Recently named one of Time Magazine’s 1oo Most Influential People, Ugandan nun Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe has been providing shelter to young girls who have been victimized by violence, rape and sexual abuse. In her struggle to restore and rebuild the lives of those young girls, she set up a shelter and school (St Monica’s Vocational school) that trains and empowers the girls who have been emotionally broken.


A student of St Monica’s Vocational school

In an interview with HuffPost to discuss the recent book and documentary Sewing Hope written by Reggie Whitten and Nancy Henderson which traces Nyirumbe’s journey to helping young girls (from the age of 5) and women who have been overwhelmed by the war.


“I discovered there were a lot of young girls who actually managed to escape from the rebels who abducted them, trained them as child soldiers, who used them as sex slaves, and a lot of them even had children from these rebel commanders and when they returned, they didn’t know where to go.” Nyirumbe said.

She added, “I decided to make the school to become like a family where these girls could be accepted, where they could find love and compassion, where they could be taught how to love these children they got from painful situations. I wanted them to live again and hope.”

The School in Uganda, provides the skills they need to regain their independence through learning how to sew.


Caroline Tehrani & Rosemary Nyirumbe

Nyirumbe most stated that these girls have been creating purses out of trash:

“I definitely love that idea of using trash making it become beautiful, teaching these girls they can produce beauty out of rubbish but it is also signifying these young women who were also put aside as trash and now, with what they are doing, we are actually letting the society understand that they are beautiful again and they are working their way. They are not begging, they are not going to go toward prostitution. They want people to buy these purses and just help them to restore their dignity and help their own children.” – Nyirumbe.

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