Brief history of the project
One of the purposes of the establishment of International Oromo Women’s Organization (IOWO) is sustaining the Oromo Language in Diaspora. The main concern of the founders of the organization was how the identity loss of the next generation could be prevented. From the September 29, 2007 public meeting discussion on this topic, please check the meeting clip here.
IOWO prepared the Integrated Language Education Project and presented to the public on March 8th, 2014. The theme of the presentation was “Ijoollen keenya badanii of barbaaduu irra dursanii of baruu”.
Based on the result of the survey, the project received a strong public support. IOWO took the initiative to establish responsible body and formed committee from the representatives of Oromo Women’s Organization (IOWO), Oromo Community Organization of Washington DC Metropolitan (OCO), Oromo Youth Self-Help Association, Oromo Elders, and educational professionals. These members of the educational professionals worked hard for one year to prepare Oromo Language curriculum that could fit diaspora kids.
AFAAN OROMO LESSON SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED IN WASHINGTON DC
Afaan Oromo teaching began on July 18, 2015. The Diaspora Oromo, like any other people in a similar situation are compelled to gradually lose their Oromo identity to the new social environment in which they live unless it is acted upon by intensified community activities with the objective of maintaining the language, culture, and other factors defining the Oromo identity. Culture and language play a monumental role in defining people’s identity as the people bounded by certain societal attributes. Therefore, it is very important to teach our young generation in the Diaspora world to know their Oromo national history including the language and culture.
In an effort to help younger Oromo generation learn their own language, culture, and history, the International Oromo Women’s Organization (IOWO) recently organized an Integrated Language Education Project and launched successfully in Washington DC. In the process of implementing the project, the IOWO presented the project proposal to the Washington Oromo public meeting which was held on March 8th, 2014. IOWO was highly encouraged by the constructive feedback received from the public and their unanimous support of the project as well as from the survey results. Further, IOWO took the initiative to establish a responsible body to run the project; and in this regard, a committee comprising of representatives of IOWO, Oromo Community Organization, Oromo Youth Association, Oromo Elders, and educational professionals. In the initial stages of implementing this project, the challenge was to prepare the Oromo language curriculum that meets the needs of the current generation of Diaspora. Fortunately, our educational professional team who are capable and enthusiast worked diligently to produce the 1st educational material to begin the project. This resource was proved to be effective and successful with its first batch of 45 registered children. These children are attending the class at the Washington DC Oromo Community Organization’s facility.
IOWO also organized young volunteers and trained them by educational professionals to teach Afaan Oromo classes to children of various age groups.
This program is now run by a well-structured dedicated committee and energetic young educators. It is highly supported by parents who established PTA by their own initiation to make the educational program more interactive and successful.
While we are sharing the good news of this educational program, we would also like to encourage all concerned Oromo individuals, groups, and civic organizations to start similar Afaan Oromo educational campaigns all over the Diaspora. We believe by acting on time, we will curb the next generation from identity crisis.
IOWO Integrated Language Education Committee