Last night, at the Time 100 Gala at Lincoln Center, Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe — director of the St. Monica Girls’ Tailoring School in Northern Uganda — captivated the room with her toast to the women who inspired her. “I’m going to talk as a mother,” she began, dedicating her toast to the young women who attend her school for girls who were captured by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (she also carried a clutch made of aluminum-can tabs made by her students). “Young women whose dignity has been robbed from them. Young women who have been trained as child soldiers, taken into captivity and used as sex slaves and when they come back, they are shunned by the society,” she continued.
“Everyone in the United States is familiar with the term lost boys. I would like to challenge everybody in this hall — where are the lost girls? They are not here. They are not anywhere because they bear the stigma, they bear the scars they got from their captors. They were robbed of that level of education —their level of education will not go far.”
“It is no longer an option for us, it is a duty for all of us to get involved in healing the wounds of these women, to let them all walk in hope and hope that the world can be better tomorrow,” Nyirumbe concluded to a standing ovation. Watch the full video of her speech above.