Meet Austine Oduor the Founder and CEO of Ostin Moriz International Solutions and the East Africa Regional Director for 1Million Teachers Program Inc.
Nyanza Daily sat down with him in Nairobi days after the graduation of the 2022 cohort of the 1 Million Teachers Programme. Meeting him for the first time, you would think that he is timid in every aspect.
He speaks in a low tone which would make anyone deem him as naïve, shy and most probably reserved.
However, Austine is the epitome of a power house! Besides being an education consultant and teacher trainer at Ostin Moriz International Solutions, he is an exemplary father and a loving husband. Back home, his family refer to him as a mentor and a leader, qualities he seamlessly portrays when interacting with people. It is only fair to describe Austine as a man who wears many hats.
When he is not carrying his routine duties of wearing many hats of a teacher, a trainer, a mentor and a role model, Austine loves travelling, reading and meeting new people. He believes that people are an asset and that each person has a unique story that he can learn from. Most of the people he has interacted with describe him as a man of the people who selflessly helps those who seek his help. It is almost impossible to spot him in a crowd because he will only speak when necessary. He is also an attentive listener who is result oriented and will only settle when perfect results have been achieved.
Also known as Ostin Moriz among his peers, Austin boasts a wealth of knowledge and experience and has over 15 years of experience teaching English and Literature to High school and Middle school students that study the American, British and Kenyan curriculum.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in education, with a specialization in English Language and Literature in English from the catholic University of Eastern Africa. Besides his basic university training, he has made strides in his professional development and has acquired certification as a member of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
He has also supported the Public Diplomacy (PD) section of the US Embassy as the Secretary of English Language Professionals Association of Kenya (ELPAK) where he is in charge of communicating with various partners and teacher mobilization. Austine has assisted the PD section in their English language programs and benefited from virtual platforms, Online Professional English Network (OPEN) professional development courses and United States Government (USG) funding for training.
The US Embassy platform has been very instrumental in all the ELPAK initiatives that has seen Austine actively participate in a number of their professional development courses that has seen him join the prestigious International Exchange Alumni Network! The development courses include the Professional Development for Teacher Trainers which he has had an opportunity to facilitate. Austine says he is currently doing TESOL Methodology, another OPEN professional development course and urges teachers of English to join ELPAK so they can benefit from these free courses. “The courses have been of great help in coordinating the English Language Programs offered by the US Embassy Nairobi and Regional English
Language office (RELO).” he says.
As the East Africa Regional Director for 1Million Teachers Program Inc, he successfully hosted twin graduations for 93 Black belt Educators in Kigali and Nairobi in December 2022. The 1Million Teachers is a program with a mission is to build a critical mass of highly trained and enterprising education changemakers who will lead grassroots improvement within their communities.
The program is recognized globally and is dedicated to creating enough high-quality teachers to ensure all children can access a proper education. Graduating 93 Blackbelts is one of Austine’s biggest milestones for the year 2022 and has given him a high standing in the education sector. Kenya produced 30 graduates who came from 16 counties in 2022 but Austine says the year 2023 will see them celebrating more graduates beyond Kenya and Rwanda.
As a way of cascading the immense knowledge he has acquired over the years Austine has developed a passion for empowering communities with teachers being at the forefront to achieve this. He has rolled out a strategy of empowering teachers as they are very influential in the community and in partnership with a number of institutions as he is a strong believer that collaborations are the way to go in the 21st century.
When asked how he felt about the impact he is making, Austine had this to say, “I am glad to see the fruits of my effort and my goal now is to empower educationists across the region.” The world, he says has embraced the digital era and almost anything can be achieved digitally.
As a result, he has followed suit and initiated a number of e-platforms in partnership with the Forgotten Bottom Millions (4BM) to share opportunities for free. The 4BM is a non-profit organization that shares free eclectic reading resources and free socio-economic opportunities that include fully-funded scholarships and job opportunities.
It is through 4BM that Austin’s Ostin Moriz brand scooped a massive award as an admin of the year for 2021 with a number of his e-platforms gaining recognition for allowing access to these free – economic opportunities that have transformed livelihoods whose only requirement to access the opportunities is an internet enabled device.
With the support of other 4BM admins, many people, including those who are not teachers have attained certification in different free online courses. These platforms have also provided opportunities for personal development and provided resources that have made the participants be better people in the society.
Besides all the achievements, Austine is a senior advisor in a number of organizations in education, environment, gender and through these he continues with his major goal of ensuring people have access to opportunities that can transform their lives. He continues to make impact in these organizations through his prowess in mentorship and servant leadership.
He is particularly passionate about the environment and is helping some organizations move towards conservation through tree planting to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number15.
By successfully running a number of programs, Austine strives to see the improvement and value addition to all the teachers in the region. 1Million Teachers is the springboard for all teachers to achieve this dream. Austine believes that all teachers deserve to be enrolled in the program for the benefit of the children they work with as they are moulding the future generations.
He works closely with like – minded and passionate teachers, administrators, civil servants and those keen to grow professionally by registering for these free transformative courses and is happy that more people are now enrolling and the courses are opening for them opportunities in amazing ways. At this point, Austine notes that 1Million teachers, though created for teachers, may be a requirement for all leaders in
all spheres. Against all odds, Austine has proved that anyone can break the barriers and go beyond the