A brief history of Ambrosoli International School
In 1989, a group of Italian parents met to start a new school in Kampala. Many of them were working for development agencies and NGOs based in Uganda, some were professionals working in Kampala, others were long-term residents or citizens of Uganda.
All shared the desire of being protagonists of their children’s education and set two aims for the new school. First, that it would be an educative environment where the children could learn and grow, forming relationships with responsible and motivated teachers. Second, that the curriculum would be enable the children to fit back into either an Italian school system or into an international school anywhere in the world.
The newly born Scuola Italiana Ambrosoli was dedicated to Father Giuseppe Ambrosoli, an Italian priest. He was an excellent medical doctor, known personally by some of the parents. Dr Ambrosoli spent much of his life in the north of Uganda working to provide medical training and care. His work also brought to light the truth about poverty and war afflicting that part of the country. Dr Ambrosoli died in Lira District in 1987.
The small school did very well, much to the satisfaction of children, parents and teachers. After a few years, it was felt that a further step would be taken, and the school was opened to the international community. This move enabled the Italian children who already attended Ambrosoli to participate more in the social life around them and it offered the children of other nationalities and opportunity to benefit from the caring education that the Italian children had been experiencing at the school. As a result, Ambrosoli International School was started. At first the school was only a nursery school. It progressively expanded to include the primary school and became the educational community we are today. The enthusiastic commitment for educating children continues to grow at Ambrosoli International school today!
A short biography of Dr Giuseppe Ambrosoli (1923-1987)
Giuseppe Ambrosoli was born in a small village in Northern Italy on the 25th July 1923. He was the seventh of eight children. Giuseppe studied medicine in Milan and though he had to stop his studies because of the war, in 1949 he graduated with the highest marks.
Soon after finishing university, he asked to leave for Africa to work for the needy. After being ordained as a Verona Father, he sailed to Africa on the 1st February of 1956. Dr Ambrosoli spent a few months in Gulu; he then was sent to Kalongo, Pader District, where there was a small dispensary and maternity centre of 30 beds. Within a few years Dr Ambrosoli, with the help of his confreres, built a hospital. Today Dr Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital has 345 beds. The St Mary’s School of Midwivery, which Dr Ambrosoli established in 1959 in Northern Uganda, has trained more than 500 nurses.
Dr Ambrosoli was not only a great, humble doctor and skilled surgeon, but also a gifted teacher. Many doctors who worked as volunteers in Uganda had the opportunity to work and learn from him. Some volunteers, after their encounter with Dr Ambrosoli, even discovered their vocation as sisters, priests or brothers.
On the 13th February 1987, Dr Ambrosoli, the medical personnel, nine sisters, 150 sick and 1500 soldiers and civilians left Kalongo and the hospital for Lira on the orders of the military authority. Dr Ambrosoli died in Lira on the 27th March 1987, due to renal failure, without any medical assistance. His body was returned to Kalongo seven years later on the 7th April 1994.
Among the first parents who started the Italian School of Kampala were doctors who learnt the basics of surgery or had the opportunity to meet and admire Dr Ambrosoli. Some had even been his patients. They decided therefore to name the school after Dr Giuseppe Ambrosoli and his name has been kept as we develop: AMBROSOLI