Oswin is COCO's East Africa Director. Oswin grew up in the village of Mpandangindo, close to Songea in southern Tanzania. The majority of the Mpandangindo community were impoverished and as a result it was very difficult for Oswin to access education. Undeterred, Oswin worked hard to gain education to improve his and his family's circumstances, even risking his health by working in charcoal production to cover the cost of his education and spending evenings studying using a kerosene lamp in the school toilets.
Upon becoming a University graduate, Oswin pledged to dedicate his life to ensuring that children did not have to struggle to access education as he did. Initially, Oswin became a science teacher and volunteered at a local NGO where he met a group of students from Durham University. Alongside these students he founded The Hoja Project.
The Hoja Project is now COCO's main project implementation partner in Tanzania. Alongside Hoja, COCO has developed Hoja Secondary School, graduates from which have achieved the highest results of 183 schools in the region for the past six years. Hoja Secondary is also self-sustainable and is the basis for COCO's Schools for Life programme.