Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, along with other Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, has dedicated the last three decades of her life combating the atrocities and aftermath of civil war and Joseph Kony’s now-infamous brutality. With her words and her sewing machine, Sister Rosemary brought hope in the form of vocational and life training to the countless young women in northern Uganda and South Sudan who were left victims of the region’s lawlessness.
Sister Rosemary is a special guest at the Sarasota Film Festival this year, being the star of Derek Watson’s new documentary Sewing Hope and the guest of honor at the Festival’s Tribute Luncheon, where she will be receiving the 2014 UN Women Impact Award from the Sarasota Film Festival and the Through Women’s Eyes program.
Through it all, Sister Rosemary remains humble. “It’s not about me,” she says. “It’s about the people who can’t speak for themselves.” But making the film wasn’t without it’s challenges. “To work through it was not easy for me,” said Sister Rosemary. “The stories are very emotional.
Currently the supervisor at St. Monica’s Girls Tailoring Center in Gulu, Uganda, Sister Rosemary hopes that the awareness generated by the film can help further her work in the area. Her plans include not only building and modernizing two additional schools but also installing a gas station in the area, which she says is not often considered but is crucial for employment and self-sufficiency.
“I would love to rebuild the lives of the people,” said Sister Rosemary. “To see young women who had been put aside and their dignity discarded are now working with their heads held up is the nicest thing.”
The Tribute Luncheon begins at 11am on Apr. 11 at the Sarasota Yacht Club.
Sewing Hope screens Apr. 11 at 3:45pm and Apr. 13 at 4:45pm.