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*CORRECTED STORY: Sister Rosemary will be in Ada only on Wednesday, Sept. 29. See events listed below.
NUN WHO HELPS DISPLACED UGANDAN WOMEN PLANS VISIT TO ADA, ECU
Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, the woman featured on KWTV News9's coverage of the Pros for Africa trip to Uganda last spring, will visit Ada and East Central University Wednesday [SEPT 29].
As the director of the St. Monica's Girls Tailoring Centre in Gulu, Uganda, she works with displaced women who have lost their childhood, dignity and families as a result of being kidnapped by child soldiers, used as sex slaves by Ugandan rebels and becoming mothers at an early age. Some of the young girls also were child soldiers, ordered to kill their friends or relatives.
Robert Hargrave (left), a student at East Central University, and his father, ECU President John Hargrave (right), meet with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, director of the St. Monica's Girls Tailoring Centre in Gulu, Uganda, during their trip to Uganda last spring with the Pros for Africa organization. Sister Rosemary will visit Ada Tuesday and Wednesday for events at St. Joseph's Catholic Church and ECU that will be open to the public.
Sister Rosemary will be a guest at a potluck dinner at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. The public is invited to bring a food dish and meet her at the dinner which will be held in the Benedictine Hall.
The public also is invited to hear her speak to a juvenile justice system class at 9 a.m. in the Estep Multimedia Center in the Bill Cole University Center. Local law enforcement agencies have been invited as well as students and partners who work with the Campus Initiative to Reduce Crime Against Women.
She will speak to other classes on Wednesday and will be at a come-and-go luncheon in the South Dining Hall of Taff Cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. She also will visit the Brandon Whitten Institute office on the ECU campus.
ECU President John Hargrave met her last spring when he went to Uganda with the Pros for Africa organization to work at the school.
"We are thrilled to have Sister Rosemary in Oklahoma and in Ada," he said. "She has had such an impact on the life of these young women and their children. Without her, they had very little hope of ever having a normal life."
Sister Nyirumbe's revolutionary initiative to bring hope and healing to hundreds of the young women and their babies won her the 2007 CNN Community Crusader Hero Award from the cable news broadcaster.
She is coming to Oklahoma City on Monday [SEPT. 27] for a fundraiser organized by Oklahoma First Lady Kim Henry for Pros for Africa, an organization sponsored by the Whitten-Newman Foundation of Oklahoma City.
Since 2002 The St. Monica's Girls Tailoring Centre has offered more than 300 displaced women and about 150 children a safe place to learn necessary life skills and such trades as cooking, sewing and secretarial work.
The nuns at the school, members of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, also teach them to love the babies they were forced to have.
The so-called "child mothers" could not return to their former communities either because they would be rejected by their families, they were orphans or were too embarrassed about what they were forced to do while kidnapped.
The vocational training school also housed "night commuters" during the height of the war when rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army were fighting government troops in northern Uganda. Night commuters were children who left their rural homes at night to commute by foot to safer urban areas to keep from being kidnapped.
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