Delaware to Host Rwandan Genocide Survivor

Immaculée Ilibagiza to Speak Sept. 10 at Ohio Wesleyan, Sept. 11 at St. Mary Catholic Church

Immaculée Ilibagiza

Immaculée Ilibagiza

DELAWARE, Ohio – 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.

During the three months, Ilibagiza found her faith, taught herself English, and committed herself to a life of peace, hope, and forgiveness – even for those who had murdered so many of her family and friends. 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.

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

On Sept. 10, Ilibagiza will speak at 7 p.m. at Ohio Wesleyan University. She will speak in Gray Chapel inside University Hall, 61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. 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 Sept. 11, Ilibagiza will speak at 9:30 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 82 E. William St., Delaware. 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.

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.

Learn more about Ilibagiza and her journey at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers 86 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world experience. OWU’s 1,750 students represent 46 U.S. states and territories and 43 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at

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