Meet A Leader: Tobias Ocholla

Tobias lost his mother in 1996 when he was just five years old, and then his dad in 2001. He was taken in by what he calls different “Wellwishers” who helped him get through school. What he does not say is that he “lost” a number of those guardians, too. 

He went to Mbaka Oroma Primary School and then proceeded to Kuoyo Mixed Secondary School. Umoja was just starting back then, and we were not yet supporting him in secondary school. A couple weeks after he started Form 1, he was sent home for not having his school fees. He came back just two weeks before exams began and took the exams with his classmates. He placed 5th in his class.
He shared his story at the BET UP retreat during the session on grief. He told his younger “siblings” that he borrowed books and notes from his friends that were in school and studied on his own. We was taken up by the Umoja Project during Form 2. He was a prefect, the school captain, and head of the student Umoja group. 

After secondary school, he went on to Jaramondi Odinga Odinga University and earned a Bachelor degree in business administration and finance. He worked during university at Airtel, and it was his work during that time that enabled him to get his first position at Agrovet Cooperative Bank after graduating. He serves as a sales executive giving loans, providing credit management, and onboarding new customers. He hopes to move up soon when there is an opening for the next level position. He is making sure that he is doing everything he can to earn that promotion by smashing the goals that the company sets for him, consistently placing in the top 10 employees nationally for the company. 

In the meantime, he is running an M-Pesa kiosk and an egg business. He is saving to buy land of his own and build a house. 

He says, want the people back in Indiana to know that I am grateful for the support. The Umoja Project helped me in ways that I can not fully express. It is my hope that the Umoja Project can rise to new levels. I am ready to help on this side to make it possible.