On February 6, 2023, the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs hosted Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe to discuss “Sewing Hope” at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center. Sister Rosemary, of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus based in Juba, South Sudan on the border of Uganda and South Sudan, has lived at Saint Monica’s, in Gulu, Uganda since 2002. She has resided in Uganda with women and children affected by terror of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
There she teaches women skills to become self-reliant through sewing, growing food, and learning trades. Additionally, she has enrolled in school more than 2,000 girls who had been previously abducted by the LRA.
A crucial part of the training she gives women at Saint Monica’s is sewing, training women how to make their own clothes with the goal of economic empowered. Throughout the event, she spoke of the importance of embracing these women and children fully, one of the ways through sewing.
“Women must have the dignity of work. We are training women to become self-reliant and supportive of their children. We need to teach women how to use a sewing machine to bring back their own lives,” Sistery Rosemary said.
Sister Rosemary spoke about the importance of students caring about the ongoing violence and civil wars in South Sudan and Uganda, reminiscent of her punching Steven Colbert. “Africa is part of humanity, which you must care about, so why should you not care?” Sister Rosemary said. “Don’t run away from hearing about these things because one day it might take you by surprise that it is happening on your doorstep.”
VIDEO: Sewing Hope with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe
Those interested in learning more about Sister Rosemary and her work at Saint Monica’s can learn more through the Sewing Hope Foundation.
By Paige Grande