Genocide survivor teaches forgiveness - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Genocide survivor teaches forgiveness

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Nearly twenty years ago, she huddled in a cramped bathroom with seven other women, hiding from the Rwandan genocide.

"We spend in that place three months before the war was over. When we came out my family I had left behind was killed," said Immaculee Ilibagiza.

Somehow, Immaculee was able to get past the anger of losing her family to war and share her story.

"It was kind of intimidating at first because you read the book, and it's so inspiring and all of a sudden she's right in front of you and you're like oh my goodness," said Jackie Dethlefsen, a junior at Corsica High School.

Immaculee wanted to speak with students at Corsica High School because she'd heard Andrea Cleveland's story. The 16-year-old died after a car accident in November 2011. Immaculee understands the grief these students feel.

"Just to remind people this is a passage. Everyone ends up dying in the end. Just lead your life truly trying to be loving people and to remember there's always hope in God," said Immaculee.

For Immaculee that means sharing a message of hope and forgiveness.

"Be grateful for what you have. I've learned I should never be mad at anybody, I always have to forgive right away," said Dethlefsen.

Added Immaculee, "Forgiving feels like peace when that happens to you, it feels like freedom, it feels like love."

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