About Father John Scalabrini
Father John Scalabrini was a Catholic Missionary born in 1934 in Limido Comasco in Italy. He lived and worked in Uganda since 1964 until his demise on October 4th 2016 when he succumbed to cancer. Rev.Fr. John as he was commonly called, shared a rich history with the people of the Acholi and Lango regions in Northern Uganda for over 30 years. He found himself in these places for the sole purpose of rescuing and giving a livelihood to the war stricken region, a situation caused by the long standing and notorious rebel Joseph Kony. He literally suffered along with the unfortunate orphans, widows and widowers. While in Gulu, he build schools for the orphans including: Assumption Parish Awach , Awach Nursery and Primary School, Bishop Angelo Negri primary School and Bishop Angelo Negri College- all based in Gulu. He also supported the local community who were suffering due to the war and this he did by identifying and establishing community self- help projects to help them sustain themselves.
In 1969 he he was ordained as an African priest, at the behest of Bishop Cipriano Kihangire, to whom years later he dedicated the schools he build in Kampala, the Capital f Uganda to – Bishop Cipriano Kihangire Primary and Secondary Schools
Father John believed that no matter the situation he may have found the African people in, Education would change them for a better future. He therefore made this factor stand out by building schools not only in the country side but also in Kampala, targeting especially the needy and suffering children, right from Nursery to tertiary level and with the help of other partners, extended a hand of help to these needy school children with school fees sponsorship up to University; a practice that is still being honored by those that share in his Vision under the efforts of Emmaus Foundation Uganda; a charity organization that he founded in 1989, based in Luzira, Kampala. The schools he build are Bishop Cipriano Kihangire Primary School and Bishop Cipriano Kihangire Senior Secondary Schools (Boarding and Day Sections), which stand our today as some of the most reputable and highly academically competitive schools in Kampala.
Uganda’s history is known to be turbulent especially under the fallen dictator Idi Amin Dada. His efforts cost him dearly and as a matter of fact he was expelled twice from Uganda by dictator Amin in 1975 and the current President Museveni of Uganda in 1988. None the less he was never deterred from doing what he knew to be of a noble cause- helping the poor. He thus came back later and started more projects to help the needy. He built a Mission House in Mutungo, off Luzira road, where currently the Emmaus Foundation Headquarters seat situated.
Besides schools, he established a carpentry workshop, and other workshops to give employment to the local people, a hospital(Benedict Medical Center) and several churches for the catholic faithful.
At his home (the mission) , it has always been home to orphaned girls who would otherwise be homeless.
Since 2000 Italia Uganda and other partners have supported his mission for the livelihood of the needy and an education for the needy child. Today, under Emmaus Foundation, thousands of children are able to go to school, have a hot meal daily; have a descent accommodation as well as offer free treatment to the needy sick.
His Vision is still and will remain alive, just as he left his children these words
“…Just Carry On…”