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.


OCO-dinner FlyerIt 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 Requests Language Access for District’s Oromo Residents

By Habtamu DugoDC Council Members and Hearing Witnesses’ TestimoniesDC Council Members and Hearing Witnesses' TestimoniesWashington DC—The President of the Board of the Oromo Community of Washington DC, Dr. Desta Yebessa was among 75 witnesses who testified in support of At-Large DC Council Member Grosso’s Bill to expand language access to residents at a public hearing jointly convened by council members David Grosso, Kenyan McDuffie and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson on “Language Access for Education Amendment Act of 2015.”The act was introduced by Council member Grosso on February 3, 2015. Reflecting on the purpose of the hearing, David Steib, Eqs., Director of Language Access , said “Yesterday was amazing! We shed a bright light on many of the ways in which the District government is failing to comply with the DC Language Access Act of 2004.”According to the statement released by the office of Council member At-Large David Grosso, the public hearing was organized to allow witnesses such as the Oromo Community Organization representative to share “personal stories of barriers they have faced in accessing government agency and public education services due to the lack of language access.”Dr. Desta Yabessa Giving Testimony in front of DC Council Members, July 1Dr. Desta Yebessa stepped up to the plate and shared the personal-communal testimony of the barriers faced by an estimated 10,000 Oromos living in the Washington DC metropolitan area in accessing the said government agency and public services due to the unavailability of services in Afan Oromo, the native language of Oromo immigrants, refugees and asylees—the majority of whom are non-proficient in English or Amharic.Despite the existence of Language Access Law since 2004, Dr. Yebessa explained to the council members the specific problems faced by the Oromo Community members who are non-proficient in English language in obtaining public services.He testified , “…most Oromos residing in District of Columbia complained that they have encountered language access problems at D.C. government agencies as they attempt to access government benefits and services because (1) there is no Oromo assigned to interpret /or translate documents when Oromos are obtaining government services as required by the Language Access Act of 2004 (2) Some Oromos were unable to enroll their children in school because no one at the school spoke Oromo language, Afan Oromo. This inhibits self-empowerment and development in our Oromo community.”Dr. Desta Yabessa ended his testimony by requesting DC Council Committees to find a solution to the problems enumerated above and “to assign trained Afaan Oromoo interpreters and translators of documents for Oromos seeking school and other public services.”For Afan Oromo speaking and others seeking service in their languages, the future seems to be bright in DC as seen from a thank you letter sent out to witnesses by the Language Access Director , David Steib who said , “Council members Todd, Mendelson, Grosso, and McDuffie all came to hear what we had to say. I think that they all agreed that something has to be done.” reed that something has to be done.”  To read the Testimony of Desta Yebassa ,Click here 

Oromo Peaceful Protest in Washington D.C., Friday June 19, 2015

Dear All Oromos and friends of the Oromo in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area and living in other states of USA

Flayer-DemoThe Oromo Community Organization (OCO) of the Washington Metropolitan Area, the Oromo Youth Self-help Association (OYSA), the International Oromo Women’s Organization (IOWO) and the Coordinating Committee formed to establish the Oromo Community Association in North America (OCO_NA) have jointly planned to hold a protest rally in front of the White House and
US State Department on June 19, 2015 starting 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM against the Oromo massacre by the TPLF led minority regime in Ethiopia.

The purpose of this protest rally is to strongly protest against the ongoing widespread human rights violations and extrajudicial killings of Oromos in general and Oromo students in universities in particular by the TPLF minority regime in Ethiopia.

In May 2014 the government security forces killed 70 students demonstrating against the TPLF led minority regime in Ethiopia land grab policy, thousands wounded and arrested. Oromo youth are targeted in general. There are about 45,000 political prisoners as reported by different ex-political prisoners

The current Ethiopia Government is the regime that dehumanizes the Oromo public; violates the basic human rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly. The Regime is holding thousands of Oromo political prisoners in its notorious Maikelawi and many other Government detention centers without due legal process and displaces millions of Oromo farmers from their land in the name of master plan development to grab land. The arrests and tortures of Oromos have continued. Many of those who survived the torture have remained incarcerated.

For example, at the end of 2014 two Oromo farmers in Salale Zone, North Shoa were brutally murdered and their bodies dragged and put on public display for resisting oppression against /TPLF regime.

Very recently, in 2014, Mr. Abbay Tsehaye, one of the top officials of TPLF, adviser of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and head of the Addis Ababa Master plan designers declared war of terror and genocide against the Oromo people for resisting the expansion of Addis Ababa Administration into Oromia State and the ongoing Oromo land grab by the TPLF led minority regime. Oromo citizens couldn’t live peacefully to work, to learn and determine their destinies. Ethiopia is an open prison for the Oromo nationals. Thousands are fleeing their country due to lack of security, peace, freedom and guarantee for life. Young Oromos who fled their country due to Ethiopian government brutality have fallen victims to the beheadings by ISIS in Libya. Many others have perished in the Mediterranean Sea when smugglers’ boats capsized. Oromos are also victims of recent xenophobic killings in South Africa and displacement of refugees by civil war in Yemen.

We are protesting to expose this wanton state aggression against the citizens. We make the protest rally to request the U.S administration and the democratic loving Americans to exert utmost pressure on the Ethiopian dictatorial regime so that it stop the arbitrary arrests, kidnappings, tortures and killings of innocent Oromos and university students for simply exercising their God-given basic human rights; freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of peaceful demonstration. We request because the regime is the ally of the United States. In particular, the rally will demand a halt to the killing of Oromo students who are peacefully protesting against the so-called Integrated Development Master Plan whose sole purpose is to illegally expand the capital city, Addis Ababa/Finfinnee towards Oromia State, thereby systematically evicting Oromo farmers from their ancestral lands as well as dispossessing them of their properties, identity, culture, language, freedom, way of life…etc.

We also oppose and denounce the false & predetermined election and its shameful results which was orchestrated to legitimize and elongate the authoritarian tenure of TPLF at the expense of the voices of millions of Oromo and other peoples in Ethiopia. The irresponsible TPLF minority gangs once again proved their dictatorial grip to power by declaring EPRDF’s sweeping the election.

All Oromos, democratic nations and friends of Oromo should stand against the heinous acts being perpetrated towards Oromo students by the minority led Ethiopian government as well as against the so-called Addis Ababa-Oromia state integrated master plan and also condemns in the strongest terms, the killings and violent atrocities committed against Ethiopian immigrants in Libya, South Africa and Yemen. We also demand that the authorities ordering and executing this massacre against Oromos and other peoples be held accountable for their crimes at an international court.

OCO, OYSA, IOWO and OCA-NA Coordinating Committee are calling upon all Oromos and friends of Oromo in USA and diaspora to demonstrate against this killer and cunning minority led regime in Ethiopia on the same day June 19, 2015.

OCO, OYSA, IOWO and OCA-NA Coordinating Committee a Joint Board of Directors

OCO President Testified in front of the Council of the District of Columbia

By Habtamu Dugo

Dr--DYDr. 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.

For more information, click here>>
To learn about OAA, click here>>

OMN News about the African Community Grant

Click here for news in Afaan Oromo
Click here for news in Amharic

Invitation to Oromo Community Organization’s 2015  New Year Party

OCONY-Party-2015Dear All,
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 info@oneoromo.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
Phone: 202-234-1151
Website: www.oneoromo.org

OVR Interview with Dr. Desta Yebassa, Board Chairman & Obbo Geremew Begna, Executive Director, September 24, 2014

Interview wirg OCO BoardOromo 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

25 annversaryIt 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.

Click here to readt the invitation Letter  in PDF


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.

For more information click here>>

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

For pictures ,Click here
Source:  Ayyaantuu.com

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

Roorrotu Hammaate

Eliyaas Tolawaaq – mudaamuuddii


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