Rwandan genocide survivor speaks at Seton Hill University

Oct. 26, Immaculee Ilibigiza spoke to a sold out venue at Seton Hill University’s (SHU) Performing Arts Center.

A protester showed up to the event, asking attendees and other passersby for their support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. The protester also attended the event and left some worried, but there were no major issues and the event went on without any interruptions.

“Life is your gift; it’s up to you to decide how to use it,” said Ilibigiza as she discussed her story of survival.

Ilibigiza is one of few survivors from the Rwanda genocide that took place in 1994, killing an estimated 800,000 Rwandans. For 91 days she hid, cramped, with seven other women in a tiny bathroom. Today, she travels the world to share her story of faith, love and forgiveness.

Ilibigiza told the story of her survival and how prayer and faith kept her alive and walked her out of that bathroom door into a completely different life. She spoke about her struggle to find forgiveness for those people, some of whom she knew, who murdered her family and friends.

She said that as long as we know hope and forgiveness, we can overcome any and all hardships.

Pope Francis declared 2016 as the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Ilibigiza spoke of mercy’s role in her life during and after the genocide, and she was invited to campus during SHU’s week of Mercy. All week long, students have been hosting several events to answer the question, “How can I live in the works of mercy?”

Among many of these events, a group of seniors will be hosting an attempt to break the Guinness world record of the longest fist bump Oct. 27 at 4 p.m. The event is in support of Sage’s Army and the fight to spread awareness of drug addiction and recovery.

For more information on this event and others, go to SHU’s Happening’s page located on Griffin’s Lair.

For more information of Ilibagiza’s story of mercy, check out her New York Times bestseller, “Left To Tell.”


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Published By: Paige Parise

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