ADA – East Central University congratulates Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, who was named to the Time Magazine List of 100 Most Influential People in the World, it was announced on Thursday.
Also on the list are Beyonce, who is on the Time Magazine cover; Oklahoma singer and entertainer Carrie Underwood; President Barack Obama and entertainer Robert Redford.
Sister Rosemary presides over Saint Monica’s Vocational School in Gulu, Uganda, where she provides vocational training to girls and young women, who were abducted and used as sex slaves for Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army, which terrorized Northern Uganda for 25 years. Through her efforts, the girls and young women learn job skills, with sewing being one of the most prominent, in order to become productive citizens and turn back the physical, mental and emotional chaos created by Kony and his band of terrorists.
A documentary film called Sewing Hope, directed by Derek Watson, and book by the same name, co-authored by Reggie Whitten and Nancy Henderson, were written from Sister Rosemary’s humanitarian endeavors and experiences. The film was narrated by Forest Whitaker, an actor, producer and director, who nominated Sister Rosemary for the Time Magazine list.
“Sister Rosemary’s faith and love for young people is what she is all about. She is very deserving to be on this prestigious list,” said ECU President John R. Hargrave. “Her actions have led to many young girls and women turning their lives around and having a refreshed outlook on life after suffering through difficult circumstances.”
Hargrave has seen firsthand what Sister Rosemary has and is accomplishing through her vocational school and the lives she has touched. He has made the trip to Uganda with a group of professional athletes called Pros For Africa, which was launched by Whitten, who also happens to be the founder of the Brandon Whitten Institute for Addiction and Recovery on the ECU campus.
Sister Rosemary has been a frequent visitor to ECU and the Sewing Hope film debuted in Oklahoma, with Sister Rosemary in attendance, at ECU’s Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center in November. The film was screened at three different venues at the Napa Valley Film Festival in California in November and Sister Rosemary was also honored at the event for her inspiring and tireless work to make a difference in the lives of young people.
More of Sister Rosemary’s Sewing Hope books have been sold in the Ada area than any other location, according to Whitten. Copies of Sewing Hope are available at the ECU Bookstore in Ada.