Deogratias (Deo) Niyizonkiza

Founder & CEO, Village Health Works

Deo Niyizonkiza is the founder and CEO of Village Health Works, a grassroots non-profit organization providing compassionate, quality health care to the most vulnerable community members in rural Burundi, East Africa. VHW takes a holistic approach to development through programs in economic development, food security, outpatient health care and education programs. Niyizonkiza is the protagonist of The New York Times bestseller Strength In What Remains, which depicts his journey from medical student in Burundi, to struggling immigrant in New York City, to Ivy League-educated global health practitioner and doctor-in-training. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including being honored by The Carnegie Foundation of New York as the 2016 Great Immigrant: The Pride of America, the 2016 Presidential Medal: Amities des Peuples, 2014 Dalai Lama Unsung Hero of Compassion Award, the 2013 People to People International’s Eisenhower Medallion Award, the 2011 International Medal Award of St John’s University and the 2010 Women’s Refugee Commission’s Voices of Courage Award. 

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