Founded in 1990, Vereniging Hawaasa Oromo Nederland is the single largest community organization of Oromo descendants in the Netherlands. It was registered at the Chamber of Commerce on December 2, 1998, as Local Welfare Association under KvK # 17109437. RSIN #807780868
The majority of Nederland’s Oromo community members fled Ethiopia after the 1991 change of government in Ethiopia which resulted in mass killings, torture and mass imprisonment of Oromo people by the Ethiopian regime which is unabated for the last 24 years and even exacerbated since 2014. However, some Oromos have also settled in The Netherlands since the beginning of 1980s following the military dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam’s ‘red terror’ campaign in 1978.
Vereniging Hawaasa Oromo Nederland is a non-profit organization with a mission of bringing Oromos in the Netherlands together. It works to empower, educate and also help members with integration. The association works to promote Oromo culture and identity in the Netherlands. Besides, it advocates for the rights of Oromo people in Ethiopia. The association has currently over 500 members.
To create economically productive and culturally vibrant community.
To equip the community members with the skills, knowledge and information they need to succeed in the Netherlands
To empower community members to achieve socio-economic independence
To preserve rich cultural heritage of Oromo & create a forum for inter-cultural understanding
To advocate for Oromos living in the Netherlands without residence permit and Oromos suffering under a tyrannical regime in Ethiopia
Who are the Oromos?
Oromo is the single biggest nation in Ethiopia. Oromos call their country Oromia also written as Oromiya. Oromo country covers 600,000 Square km (375,000 Square miles); Larger than Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands and France combined. Oromo people speak the Oromo language, “Afaan Oromoo”. Being the most suppressed and even once banned indigenous African language, Afaan Oromo is more than a medium of communication for the Oromos. It has been serving to retain a powerful sense of identity and unity among the Oromo people.
Oromo has a rich culture fostered by its big population size and unique socio-political organization. Oromos are among the few nations that developed the most complex egalitarian democracy of their own, called the Gada system. Gadaa is a highly developed and self-sufficient system which has influenced every aspect of Oromo life until the end of the 20th century when they fell under Abyssinian colony. Under the Gada system, the power to administer the affairs of the nation and the power to make laws belong to the people. Practicing this unique and home grown democratic system was banned in Ethiopian empire for over 100 years. However, Oromos have kept their ceremonial and cultural aspects against all the odds until now. Read more about Gadaa system under Oromo Democracy.