“Strength in What Remains”
by Tracy Kidder
Please join us for our inaugural book discussion series
held in conjunction with the Institute of International Education
Tonight our special guest is Deogratias (Deo) Niyizonkiza
founder of Village Health Works, Burundi and
whose personal journey is the subject of Mr. Kidder's book
Monday, September 27, 2010
6 p.m. — Reception
6:30 p.m. — Presentation
7:15 p.m. — Book Signing *
Institute of International Education
809 United Nations Plaza, Kaufman Center
New York, NY
Strength in What Remains by Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder is the true story about Deo, a young medical student who fled the genocidal civil war in Burundi in 1994 for the uncertainty of New York City. Against absurd odds, he arrived with little money and even less English, and slept in Central Park while delivering groceries. His own ambition and a few kind New Yorkers led him to Columbia University and, beyond that, to medical school and American citizenship.
One of Deo's personal mottos is "where there is health, there is hope." His powerful story takes him back to Burundi and his work building a medical clinic where none had been before. The non-profit organization that he founded and which sponsors and operates this facility is called Village Health Works. It has provided health care, mostly free of cost, to more than 28,000 patients since its opening two years ago. Although VHW works closely with the Burundi community, many patients are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania.
In the highly-acclaimed Strength in What Remains, writing with the same modest but dogged empathy that made his recent Mountains Beyond Mountains a modern classic, Tracy Kidder renders his subject with deep yet unfussy fidelity. Deo's terrible journey makes his story a hard one to tell, yet his tirelessly hopeful but clear-eyed efforts make it a gripping and inspiring one to read.
Deo will be with us for a book signing after his presentation.