A Dozen Years After the Rwandan Genocide ... Survivor Surmounts the Horror and Is LEFT TO TELL Her Story and Aid Orphans Left Behind

Mar 07, 2006, 00:00 ET from Hay House

    CARLSBAD, Calif., March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- In April of 1994 in Rwanda, the
 horrific scenes of one of history's most tragic events unfolded before the
 eyes of an innocent college girl visiting her family over Easter break.
 Immaculee Ilibagiza spent 91 days hiding in a preacher's 3'x4' bathroom with
 seven other women, listening to the stories of her family's slaughter and
 country's holocaust.  This courageous woman weathered a storm of obstacles and
 conquered them all, turning torture into triumph.  Miraculously, she was LEFT
 TO TELL the story of how she overcame her hatred and created the strength to
 let it bloom into forgiveness.  And so, Immaculee's autobiography is titled
 LEFT TO TELL (Hay House March 2006).
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060307/LATU062 )
     "Being spared is much different from being saved ... and this lesson
 forever changed me.  It is a lesson that, in the midst of mass murder, taught
 me how to love those who hated and hunted me -- and how to forgive those who
 slaughtered my family," she says.  "The Diary of Immaculee," a documentary
 based on the book, is being produced by three-time Academy Award nominees,
 Steve Kalafer and Peter LeDonne.  (Visit www.diaryofImmaculee.com for
 details.)  The documentary is expected to debut sometime this spring.
     "There are people I left behind that I must help.  I hope to return to
 Rwanda as often as I can to aid in restoring hope to the hearts of genocide
 survivors, especially the orphaned children," she says.  Therefore, Immaculee
 and her publisher, Hay House have established a foundation to help others heal
 from the long-term effects of genocide and war.  All proceeds from donations
 of "Left To Tell" bracelets and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the
 book will benefit the Left To Tell Charitable Fund, an organization that helps
 the children of Africa build better lives.  The bracelets will be available
 for a donation on the Left to Tell website, www.lefttotell.com.
     In 2003, Hay House opened Hay House South Africa.  The division was
 created as an entirely non-profit entity.  One hundred percent of all sales
 from Hay House South Africa go back to the people of South Africa,
 specifically to the 800,000 orphaned children left from the AIDS epidemic.
 Hay House donates profits to the organization NOAH (Nurturing Orphans of AIDS
 for Humanity (http://www.noahorphans.org.za).  According to Hay House
 President Reid Tracy, "We are pleased to be continuing our charitable work in
 Africa with Immaculee's Left To Tell Charitable Fund.  We are in the process
 of purchasing the house where she spent those 91 terrifying days in the
 bathroom and have plans of turning it into a museum."
     Please feel free to request a review copy or interview with this
 courageous and inspiring woman.  Immaculee lives in New York City with her
 husband and children.
     Hay House is an international leader in self-help and motivational
 publishing, featuring books, audios, and sidelines by more than 125 authors.
 New Beginnings Press, Smiley Books, and Princess Books are imprints of Hay
 House, Inc.  Please visit us as www.hayhouse.com.
     LEFT TO TELL, Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust
     By Immaculee Ilibagiza, with Steve Erwin
     Hay House, Inc. -- Publication Date: March 2006
  "In 1994, Rwandan native Ilibagiza was 22 years old and home from college to
  spend Easter with her devout Catholic family when the death of Rwanda's Hutu
 president sparked a three-month slaughter of nearly one million ethnic Tutsis.
    She survived by hiding in a Hutu pastor's tiny bathroom with seven other
    starving women for 91 cramped, terrifying days.  This searing firsthand
  account of Ilibagiza's experience cuts two ways: her description of the evil
  that was perpetrated, including the brutal murders of her family members, is
    soul-numbingly devastating, yet the story of her unquenchable faith and
 connection to God throughout the ordeal uplifts and inspires.  This book is a
  precious addition to the literature that tries to make sense of humankind's
         seemingly bottomless depravity and counterbalancing hope in an
                           all-powerful, loving God."
                - Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review, March 2006
     "I am humbled by the extraordinary spirituality that shines throughout
  Immaculee Ilibagiza's story of terror, endurance, healing, and forgiveness.
 As a Rwandan, I am proud that we can look beyond the misconceived differences
   that resulted in the murder of so many of our children, men, and women in
   1994.  Immaculee's account of genocide survival is truly astonishing.  It
  gives us hope of overcoming the divisions deliberately created by those with
  self-serving agendas and no thought for humanity.  Everyone should read this
  story -- survivors as well as perpetrators.  I hope that all can experience
  Immaculee's profound spiritual transformation and be inspired to work for a
                          united and lasting nation."
            - Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda

SOURCE Hay House