Benedict began the program first, and after visiting him in Tucson, Patricia decided to join him, making the move from Tanzania and bringing along their two children, Gregory and Giovanni-Anthony. She says,
"It was a great moment, a family union. The saguaros warmly welcomed us, and we fell in love with the Sonoran Desert."
Being in the SJD program together proved to be important for each individual's success. Patricia shares,
"Despite our demanding parental responsibilities, we were able to encourage each other in our studies and overcome many challenges, particularly those associated with the outbreak of COVID-19."
Patricia, a senior resident magistrate at the Judiciary of Tanzania with extended jurisdiction, adjudicating certain offences under Tanzania High Court's jurisdiction, joined the SJD program to advance her legal career and fill a gap in the courts. She says,
"Tanzania experiences shortage of female jurists who have expertise in international human rights issues. The major reason that made me want to pursue this degree was to be an expert of international human rights law, particularly on protection of children's rights, and I found Arizona Law to be the proper place for that."
Benedict's focus was on international investment law and human rights. Prior to his time at Arizona Law, he was a lecturer and a dean of the faculty of law at Tumaini University Makumira in Arusha, Tanzania, a practicing attorney of the High Court of Tanzania, and listed legal counsel of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights.
He hit the ground running upon arrival in Tucson, digging in with his classes and adjusting to the Socratic method, saying,
"I really enjoyed the first year in residency of my program, especially Professor Rebecca Tsosie's Federal Indian Law class, the [International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop] clinic under Professors Robert Williams and Seanna Howard, and Professor Sergio Puig's International Investment Law and Arbitration class."
Benedict says his time in the International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop gave him the opportunity to experience two hallmarks of an Arizona Law education: practical experience and working with a diverse group of students from different backgrounds.
Patricia also says she most enjoyed the moments in law school when she was connecting with people from around the world, especially in her first year, when she was able to do so in person, reflecting,
"This was the time when I met and got to know people from different parts of the world, sharing their intellectual experiences."
Other standout experiences for Kisinda include the Tribal Justice Clinic, the International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop, and a cherished visit to the Tohono O'odham Court and Museum.
"I was honored to speak with the Judges of Tohono O'odham Court and to see the historical background of the reservation as well as the culture of Tohono people."
After graduation, Benedict and Patricia will return to Tanzania. Benedict will continue with his teaching career at Tumaini University Makumira and law practice and wants to establish a consultancy firm offering services on corporate social responsibility and responsible investment:
"I will impart the knowledge acquired in the program to 'lawyers in the making' and other stakeholders by introducing a course on business and human rights with a particular focus on indigenous peoples' rights."
Patricia will resume her duties in the Judiciary of Tanzania, now with added qualifications and expertise in children's rights and gender equality. She says,
"I anticipate protecting and interpreting the law to promote and protect female children's welfare whenever exercising my judicial functions, but without being biased. I will also inevitably be a resource in seminars and training programs on related matters conducted within the Judiciary of Tanzania and the entire legal fraternity."
Benedict says they now have the tools to more effectively advocate for the causes they care about, and concludes,
"I am proud of being part of the world-class SJD IPLP program. The program has equipped me to engage in the fight for social justice, particularly indigenous peoples' rights everywhere and anywhere."