Sakina Usengimana is the recipient of the 2018-2019 Carl & Teresa Wilkens Award to study at the Texas Christian University Intensive English Program. A graduate of the Akilah Institute in Kigali, Sakina won the Institute’s Entrepreneurship Competition in 2016 and received a grant to start her jewelry design business, Ihogoza Designs. The company uses recycled materials to promote environmental protection while creating art.
By providing employment for women through her jewelry business, Sakina expects to provide the means to educate them about family size as a tool to help combat poverty. Moreover, she hopes to expose cultural taboos regarding expectations of family size placed upon women in Rwandan society and Africa in general. Through her work, Sakina seeks to raise awareness and inspire the next generation to take action by helping to empower those impacted by such traditional perceptions regarding familial roles.