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Empathy: A Core Value for RMF Staff

An Interview with Alphonse Mwanamwolho

July 24, 2017 - Uganda
Lindsey Becker Mills


Alphonse Mwanamwolho is RMF Uganda’s Deputy Country Director. He is based in Kampala, and makes frequent visits to RMF’s projects in Kiryandongo, Tororo, and Buwate. He also makes the longer, more difficult trip to support and evaluate our team’s work in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. Alphonse holds a BA in Social Sciences and several diplomas in areas such as Special Needs Education and Counseling. His guiding principle is “Respect + Love = Peace.”

Alphonse has worked tirelessly to build and empower our team in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. In order to accomplish this monumental task, RMF has interviewed, hired, and trained hundreds of people very quickly. We now have 267 medical and support staff members working in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. The work is strenuous, but they continue to persevere, knowing that the refugees are in desperate need. In an interview about his 4 years’ experience working with RMF to help refugees, Alphonse states,

“I put myself in the shoes of the refugee… I’m just telling you the way I take life for granted because, and even myself, I am a potential refugee. Even you who is listening to me, you are a potential refugee. So, we have to be really empathetic to these people and not just look at them as refugees, but look at them as people who need our assistance.”

In the video below, Alphonse explains how working in the camp has increased his empathy for others. He imagines what it would be like to be vulnerable and discusses the importance of giving to meet the needs of refugees in Bidibidi:

“And to me, the message I give to you who is listening to me, I would request to you, that the small contribution you can give, can change lives, can save someone’s life because the biggest demand here is human needs.”

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