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Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe discusses living though the civil war in Uganda and its impact on her community

Sister Rosemary spoke on what life was like during the 20-year civil war in Uganda at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center at Texas A&M on Monday, Feb. 6.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — On Monday, Feb. 6, Texas A&M had one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People speak at the Annenberg Conference Center: Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe.

She discussed living through Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda and the lasting impact of the 20-year civil war, and also revealed that the hardest part of living through the horrors of war was the rest of the world not listening.

“Living through this war has been the most difficult thing because first of all, not everybody--even international communities--knew about this conflict," explained Sister Rosemary. "And everybody thought it was something small, and of course many times things will just happen in Africa you'll find are not known even after now. You would be surprised that some people do not even know about what happened in Northern Uganda. It seems like so far away and yet this is humanity.”

Sister Rosemary brought hope to Uganda with her rehabilitation program called Sewing Hope. Through this foundation, she has opened the doors for women and children who have been taken by the resistance army as child soldiers and sex slaves. Additionally, she teaches these women the essential skills to return to society and gain independence from their past through sewing. 

“Many people might not understand why its called 'Sewing Hope', but we are very much focused on using the needle as an analogy of exactly what has happened to these women," explained Sister Rosemary. "We know that with a needle, we can mend clothes. With a needle you can mend broken pieces, so we decided that our program will be focusing on mending the brokenness of these young women.”

Since 2002, her organization has taken in more than 2,000 girls that had been abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army or abandoned by their families in the hopes that as Uganda still reels from the effects of war more than 20 years later. 

Sister Rosemary also wants to raise awareness on global issues and not shy away from the realities of war.

“I used to tell everybody you got to be aware you got to dig and find out what is happening with humanity because it will happen at your doorstep one day,” said Sister Rosemary.

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