Cooperation, CHUSS and Italian NGOs and Associations working in health sector in Uganda.
The aim of this exhibition is to inspire young minds at Makerere University, by sharing an established history and future of the union between Italy and Uganda, founded on philanthropic collaboration and partnership.
The function was presided over by the Minister of State for Public Service Hon. Grace Mary Mugasa. The event was also graced by the Ambassador of Italy to Uganda H.E Massimiliano Mazzanti and the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University represented by his Deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of Finance and Administration Prof. Henry Alinaitwe. The event was attended by the Principal CHUSS Associate Prof. Josephine Ahikire and her Deputy Dr. Erich Awich, representatives of the Italian NGOS, members of the diplomatic core, heads of international organizations, representatives of the Italian NGOs Association and members of the academia.
Presiding over the launch of the photo exhibition at the CHUSS Arts Quadrangle, Hon. Grace Mary Mugasa recognized the efforts of the Italians and expressed gratitude to the Embassy, Government of Italy and her people for the kind heart and support over the years.
“As Uganda, we are indeed grateful. Before I became Minister, I was seeing AVIS and Camboni missionaries in Hoima and I was seeing many priests going to Italy for further studies but now, I have noticed that it is work which has been ongoing for a period of time. Wherever the Italian Cooperation worked, there is an impact up to today. We are very grateful for this great contribution”, The Minister noted.
Hon. Mugasa reported that up now many missionary activities are ongoing in Hoima and other districts with many traces of the Dominican and Combonian sisters.
The minister described Italy as the epitome of the Catholic faith most especially the Vatican adding that every year, parliamentarians are invited to Rome to reflect on whether, they are following the catholic values while in parliament.
She applauded the Government of Uganda for allowing NGOs and creating a conducive environment for other partners to work in Uganda. She also thanked the organizers for the talking pictures.
The Ambassador of Italy to Uganda H.E Massimiliano Mazzanti said the “In Sickness and In Health” photo exhibition recognizes the historical contribution made by eleven Italian NGOs and Associations in the Ugandan Health sector.
“Italy and Uganda have had a long-standing relationship that dates back to the early 20th century, when members of the order of the Camboni Missionaries settled in the northern areas of the country, implementing commendable activities of support to the local communities especially in areas of health and education”. Ambassador Massimiliano Mazzanti explained.
To-date, the Ambassador explained that several hospitals have been built by Italians and continue to embody a point of reference for Ugandans especially in some of the remote areas of the country.
“The aim of this exhibitions is therefore to inspire young minds here at Makerere University, a Ugandan Centre of Excellence, by sharing an established history and future of this union between Italy and Uganda, founded on philanthropic collaboration and partnership.
These photographs shine a light on the vast ongoing impact of these Italian Civil Society Organizations and hospitals in the different districts which rarely see spotlight. They capture dedication, commitment, professionalism and above all, will act as a tribute to the silent hard work and the legacy of Italian humanitarian excellences”, The Ambassador stressed.
The Ambassador expressed pride of what the NGOs and Associations in collaboration with the different local authorities have been able to achieve so far saying, they will continue to achieve – both in terms of directly supporting their beneficiaries and in continuing to build capacity of the next generation of doctors, sometimes in the most trying of circumstances.
Representing the Vice Chancellor, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of Finance and Administration Prof. Henry Alinaitwe welcomed all stakeholders and thanked the organizers and NGO forum that has been supporting Ugandans since 1956 adding that, Makerere is one of those institutions that prides itself in collaborating with many institutions .
“I am intrigued by the title of the exhibition, “In sickness and In health”. There has been a lot that the Italian government and NGOs have contributed to this theme . Italians have supported many health and education institutions in Uganda like Lacor hospital, schools like St. Mary’s Kisubi and very well known for supporting especially the Catholic church”. He said.
Prof. Alinaitwe commended the embassy for the exhibition and the wider project of the European Union supporting the mobility of Makerere University students and staff.
“Makerere is celebrating its 100 years of service and we take this exhibition to be part of the Makerere @100 and we want to thank you for contribution to our celebrations. We should extend the collaboration to CEDAT Museum so that these pictures can be archived to strengthen our deliverables”, Prof. Alinaitwe stated.
Alinaitwe also thanked Government of Uganda for the support extend to Makerere and providing a conducive environment for operation.
The Principal CHUSS Associate Prof. Josephine Ahikire said, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology has had long outstanding collaboration with the Embassy of Italy and Italian universities in academic cooperation.
“This is a new and quiet face but a very meaningful event of showcasing in picture and in word the collaborations and footprints of the Italian NGOs in Uganda since 1956. They are more than 60 years old and we celebrate that.
We are glad that we are weaving into our celebrations some of the collaborations we have had with the Italian government, Embassy , NGOs and the European Union in general and since they say, pictures speak 1000 words, they will speak for themselves ”, The Principal said.
As a college, Prof. Ahikire said CHUSS has a long standing collaboration with Turin University Italy in terms of student and staff exchange in sociology and social work, film studies and also interact and broaden the fields around cultural studies.
Prof. Ahikire informed participants that the exhibition had been mounted on a historic building of 1950s and has hosted the former Makerereans heard of including Rose Mbowa, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Ngungi Wa Thiong’o.
The Head Department of Sociology and Anthropology Dr. Fred Bateganya expressed delight and thanked the Italian government for the continuous partnership with Makerere University and specifically the Department.