Moses Ochiel

1999 Moses Ochieng Ochiel - Moses
Moses Ochieng Ochiel

ARI Name:  Moses
at ARI:  1999
Country:  KENYA
Home: Yala, Siaya County
Organization: Kenya Society for People with AIDS (KESPA)
Position: Program Coordinator
Work area: Siaya, Siaya County
Other activities: Age Demands Action campaigner, Family farm, Anglican Church of Kenya

“So I think that leading by doing is one thing that really we learned from ARI.”

Moses is the program coordinator for KESPA – Kenya Society for People with AIDS. With a focus on HIV/AIDS prevention, the organization provides Volunteer Counseling and Testing (VCT) and receives 8 to 20 clients a day. People pay a small fee for these services but condoms are given out free. They also conduct an after school youth program to try to stem the tide of HIV/AIDS which, at its peak in the early 2000’s, affected 38% of the population in Siaya County, an area near the fishing and border traffic with Uganda. Current statistics report that 15.9% of the people are impacted by the virus while KESPAS says a more accurate estimate is 17.9% – a very high rate when compared to the national average of 5.6%. AIDS has also impacted the elderly in the community, as many have lost children that were to be their caretakers, and find themselves caring for young grandchildren. Moses assists them with housing and other needs and advocates for their rights to be treated with equality and dignity, through the global movement Age Demands Action (ADA), organized under HelpAge International and its affiliates in 58 countries.

Moses has five children, three of whom his family took in after they lost their parents. His wife Millicent is a priest in the Anglican Church of Kenya, serving four congregations (Nyamninia Parish) in the Diocese of Maseno West. One of the many church projects he assists with is administration support for 300 Compassion International sponsored children (up to three kids from one family can be sponsored). He is also an avid farmer and uses the organic techniques learned at ARI to grow a large variety of vegetables and fruits. About a year ago, they dug out four fish ponds where they raise tilapia and catfish.   It is his dream to be able to build up the productivity of the farm to a point where it can become his full time profession and can provide the bulk of his family’s food needs. With an average Kenyan family spending 70% of its income on food, this would be a significant boost to the household budget.