Immaculée Ilibagiza was born in Rwanda and studied Electronic and Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Rwanda. Her life transformed dramatically in 1994 during the Rwanda genocide when she and seven other women huddled silently together in a cramped bathroom of a local pastor’s house for 91 days.
During this horrific ordeal, Ilibagiza lost most of her family, but she survived to share the story and her miraculous transition into forgiveness and a profound relationship with God. Four years later, she emigrated from Rwanda to the United States and began working for the United Nations in New York City. She has since established the Left to Tell Charitable Fund to help others heal from the long-term effects of genocide and war.
Ilibagiza is the author of Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, the international bestseller that has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide and has been made into a documentary. Some of the proceeds from the book have raised over $150,000 for the orphans of Rwanda.
Ilibagiza has spoken before a range of audiences including world dignitaries, multinational corporations, churches, and local school children. She has been recognized and honored with numerous humanitarian awards, including: an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Notre Dame; the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace 2007; a finalist as one of Beliefnet.com’s “Most Inspiring People of the Year 2006;” and a Christopher Award, “affirming the highest values of human spirit.” Left to Tell has been chosen as Outreach Magazine’s selection for Best Outreach Testimony/Biography Resource of 2007, and for the 2007-2008 One Book program at Villanova University, making it a mandatory read for 6,000 students.