Ugandan activist to lecture at NSU

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe (left) meets Pope Francis and gives him an Italian version of her biography. The documentary "Sewing Hope" follows her mission to repair damage done by the Lord's Resistance Army in Northern Uganda. Photo Courtesy of Sewing Hope Foundation

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe (left) meets Pope Francis and gives him an Italian version of her biography. The documentary “Sewing Hope” follows her mission to repair damage done by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda. Photo Courtesy of Sewing Hope Foundation

JACOB BENNETT
Contributing Reporter

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe will speak at NSU on Feb. 15 in Magale Recital Hall at 7 p.m., sponsored by SGA. Included in Time’s Most 100 Influential People in 2014, she is recognized for her work with the Sewing Hope Foundation in Uganda providing shelter for women and children in need.

The 2007 CNN Heroes finalist has made it her mission to help women and children oppressed by guerrilla leader Joseph Kony. The Lord’s Resistance Army, led by Kony, has been in action since 1987 and currently operates in northern Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.

Nyirumbe currently directs the Saint Monica Girls’ Tailoring Centre where she has taken in more than 2,000 girls abducted by Kony since 2002. She helps them transform into capable members of society by providing shelter and education.

“I was thinking about how to give a voice to the voiceless, how to give these young women dignity and let them be accepted,” Nyirumbe said.

In 2013, Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker narrated “Sewing Hope,” a documentary about Nyirumbe’s work. Describing his meeting with her, Whitaker said Nyirumbe’s “magnetic and contagious energy” is fascinating.

“The traumas she heals are unfathomable,” Whitaker wrote for Time magazine in 2014. “But the reach of her love is boundless.”

She wants students to understand that the effort to mend broken lives is something we can all take part in, and that even though there are difficulties, the future is still hopeful.

“Changing lives can be challenging,” Nyirumbe said. “You got to take it one at a time. You can’t change everyone’s life. If you are scared of failing, you need to tell yourself ‘I at least need to try.’”

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