Ugandan Nun Rosemary Nyirumbe, recently named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People, joined HuffPost Live to discuss her struggle to rebuild the lives of young women who have been affected by the war in Uganda.
Nyirumbe has been sheltering, training, and empowering young girls who have fallen victim to infamous warlord Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army. She told HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani about the recent book and documentary, Sewing Hope, that traces her journey to help these young women whose lives have been devastated by the war.
"I discovered there were a lot of young girls who actually managed to escape from the rebels who abducted them, trained them as child soldiers, who used them as sex slaves," Nyirumbe said. "And a lot of them even had children from these rebel commanders and when they returned, they didn’t know where to go."
She continued, "I decided to make the school to become like a family where these girls could be accepted, where they could find love and compassion, where they could be taught how to love these children they got from painful situations. I wanted them to live again and hope."
Saint Monica's Vocational School in Gulu, Uganda, provides girls with the skills they need to regain their independence through learning how to sew. Nyirumbe explained that these girls have been creating purses out of trash, which symbolizes more than just the value of working.
"I definitely love that idea of using trash making it become beautiful, teaching these girls they can produce beauty out of rubbish but it is also signifying these young women who were also put aside as trash and now, with what they are doing, we are actually letting the society understand that they are beautiful again and they are working their way. They are not begging, they are not going to go toward prostitution. They want people to buy these purses and just help them to restore their dignity and help their own children."