_05 Biographies

Sindy Kohuth [far left]

Sindy Kohuth is a German native who received her secondary education in Hungary, and will be receiving a Bachelors degree in International Studies from the City College of New York. Sindy has special interest in women’s rights and completed an internship in the summer of 2003, with The Ministry of Gender and Women in Development in Kigali. She is current completing her Senior Thesis, which in part is based on the recently reformed matrimonial regimes and succession law in Rwanda. Sindy is going to pursue her M.A in history this upcoming fall.

Lincoln Ajoku

Lincoln is a graduate of The City College of New York and received his Baccalaureate degree in Economics. He interned with the Rwandan Ministry of Finance in the Summer of 2003, and assisted with the completion of the Poverty alleviation Strategy Progress Report. Lincoln has also worked in Ethiopia with Catholic Relief Services, and has recently been accepted for a Summer internship in former President Clinton’s Office.

Thodleen Dessources

Thodleen is an International Studies and a Political Science major with interests in International Law and Diplomacy. Thodleen who aspires to play a role in formulating and implementing policy changes in her home country of Haiti, interned at the National Black Caucus of State Legislators where her most important contribution was among other things, to help develop the NBCSL’s third and final conference on African Americans and Energy. Thodleen also has a special interest in conflict resolution, and she is currently writing her thesis on restorative justice.


KIST's student government

A Personal Statement


By: Maggie Baingana

I worked as an attorney and legal research assistant for the former prosecutor general Gahima Gerald. I left Rwanda to pursue further studies in the United States in order to be better equipped to participate in the rebuilding process of my country. I received a partial Scholarship from the Government of Rwanda and the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. I'm currently studying for a master of laws degree in Government Law and policy at McGeroge School of Law in California.

It has been 10 years after the genocide and the improvements in the country are remarkable. Rwanda is now the safest country in East Africa in terms of security. There has been marked economic growth, the national courts have been able to complete about 5,000 genocide cases, some prisoners have been released and are now back in their communities working to be productive citizens of the country. The government has established community courts called the Gacaca, where the people adjudicate and participate in the justice process; people are now learning to live together again. There are no more ethnic distinctions, everyone is respected and treated the same. Rwanda now has the highest number of women parliamentarians in the whole world. The government is now establishing universal primary education for all, and there is a new constitution in place, which is the guarantor of respect of human rights and rule of law. Last year we held the first democratic presidential elections in Rwanda since independence.

While there is always room for improvement, I believe that Rwanda is on the right track. With time and resources all these wonderful programs that have been initiated will be improved, and those still underway will be established and implemented. What we need to do now is to work on improving the image of Rwanda abroad. All talk about Rwanda is genocide. That is not all there is about that country. It is one of the most beautiful and fertile countries in Africa; it has a rich culture and a variety of natural resources. It has six spectacular volcanoes, twenty-three lakes and numerous rivers; some forming the source of the great River Nile. It has dense tropical forests, gentle hills, calm lakes and a wonderful climate. With continued security, rule of law and respect of human rights, Rwanda will continue to be the heart beat of African.

Maggie received her degree in law in Rwanda and worked as an attorney and legal research assistant for the former prosecutor general Gahima Gerald in Kigali. She recently left Rwanda to pursue further studies in the United States in order to be better equipped to participate in the rebuilding process of her country. She is currently enrolled at the McGeorge School of Law where she is pursuing a Masters of law degree in policy. Maggie is looking forward to getting married this upcoming August.


Piaget Francis

Piaget Francis was born in Jamaica and has been living in New York for eight years. He is a B.A-M.A. psychology student at City College of New York. He is particularly interested in the psychological components of forgiveness and reconciliation. This summer Piaget will be returning to Rwanda to research his forgiveness and reconciliation theory. Piaget is also a Collin Powell Fellow and an Undergraduate Student Government representative.

Should I go to Kagitumba or Kigali?


Anne Mazimhaka

Anne Mazimhaka has been living and working in Kigali, Rwanda for the past year and a half. A child of the Rwandan Diaspora, she was born in Uganda, raised in Kenya and Canada and first went to Rwanda in 1995 when her family returned after years in exile. She holds a BA in Political Science (International Relations) from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and an LLB in Law (International Human Rights Law) from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, UK, where she worked with Survivor’s Fund, a charity aimed at helping Genocide Survivors in Rwanda and the UK. She is a co-founder of the Nyampinga Foundation, a non-profit organization formed by a group of students and young professionals that provides volunteers to organizations and institutions that aid vulnerable and disadvantaged children and youth. For more information, please contact nympingafoundation@yahoo.com.

Maggie Baingana


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