Welcome to the web site of the Oromo Community Organization (OCO) in Washington DC. The OCO is committed to serving all Oromos. Please read our mission statements and objectives. To implement its objectives, OCO has many programs and services that are updated from time to time. We encourage you to fill this Online Application ( Click here for the Application Form) . Please download the form ,complete all required spaces and submit the form to become a member of OCO. After we receive your application , we will review the application and contact you for the next steps.
The OCO needs contribution from everyone who believe in its mission and objectives . The organization also needs your constrictive comments that help for the improvement of services we provide to our community. If you have news to share, please click here to send.
Peaceful and Democratic Transfer of Leadership at Washington Area Oromo Community Organization
(R to L): Dr. Desta Yebassa, Mr. Diriba Worku, Prof. Habtamu Dugo, Mr. Geremew Begna at Oromo House
Through an election process that was fully transparent, democratic and peaceful, the Oromo Community Organization of the Washington DC metropolitan area carried out a peaceful transition of power on June 24, 2016.
The 9-member Board of Directors convened at the Oromo House to elect from among themselves leaders who would serve in the positions of President, Vice President, Executive Director, Executive Secretary and Executive member for a two-year term.
Prior to the intra-committee elections to replace outgoing members of the Board, the General Assembly elected 5 leaders to be added to the BOD. The new incoming members of the Board elected by the General Assembly are Diriba Worku, Habtamu Dugo, Tesfa Gameda, Daniel Ayana and Moti Kebede.
While outgoing OCO Board President Dr. Dasta Yabessa transferred power to the new President Diriba Worku, Mr. Geremew Begna handed the Executive Director’s office to Prof. Habtamu Dugo. Dr. Tesfa Gemeda was elected to the position of Board Vice President.
Dr. Desta Yabessa and Mr. Geremew Begna diligently served the organization for five and four years respectively. Executive Secretary Mr. Gutu Bejji and Executive members Mr. Kinati Feyissa, and Mr. Kebir Abagumbul were among the outgoing leaders who served the community with outstanding dedication. The outgoing members were joyful that the peaceful and democratic transfer of power happened.
Mr. Kebede Dinsaa, OCO internal auditor, made several recommendations for a smooth transition. Mr. Adam Yenus and Mrs. Dinkinesh Deressa from the nomination committee were present as witnesses and observers to the election and power transfer processes.
The community is moving in the right direction, as its new leaders have expressed strong interests in serving the Oromo Community of Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The new leadership promised to energize the base and to strengthen the organization within the ambit of the missions and the by-laws of the organization. The newly elected officials also called upon the Oromo nationals residing in the Washington DC area to join OCO and contribute to its growth and strength in the nation’s capital.
To: ALL MEMBERS OF THE OROMO COMMUNITY AND FRIENDS OF OROMO
It has been seven years since the Oromo Community in Washington, DC Metro Area purchased its single permanent center, the Oromo House, at 6212 3rd St, NW, Washington, Dc 20011. This property is acquired by financial support of many members of the community and additional investment of time and effort by some members of the community over many years. It is still sustained by the concerted support of the Oromo Community members.
The Oromo House is fulfilling its mission by providing a rendezvous for members of the community for various social proposes, training facilities, and office for the Oromo Community Organization. We are all pleased to have a common place of getting together for different purposes.
On November 14, 2015 we are hosting the Annual Community Dinner at the Washington Ethical Society, 7750 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20012 beginning 4:00PM. As you know the purpose of the Dinner is to get together, socialize, enjoy the festivities, and exchange ideas of Oromo Community development. Food and drinks are served free of charges. Entrance tickets are available with the OCO Board members, the Oromo House Management Committee members and supporters of the community. Income generated from the event will be used for the Oromo House mortgage payment.
The Oromo Community Organization is cordially extending its invitation to you to come to this pleasant event to enjoy with friends and family and support your House.
OROMO COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION
OCO President Testified in front of the Council of the District of Columbia
By Habtamu Dugo
Dr. Desta Yebassa, OCO Board President and Project Manager, testified in front of the Council of the District of Columbia, chaired by Ms. Anita Bonds on May 6, 2015. The Oromo Community Organization of Washington DC joined numerous community and non-profit organizations in advocating for increases in funding for their own organizations as well as for the Mayor’s Office on African Affairs, which has helped provide grants to qualifying non-profit organizations over the years.
OCO President explained to the Council that the Oromo make up “over 40% of Ethiopia’s total population of 96 million and are the largest majority ethnic group in Ethiopia and the second largest single nationality group in Africa.” As Dr Yabessa spoke, the Chair of the DC Council and members of the committee and the Director of the Mayor’s Office on African Affairs listened attentively about this little known people called the Oromo. Dr Yebassa described: “Most Oromo have lived through experiences of imprisonment or torture in their homeland or in refugee camps and luckily arrived in USA and chosen the Washington DC metropolitan area as their primary residence. Majority of them desperately need appropriate social support and services.”
He explained to the Council that some of the main challenges faced by the Oromo Community Organization is the lack of funding and permanent staff members and pleaded for more financial support from the OAA and DC Government in order to continue providing highly needed services that will contribute to the overall good of the city.
He testified the fact that the organization is run by 9 volunteer members of the Board and 5 members of the Executive Committee has hampered the services provided to the members of the Oromo Community. He proposed hiring paid fulltime employees would solve the problem by dedicating more time to implement community projects. The President witnessed OCO run a number of successful projects, including providing health awareness training using the grant received from the OAA. Given more grant and financial support from OAA, the OCO President highlighted plans to implement projects and social services to the members of the community.
The Council Chairperson Ms. Bonds suggested to Dr. Yebessa that OCO should put more emphasis on providing social services to the community in addition to providing ongoing training.
DC Budget Cut and Financial Concerns by Community Organizations
In their testimonies, the President of OCO and leaders of many other non-profits expressed their concern that drastic budget cuts by the District of Columbia government will negatively affect their ability to provide social services to the communities they serve. Witnesses representing the African communities in and around the Washington DC metropolitan area pointed out the disparity in budget allocated to the Office on African Affairs, which they said receives the smallest fund ($100,000) compared to other agencies serving Asian or Latino populations, for instance. This is despite OAA’s representation of immigrants from over 52 African nations.
Testimonies made by leaders of community organizations and non-profits in solidarity with OAA and other agencies did not only point out the problems faced by them, but it was also an essential platform for these leaders to share experiences on success stories, which could have been impossible if the District of Columbia had not organized such a forum. Ideas were exchanged and witnesses and directors were questioned on their programs and provided answers and justifications for the ways they have managed their programs and activities.
DC Mayor’s Office on African Affairs approved a grant of $10,000 for the Oromo Community Organization
Dear our Community Members,
Congratulations! The DC Mayor’s Office on African Affairs has approved a grant of $10,000 for the Oromo Community Organization’s healthcare awareness training and assessment program for the second time. In a letter written to OCO President on November 18, 2014, the DC Mayor’s Office on African Affairs approved the African community grant. The Office of African Affairs (OAA) announced the awarding of $100,000 in funding to eight community-based organizations (CBOs) who provide critical services to the District’s African community. OCO is one of the eight CBOs selected for 2015 Fiscal Year.
OMN News about the African Community Grant
n to Oromo Community Organizati on’s 2015 New Year Party
The Oromo Community Organization of the Washington D.C Metro Area (OCO) warmly invites you, your family and friends to the 2015 New Year’s Celebration Party, which is scheduled to take place on January 3, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM at Veterans Plaza Silver Spring Civic Building, 8523 Fenton Street, Silver Spring, Maryland, 20910.
Three well-known Oromo artists, Addisu Furgassa , Abdi Nuressa ,and Gutu Bejji, will perform live music show. In addition, Oromo tradition food will be served free of charge.
Entrance tickets will be available with OCO Board, Executive, and House Committee members.
Tickets will also be available at the entrance. The ticket price is $30.00 for single and $50.00 for couple.
For further information, please give us a call @ 202 294-6103, 202-422-8971 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would also like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very pleasant New Year filled with joy, peace, and prosperity.
With Best Regards,
Oromo Community Organization (OCO)
6212 3rd ST, NW Washington, DC. 20011
OVR Interview with Dr. Desta Yebassa, Board Chairman & Obbo Geremew Begna, Executive Director, September 24, 2014
Oromo Voice Radio (OVR)- Exclusive interview with the current Board chairman and Executive director of the Oromo Community Organization of Washington DC and Metropolitan Area about the OCO activities and Heath awareness training.
Click here to listen ( Part-I)
Click here to listen (part II and Final)
Oromo Community Organization Celebrates 25 Anniversary on October 12, 2014
It has been twenty-five years since the Oromo Community Organization (OCO) in Washington, D.C, was founded as a non-profit legal entity, under Section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The primary mission of OCO is to play a central role in building cohesiveness and harmony among the Oromo Community members based on Oromumma irrespective of regional, political and religious variations. To that effect, OCO provides community members basic social services such as cultural orientation, English language classes, job networking services, immigration support, health awareness and education; as well as assistance to the Oromo Diaspora to integrate and become productive citizens in America and keeping abreast of events and developments back in Oromia. OCO Elders Committee addresses conflicts between individuals and groups to enhance harmony among community members.
Over the span of 25 years, OCO has strived to achieve its objectives by being a linchpin in the Oromo Community in the Washington metropolitan area, as interlocutor with government agencies, private institutions, other Oromo communities in North America and other continents as well as the Oromo nation back home in Oromia.
To strengthen its central role, OCO purchased its own property, the Oromo House, in 2008 at 6212 3rd Street, N. W., Washington, D.C. 20011 with money contributed by the Oromo Community at large and bank mortgage. After 20 years of tenancy, OCO moved to its permanent house in 2009.
The Oromo House is fulfilling the objectives it was purchased for. It is a rendezvous for members of the community for various social gatherings, meetings and entertainments. It is a training facility where computer training, seminars, orientations, workshops are provided and an office for the Oromo Community Organization. All Oromos are proud to have such a precious place of their own in a globally significant city, such as Washington, D.C. OCO is now an important entity through which community problems, and Oromo grievances in Oromia and elsewhere can be voiced.
To look back the achievements of OCO and layout course of action for the future, we are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Oromo Community Organization on October 12, 2014, beginning 6:00 P.M., at Southern Asian Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2001 East Randolph Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904.
Event entrance tickets are available at the OCO office, with Board and Oromo House Management Committee members. Any revenue generated from the event will go to the Oromo House mortgage amortization. The Oromo Community Organization is cordially extending its invitation to you to come to this significant event with friends and family.
Oromo Community Organization
DC Mayor’s Office on African Affairs approved a grant of $10,000 for the Oromo Community Organization
Dear our Community Members ,
Congratulations! The DC Mayor’s Office on African Affairs has approved a grant of $10,000 for the Oromo Community Organization’s healthcare awareness training and assessment program.
Watch OMN Interview with Mr. Geremew Begna, Executive secretary of OCO about the grant
Source: OMN New August 6, 2014
Oromo Peaceful Demonstration in DC on August 1, 2014
Watch OMN Interview with some Participants
Source: OMN New August 1, 2014
Delegates from OCO of Washington DC, Afaan Oromo Participated in DC Office of Human Rights Language Access Event on June 21, 2014
Watch OMN Interview with Dr. Desta Yebassa, OCO Chairman about the Event
Source: OMN New July 2 2014
Oromo Candlelight Vigil in Washington, DC on May 22, 2014
Response Letter from US Department Of State to the Appeal Letter Jointly Submitted On May 9, 2014
In letter dated June 2,2014, the US department of state , Assistant secretary for African Affairs responded to the Appeal letter jointly submitted by the Oromo Community Organization(OCO) , the Oromo Youth Self-help Association (OYSA), the International Oromo Women Organization (IOWO), and the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA). In the letter, the assistant secretary mentioned concerns about the death of Oromo students. The assistant secretary also mentioned protecting human right is the key component of US’s foreign policy worldwide, Click here to read the letter
Eliyaas Tolawaaq – mudaamuuddii