Get to know Alex & Jaki, the faces of the Uganda SPCA
To most of us, Shelter Manager Alex Ochieng and Assistant Shelter Manager & Assistant to the Shelter Vet Jakline (Jaki) Bako are the 2 faces of the Uganda SPCA Haven (along with the rest of the staff: Mary, Vincent, Lydia, Irene, Obote, Dr. Singh). But what do you really know about Alex and Jaki other than that they love animals and are very good at their jobs? After many years of knowing both of them, working side by side with them, I realized I really didn't know much. So I sat down with Alex and Jaki and asked some questions. I think, like I was, you may be interested in learning more about 2 of the key people taking care of our cherished but unwanted cats and dogs of Uganda.
Alex was born in Kisumu, Kenya, where he went to Kisumu Boys High School. When Alex goes back to Kenya, he likes to visit his old high school to catch up with the teachers and meet new students. Alex had a good high school experience!
After high school, Alex worked at two wildlife sanctuaries before coming to the USPCA: Naivasha Wildlife Sanctuary and Hell's Gate Wildlife Sanctuary, where he was a tour guide. At both wildlife sanctuaries, Alex guided Kenyan and international visitors, students and adults, teaching them about the wildlife and local ecosystems, and encouraging an appreciation for the natural world.
Next, Alex joined the USPCA as Shelter Manager-and we are all thankful for that!
Alex's wife since August 1997 is Jane, a business woman and a farmer. Jane grows maize and bananas and she has chickens. They have 4 children, all boys:
Brandon is the oldest at 21 years (born August 1998). He is at university and studying biochemistry. Levise is 19 years old and aspires to be a doctor. Hannington is 11 years old and Silverton is 5 years old.
Jane has visited Alex in Uganda 4 times. She likes Uganda, but it's difficult to leave Kenya when you're farming and raising children. Jane likes dogs and cats, but not quite as much as Alex does!
Alex told me that his "favorite part of working at the USPCA is caring for poor animals in general."
Jaki was born in Arua and came to Kampala in 2003 when she was about 14 years old. After Jaki completed Senior 4, she worked in restaurants and then she found the USPCA, where she has quickly advanced in her shelter career.
Jaki has one son, Adoki Timothy, 9 years old. Adoki means gift.
Jaki lives with her mother and two stepbrothers: Osita Emmanuel, 20 years old works at a coffee shop and Frank, 17 years old will be in Senior 4 next year. Jaki has strongly encouraged her stepbrothers to pursue their educations. Jaki is the main support for her mother, her son, and her two stepbrothers!
When Jaki first started working at The Haven, she was an Animal Caretaker; then she became the Assistant to the Shelter Vet; and then, another responsibility was added-now, she's also the Assistant Shelter Manager. I asked Jaki how she feels about working at The Haven and she said, "I have learned so much and I am so grateful for the opportunity."
We are certainly grateful to have both Jaki and Alex at The Haven!