Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe is a catholic nun of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus based in Juba, south Sudan, and a doctoral student in Instructional Leadership and Curriculum at OU's Rainbolt College of Education whose humanitarian work has drawn global attention and admiration.
Sister Rosemary has saved thousands of children during the violent and destructive war throughout northern Uganda. Warlord, Joseph Rao Kony, and his militia, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), battled government forces for control over the region and regularly abducted children, forcing them into becoming child soldiers and sex slaves. Openly defying Joseph Kony and the rebel LRA, Sister Rosemary has enrolled more than 2,000 girls who had previously been abducted by the LRA or abandoned by their families at St. Monica's in Gulu, Uganda. Sister Rosemary has taught these brave girls to find their worth and hope in the love of Jesus and in community together. She has also taught them valuable trades in sewing and catering, in turn giving them self-reliance and a way forward in peace.
Sister Rosemary was named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2014. She is the subject of the book Sewing Hope and a 2013 documentary by the same name, narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker. She has received the United Nations Impact Award and was named a CNN Hero in 2007.
Sister Rosemary continues to work diligently to heal these children and the region. She advocates for those who cannot speak for themselves through work with the Sewing Hope Foundation, Pros for Africa, and various other organizations and individuals. Sister Rosemary and her community, the Sacred Heart of Jesus Congregation, have expanded their work in the region, opening schools and centers in Moyo, Adjumani, and a 100-acre farm in Atiak, serving women, children and orphans fleeing violence.