City to host Rwandan genocide survivor


Nearly 1 million Tutsis were massacred during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Africa. To escape the horrific violence, Immaculée Ilibagiza and seven other women hid for 91 days inside a 3-foot by 4-foot bathroom in a pastor’s home.

Ilibagiza will share her story in two Delaware presentations this week. Both events are free, with freewill offerings accepted, and both will conclude with book sales and signings.

On Thursday, Ilibagiza will speak at 7 p.m. at Ohio Wesleyan University. She will speak in Gray Chapel inside University Hall, 61 S. Sandusky St. The evening’s presentation will be based on her book “Left To Tell,” which recounts her struggle to find meaning and purpose after the Rwandan holocaust. Of her immediate family, only Ilibagiza and one brother survived.

On Friday, Ilibagiza will speak at 9:30 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 82 E. William St. The daytime talk will focus on her book “Our Lady of Kibeho,” which tells the story of how Jesus and the Virgin Mary appeared to eight young Rwandans several years before the genocide to warn them of the impending violence and to urge people to open their hearts to God.

During her three months of hiding, Ilibagiza found her faith, taught herself English, and committed herself to a life of peace, hope and forgiveness. In the 21 years since, Ilibagiza has worked at the United Nations, received five honorary doctoral degrees, written seven books about her faith and life journey, and earned the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace.

Ilibagiza’s Delaware visit is sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan’s Office of the Chaplain and Newman Catholic Community in partnership with St. Mary Catholic Church, St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Sunbury, and St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Powell.


Staff Report

Information for this story was provided by Ohio Wesleyan University.

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