(A4O, October 18, 2013) After extensive consultation, over several months, with various segments of Oromo society, a group of community leaders, human rights activists, feminists, journalists and attorneys who are committed to the principle of democracy, human rights, freedom and justice, formed the Madda Walaabuu Media Foundation (MWMF).
According to Ayyaantuu.com, the foundation is committed to creating relevant media outlets (website, radio, TV, etc.) for the purpose of elevating knowledge about the Oromo people and its neighbors in the Horn of Africa. “The MWMF media outlets will specifically focus on the flagrant human right violations – past and present – against the Oromo people and other marginalized nationalities in the region.”
The name “Madda Walaabuu” encapsulates the deepest meaning enshrined in Oromo democratic values as manifested in its democratic institutions – Gadaa, Qaalluu, Ateete, Jaarsummaa. In Oromo language, the word Madda means “source” and the word Walabuu means “independence” and hence, the founders of MWMF adopted the name Madda Walaabuu to embody the essence of these values in this new critical initiative.
MWMF is a non-governmental, non-partisan, and non-profit organization, incorporated and registered in Washington, D. C., USA. It is operated by board of directors and administrative staff under the direction of Executive Director. The MWMF media outlets are run by experienced journalists. It is a membership based organization, which seeks the support and participation of all interested and committed Oromo and all persons of goodwill who have the desire to empower the Oromo, so that they can confront the 21st century in their own terms.
The Oromo, although constitute the most populace nationality in the Horn and Sub-Saharan Africa, – there are about 50 million Oromo in the region – have remained the invisible majority due to the legacy of conquest, colonization, and continued marginalization. At the present time, the Oromo people do not have access to any source of independent media, which has the capacity to inform, educate them about their basic needs and their fundamental rights. MWMF believes that having access to independent media is an essential requirement for the survival of any indigenous nation in the 21st Century.
MWMF is committed to creating relevant media outlets (website, radio, TV, etc.) for the purpose of elevating knowledge about the Oromo people and its neighbors in the Horn of Africa. The MWMF media outlets will specifically focus on the flagrant human right violations – past and present – against the Oromo people and other marginalized nationalities in the region. It will also work towards making people aware of their environment and social concerns like education, health and others. It proposes to engage the Oromo at home and abroad relative to the issues, which will have profound impact on their future.
In addition, it proposes to engage Oromo neighbors regarding common interests and common strategies in facing the 21stcentury. It will engage Oromo community leaders, human rights activities, journalists, feminists and scholars in promoting Oromummaa and Oromo national unity.