#SiiqqeeSuperstar – June 2016

This month on the blog, we wanted to highlight an Oromo woman whose philanthropy always goes above and beyond.

California’s own Obse Lubo has been involved in countless initiatives, both in North America and back home in Oromia. Her passion for making healthcare accessible to all is derived from the challenges she sees our people face back home. She is a shining example of what we should all strive to do in our own communities; a shining example of how as Oromos in the diaspora we can benefit our community at home.

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From Obse’s Facebook page, at Abdisa Aga Elementary School in Nejo

We caught up with her recently in the following interview:

Siiqqee Chronicles: We’re so glad to have a chance to talk to you today! First, what motivates you to give back to your community?
Obse Lubo: My motivation is my passion to help the community that I grew up in; to help ease the suffering of children, women and other members of the community from simple diseases that affect their daily lives.
SC: What are some initiatives that you’ve been part of lately?
OL: I have been doing annual medical mission trips to Oromia for the past 7 years, performed hundreds of various types of surgeries, and educated health care professionals and community members about disease prevention and treatment. Currently, with Rotary International Global Grant, we are working on the “Breathing For Life Project” implementing an oxygen generator plant, which would generate oxygen for the hospital use from the air. We hope to serve about 2.5 million people in the Western and Central Oromia regions.
SC: What are some of the biggest challenges you face in working with the community?
OL: Funding and resources, as well as the lack of women role models in the same profession who are involved in charity work.
SC: Are there any challenges you face as a woman?
OL: Defying social expectations within our community. I’m very bold and direct; sometimes I worry that I might come off a bit aggressive.
SC: Does your profession connect in any way to the volunteerism you do?
OL:  Yes, I’m a Registered Nurse by profession. I use my professional skills to help people in Oromia and in the states.
SC: Who are some Oromo women, past or present, who have inspired you?
OL: My mother is my biggest inspiration. When I was in elementary school (in Oromia), she took up the role of being a father and mother to protect us and raised nine kids all on her own, when my father was in and out of prison for supporting Oromo causes. I can loudly say, all the resilient Oromo women who raised their kids while their husbands were in prison, got killed or fled the country for supporting Oromo causes are my inspiration!
SC: What has been your most rewarding accomplishment to date?
OL: Saving the lives of many people from the simplest yet deadliest diseases in Oromia. Helping the hospitals in W. Oromia with capacity building, donating medications and medical supplies.
SC: What is your advice for young Oromo women who are looking to get involved?
OL: I would encourage them to take part in activities that impact the well-being of their respective communities; whether it is health care, education, business or mentorship.
SC: Last question 🙂 What are your hopes and dreams for the future of our country?
OL: My hopes are that all people in Oromia get basic health care, every pregnant woman can give birth to her infant without any labor-related complications and to have a low infant mortality rate! A peaceful country with peaceful people leading the way! 

For more information about East African Medical Relief Foundation, an organization Obse works with, please visit www.eamrf.org

Bravo, Obse! Jabaadhu!
Siiqqee Chronicles Team

 

Preserving Afaan Oromo

“If God has protected a language for 100 years, isn’t it our duty to look after it as well? Our forefathers, our grandfathers; what I asked for was $50,000 from people, it’s a small price to pay. When so many Oromo people who are not in this room today, they paid the heaviest price for us to sit here, they paid with their lives. They paid with their own blood, they paid with their own relatives, they paid with themselves to make sure that they stand up for something they believed in. So we have a duty.”

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– Toltu Tufa on fundraising for her Afaan Publications campaign

#SiiqqeeSuperstars – May 2016

Here at Siiqqee Chronicles, we have decided to do a feature at the beginning of every month that highlights Oromo women who are doing amazing things in their communities.

This month, we would like to highlight Tiyya Foundation’s Co-Founders Aaddee Owliya Dima and her daughter Meymuna Hussein-Cattan!

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Taken from the Tiyya website:

“With a name derived from the Oromo word for “My Dear” or “My Love,” the Tiyya Foundation [Tiyya] is a grassroots 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to providing refugees of all backgrounds with the basic material, educational, and emotional support required to integrate into the communities of Orange County, California. Tiyya currently assists more than 575 refugees from 162 families, many of them escaping persecution in Central America, Burma, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Somalia. Tiyya uses a holistic approach to provide transitional assistance for families with the goal of empowering refugee youth to overcome the obstacles associated with social integration by building social support systems among refugee youth and working with parents to provide a healthy environment for their children. Since its establishment in 2010, Tiyya has made numerous impacts on the local refugee community in Orange County.”

To donate: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/tiyya 
To find out how you can volunteer: http://www.tiyya.org/#!volunteer/c1pu0
To join the Fundraising Committee or become a Community Advisor, please send an email to info@tiyya.org.

Awesome work, ladies! Jabaadhaa!

Siiqqee Chronicles Team