SISTER ROSEMARY NYIRUMBE
Director, Saint Monica Girls’ Tailoring Centre, Gulu, Uganda
WHO SHE IS: Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, a Catholic nun whose humanitarian work has drawn the attention of Bill and Chelsea Clinton, Forest Whitaker and other high-profile supporters, has dedicated her life to helping girls formerly held captive by warlord Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army.
WHAT SHE DOES: A native of Paidha, Uganda, she began serving the people of her country after joining the Catholic order of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1976. As director of St. Monica’s since 2001, Sister Rosemary has given hope to more 2,000 young women, many of whom were abducted, raped, tortured and forced to kill their own family members as soldiers in Kony’s army. In addition to providing a safe harbor for the former abductees, who are often shunned and persecuted by the people of their own villages, she has given them a way to support themselves through job training in tailoring, catering and other skills. Currently, approximately 250 girls and 250 children live at St. Monica’s. Sister Rosemary also oversees a second school in Atiak, Uganda.
SEWING HOPE BOOK AND DOCUMENTARY: Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe’s inspiring story is told in Sewing Hope, a documentary produced by filmmaker Derek Watson and narrated by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, and a book of the same name co-authored by Reggie Whitten, co-founder of Pros for Africa, and professional writer Nancy Henderson (Dust Jacket Press, 2013). All proceeds from book sales go to help the girls at St. Monica’s.
Sister Rosemary was a 2007 CNN Hero
2014 TIME 100 Most Influential