Eddy Oketch (Muok Ratego)

Eddy grew up in rural Migori, and while from a loving and well-meaning family, he knew the hardships of so many Migorians—including early teen years spent surviving on the streets.  Through hard work and the remarkable generosity of the community, Eddy made his way to Friends School Kamusinga, African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, Trinity College in the United States, and eventually Yale University where he graduated with a Masters in Global Affairs. It is his goal to help the community provide similar opportunities to hardworking residents that he was lucky enough to receive.

In the 2007/2008 post-election violence, Eddy founded Ongoza, an organization committed to bringing an end to civil violence by empowering young people to become economically independent and champions of peace in their local communities. Ongoza is now an independent institution continuing to strengthen youth across Kenya. As a result of his groundbreaking work, Eddy has been recognized with the 2012 Impact Award from the Kenyan US Diaspora, the 2013 Africa Village’s Top 30 Under 30 Most Inspirational Young People on the African continent and Salt’s 2015 top 30 under 30 most innovative and influential youth in Africa.

Eddy is also the Founder and Trustee of The Oketch Gicheru Trust, a foundation that offers education scholarships and digital mentorship to gifted and disadvantaged youth in Kenya. In the community, he serves in the Boards of Ulanda Girls High and St. Pauls Omboo Secondary, where he is leading infrastructural development.

When other people give up, we get up.

When other people concede, we proceed.

Eddy is certified in FX Education from Singapore’s Oanda Pacific. He is a member of the African Leadership Network, and a trained UNESCO International Youth Peace Ambassador. Additionally, Eddy was the youngest speaker and first panel leader at the 2012 G8 Summit and the first Africa cohort of the British Council Global Changemakers. He was in the select Equity Bank’s CEO’s task force that restructured the Bank’s Pre-University Program in 2009 and consulted as the first Think Tank on youth engagement strategy for the MasterCard Foundation’s head office in Toronto Canada, in 2011. He was also part of the professional committee that structured and established the 2nd Kenyan Prime Minister’s Youth Round Table in 2010. As part of the small Changemakers’ advisory group invited by the President of Mozambique, H.E. Amando Guebuza, he consulted for the Presidency on structuring youth employment and entrepreneurship promotion strategy in 2010. He became the youth representative and member of the CEO Roundtable that brought together CEOs and policy makers of top Kenyan and regional companies and principal government decision makers from key sectors of the economy to deliberate on national and regional issues emerging from the World Economy Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011.

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