|Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, has dedicated her life to helping more
than 2,000 girls, who were previously abducted by soldiers, by teaching them valuable trade skills.
It takes more than courage to defy a warlord and work to undo the damage of his 20-year reign of terror with nothing but a sewing machine. It takes an inspiring capacity for love and forgiveness—and good old-fashioned practical problem solving.
Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, has dedicated her life to helping more than 2,000 girls, who were abducted, raped, tortured, and forced to kill their own family members by Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army, which waged bloody civil wars that decimated northern Uganda and southern Sudan.
As the keynote speaker at the 2015 Catholic Media Conference in Buffalo, New York, in June, she related to the Catholic press how she answered the call to serve these girls—who have been shunned and persecuted by their own communities for bearing their captors’ children—as the director of St. Monica Girls’ Tailoring Centre in Gulu, Uganda, since 2002. The school provides the girls with safe sanctuary and job training in tailoring and catering so they can become self-reliant.
A native of Uganda, she began serving the people of her country after joining her order in 1976. Currently, about 250 girls and 250 children live at St. Monica. Sister Rosemary also oversees a second school in Atiak, Uganda. In 2014, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.
Sister Rosemary's work is the subject of Sewing Hope, a documentary narrated by Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker and a book of the same name (Dust Jacket Press, 2013). All proceeds from book sales go to help the girls at St. Monica. For more information, visit sewinghope.com.