From vulnerable to protagonist women: the success story of AVSI and MPI in Uganda showcased at European Development Days

AVSI presents the multi-sectoral programme to empower 2000 girls and women affected by HIV through a local partnership.

Stefano Schirato Stand

The multi-sectoral programme Meeting Point International will be presented by AVSI at the European Development Days (Brussels, 5-6 June 2018) Global village.

Organised by the European Commission, the European Development Days (EDD) bring the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Meeting Point international is an Ungandan NGO supported by AVSI that has been promoting women empowerment in Kampala since 2005. Thanks to the discovery of their value and dignity, women affected by HIV are integrated in a social context where healthcare, child protection and education services are provided. A key aim is women’s economic empowerment through income-generating activities that include the savings and loans groups, financial literacy on management of savings, production of handicrafts, training for improving quality of products and export abroad.
AVSI has been supporting MPI since the beginning thanks to a partnership that involves both institutional donors and the solidarity of private citizens.

Meet the protagonists at our EDD stand 5 - 6 June 2018 | Tour and Taxis | Brussels

You will have the opportunity to meet Sharon Akidi and Teddy Bongomin from Uganda. They will wait you at AVSI and MPI stand, to discover their story of change and the experience of Meeting Point International. They will also showcase the process of handcrafting paper necklaces, their core activity, and you will have the chance to learn how to produce one for you.

Every day, there will be also two special talk sessions to share the relevant MPI outcomes

Talk sessions with Sharon Akidi and Teddy Amito

  • 5th June: 1 - 2 pm and 5 - 6 pm
    Chairman Giampaolo Silvestri - AVSI secretary general
    Guest Alessandra Muglia - Journalist at Corriere della Sera
  • 6th June: 10 - 11 am and 4 - 5 pm

Sharon Akidi, 22 years old, lives in Acholi Quarter since 2000, when her family escaped from the conflict in Agago District, North Uganda. She arrived in Kampala with her family as refugee and her mum joint Meeting Point international. Thanks to a scholarship, she attended the school Luigi Giussani, built by MPI. Sharon now is working as teacher assistant at the nursery classes at Luigi Giussani, to help her family and to save money for the university.
“Here l thought there was no hope for us who lived in Kampala slums. But now life has just begun because there is hope that the future still holds a lot for us”.

Teddy Bongomin, 46 years old, she grew up in a slum as an orphan of HIV/AIDS. She got married but she lost her husband and she has been thrown out of her home with her children. In 1992, she met Meeting point international and since the beginning, she has been working as social worker. She is also a CBT (community-based trainer): she support women to create Village savings and loans association (VSLA), providing financial literacy and courses on income generating activities management.
“Women are the pillars of the family. Awakening a woman is a smart investment, it gives back, and it does not go wrong”.

Further information:

Discover the MPI quality outcome through the stories of the MPI protagonists:


I’m from the North Uganda and landed in Kampala after being abducted by Kony rebels. Thanks to MPI I’m born again. It was hard, also for my children: they and the children of other MPI women were mocked at school because we are HIV+ sometimes even by the teachers. This is why at MPI we said: “we must build our school”. And we succeeded. [Read Alessandra Muglia reportage published on Corriere della Sera - March 2018]


I was 15 when the rebels abducted me. They forced me to kill. They raped me. I got Hiv. I never thought I would survive all this and see my children graduate and leave this slum to go to university. Here, at the Meeting Point, I was looked at in a different way, beyond my pain. Now I am free. [Read Alessandra Muglia reportage published on Corriere della Sera - March 2018]


I’m 43, and I’m from the eastern part of Uganda. I was so desperate, being isolated by my own people because they discovered that I am HIV+. My sister talked to me about MPI, I moved to Kampala and I started to spend time with MPI women. I became aware of my value and I started treating my children and me. MPI gave me medical care support and the hope of life that I had lost. [Read her story]


I have a husband but I am the one taking care of my old mother and my 5 children: I work in the market, selling vegetables. Thanks to MPI and AVSI I joined the Nen Anyim (Going Forward) saving group, and so far the money I managed to save it’s over five millions (1,400 usd). My desire is to build a nice house for my mother and let her see how her daughter has cared for her. [Read her story published on]


Handicraft, like colored necklaces production, is one of MPI income-generating activity. Women no longer need to toil breaking stones in the Kireka quarries to survive and women who had no food can now feed their children. The therapeutic outcome that results from sitting together and making these necklaces is immeasurable. [Whatch the video about how to produce necklaces]