The Kony 2012/Invisible Children campaign began as an obscure experiment to get the word out on the horrific deeds perpetuated by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army in northern Uganda. Taking over cities and touching the hearts of many, the campaign grew to be very successful in gaining awareness, and Chattanooga will be lucky to meet one of its heroes.
Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, a heroine of the 20-year genocide, impresses everyone she meets with her kindness and bravery. Described as “a major local event with an international twist”, “Sewing Hope: An Evening with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe”, an interdenominational presentation, will take place at Christ United Methodist in East Brainerd on May 1, beginning at 7 p.m.
Author Nancy Henderson has put a spotlight on Sister Rosemary, who was a 2007 CNN Hero and the recipient of the United Nations Women Impact Award. Henderson’s new book “Sewing Hope” (Dust Jacket Press, 2013) is a biography of Sister Rosemary, nun and director of the Saint Monica Girls’ Tailoring Centre in Gulu, Uganda. Because of Sister Rosemary, more than 2,000 young girls, abductees who endured rape, torture and the murder of their families, have learned the arts of tailoring and catering, instilling work skills and, most importantly, hope.
Henderson speaks fondly of Sister Rosemary, calling her “an incredible woman—strong, fearless and down-to-earth, with a great sense of humor.” Her fearlessness is evident in the triumphant stories of her brave stand-offs with Kony’s soldiers. At barely five feet tall, she has never questioned putting herself at risk in order to protect her students. Even after the former abductees were rejected by their families, Sister Rosemary never hesitated, taking them all under her wing.
Henderson’s book will continue to be promoted with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe’s first visit to the Southeast on May 1 and 2. The nun will be speaking with various groups at Barnes & Noble, Baylor School, and Notre Dame High School, as well as the event at Christ United Methodist. That free evening will include a showing of “Sewing Hope,” a documentary narrated by Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker, and will also feature a question-and-answer session and book signing with Sister Rosemary, Henderson and co-author Reggie Whitten. Proceeds from these events will benefit Sister Rosemary’s girls in Uganda.
Sister Rosemary’s brave efforts continue to be rewarded, as she was recently named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people. Her generosity is detailed by Henderson who says, “These young women may never fully heal emotionally and psychologically, but without Sister Rosemary, they would not have found their dignity or place in society.”
“Sewing Hope: An Evening with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe”, 7 p.m. May 2. Christ United Methodist Church, 8645 E. Brainerd Rd. Free. For more information, nancyhendersonwriter.com