One of the biggest problems in our world right now is ignorance.
One of the biggest problems in our world right now is ignorance. If we were aware and paid attention to our world, we could fix other problems like what happened in Uganda just a few decades ago.
In the late 1980s, a rebel group called the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) started causing extreme pain in Northern Uganda. They would kidnap children, especially young girls, from African communities, and train them to be soldiers. The children soldiers were then sent out to kill, or be killed. They were also subject to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. By the time girls were 13 or 14, they were mothers.
“The atrocities the children were forced to commit were beyond their age,” said Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe at a recent talk in Denver while sharing her story around the world. She and the Girl Scouts, who hosted her appearance here, are both working on a common goal: to improve confidence and lives of women.
Sister Rosemary’s efforts aiding the emotional aftermath of the girls earned her a place on TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential Women of 2014. She is the founder and director of Saint Monica Girls’ Tailoring Centre, a place where escaped LRA captives could come when the community wouldn’t let them back in.
“The society put them aside. So I told them, ‘We are going to move to triumph; from trash to treasure,'” Nyirumbe said.
Trash to treasure is the basis for everything done at the Centre. The women are taken care of and taught how to read, write, cook, and sew, basic skills to try and rebuild their lives.
“Teaching them practical skills is a way of letting them know they are mending their lives,” Sister Rosemary said. She added, “I am not a seamstress. I am sewing broken lives. I am breaking the circle of violence using machines and needles, not machine guns.”
Today, the LRA’s action is not as prevalent a problem in Uganda. However, the effects of the LRA are still being mended through different generations. You can help people halfway across the world. Nyrimbe’s organization, Pros for Africa, is always in need of pop tabs for purses or even just showing love.
Sister Rosemary concluded, “These children need love, and who doesn’t have love in their hearts? Don’t say, ‘I am too old; I am too young’ or anything like that. I’m inviting all of you to be part of this journey of healing.”