October 13, 2014 (Oromo press) — The Oromo Community Organization (OCO) of Washington DC observed its Silver Jubilee, turning 25 on October 12, 2014. The event was attended by 700 people, which the leaders say is the largest Oromo turnout in the DMV area in recent years.
The Board President’s message reads: “An estimated ten thousand Oromos live in the Washington metropolitan area. Most of them have lived through experiences of imprisonment or torture in their homeland [Oromia] or in refugee camps.” Some other sources estimate the number of the Oromo population in Washington DC at 32,000. Because of this large number, the President, Dr. Desta Yabessa highlighted plans to work with the DC Government in making Afan Oromo one of the social services languages. Read more about the organization and the event here.
The goal of the 25th anniversary was two-fold: to recognize the founding fathers who played significant roles in founding the organization in 1988 in response to social and economic needs; and to raise fund for the Oromo House and to set growth goals for the organization.
Some of the founding fathers Teshome Woreti, Abebe G/Mariam, Terefe Kedida, Mohammed Abdo and Teressa Djalata were invited to the stage and awarded certificates of appreciation with standing ovations from the floor. Founders who were not there were also named and recognized.