Tuluu Dimmitu Foundation of Sioux Falls, SD raised about $250,000 to to build a school in the village of Rira, southern Oromia region of Ethiopia. However, the political crisis in the country has hindered foundation from putting the good cause in action.

By John Hult (Argus Leader) |

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.―Mustafa Godi wants to build a school in his home village of Rira, Ethiopia, and he’s not the only one.

The Sioux Falls resident’s Tuluu Dimmitu Foundation has support from the 2,500 or so Oromo Ethiopians who live in the city, and from a handful of others who’ve followed the plight of the country from the peaceful prairie.

The group would also like to offer village children scholarships, as schooling ends at eighth grade without them.

Even if they raised the $250,000 needed for the school, there’s little they can do now.

There’s too much chaos in the country.

“We have to wait until things changed,” Mustafa Godi, President of Tuluu Dimmitu Foundation, said over the weekend. “Everything’s stopped.”

The people of Ethiopia’s Oromia region have been under the thumb of the federal government since mandatory resettlements outside the capital of Addis Ababa sparked an Oromo uprising in 2015.

Since then, hundreds of thousands across the country have been displaced, jailed or killed.

That’s why Godi, his brother, Godi Boku, and several other members of Sioux Falls’ Oromo community visited the offices of Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds and Rep. Kristi Noem last week.

The Oromo community in South Dakota wants its congressional delegation to vote for a pair of resolutions designed to pressure Ethiopia’s ruling party to release prisoners and end the bloodshed. A briefing on the resolutions is scheduled to take place this week in Washington, D.C.

The same issue drove protests in Sioux Falls over the last three years.

“We’re trying to be a voice for voiceless people,” Boku said.

The issue is personal for Boku, both as an Ethiopian expatriate and a taxpaying U.S. citizen: The aid that flows from his adopted home to the leaders of his ancestral one comes out of his pocket.

“It’s like I’m paying to kill my people,” Boku said.

Continue reading this story at Argus Leader
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