About us

William Boto, founder.

William Boto, President Emeritus of the organization.

William Boto, originally from Uganda, is President Emeritus of Ochan Self-Help Alliance, Inc., a charity incorporated in the state of Maryland.  When asked to serve as the organization’s top executive to help provide relief for internally displaced civilians in war-ravaged northern Uganda, Professor Boto could not help but recall some of his early childhood as told to him by his late mother.  The infant Boto at 5 months of age came down with a severe malaria attack that placed his very existence in doubt for 3 consecutive nights.  An infant’s grave was dug on the family’s compound in preparation for what seemed inevitable.  In a last attempt to save the ailing baby, a traditional healer pierced one of William’s tiny earlobes in order to “drain out” some of the “evil spirits”. William carries that memorable hole in his ear to this date. When nothing appeared to help after that excessive bleeding, the infant’s  desperate mother Kasalina refused to give up: she tied him to her back with a cloth and walked 50 miles to Lwaala Missionary Hospital where she obtained a grinded malaria pill that saved William’s life nearly sixty-five years ago.

William’s response to lead  our organization was simple:  “How much luckier could anyone possibly be at five months of age?  Can you imagine how many of my age-mates did not make it through the fevered  nights  of malaria?  I thank God most dearly for granting me the health, some resources, and particularly this rare opportunity to give what I can to the best of humanity, those who try at all cost and under extreme circumstances to protect life.”

P1010538-001William migrated to America in the 1970’s when the reign of Idi Amin Dada made life grossly unsafe for the educated lot.  A college graduate of Makerere University (Uganda), Professor Boto received his graduate education in the USA:  Clarke University (M.A), Harvard University (M.S.), and University of Massachusetts Medical School (Ph.D.).  He taught Biology for years both at the graduate and undergraduate levels, directed international training programs/research in Africa, and mentored a number of Ph.D. students at the City University of New York (CUNY) until his retirement in 2006.


Bonny: teacher 1969-2008

William’s wife, Bonny, and Zenobia have worked in Africa (Liberia, Morocco, Uganda) as Peace Corps volunteer teachers.

In addition to their diverse international experiences, the array of skills that OCHAN’s officers bring to this rescue effort are considerable:  grant-writing and implementation,  information technology, communications,administration, financial management.  All of us reside in Maryland.


Zenobia: teacher and  teacher trainer

Georgia: a long career in business

Georgia: a long career in business

Paul: finance and broadcasting

Paul: finance and broadcasting




Officers Trustees
William Boto, Ph.D., President Emeritus William Boto
Bonny Boto, President Georgia Hilliard
Zenobia Oyenuga, Secretary  Paul Kopelke
Paul Kopelke, Treasurer