Shout-out to Board Member Rufo Jiru

  • Posted on: 18 October 2020
  • By: minnesotangos

Celebrate with us! Our very own MINN Board Member Rufo Jiru received the Outstanding Refugee Award for Civic Engagement from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.


Among many things, Rufo Jiru is an advocate for women in her community. She came to the United States in 1993 as a refugee from Oromia, Ethiopia, and has been working tirelessly to be a voice for Oromo women.  

“In my culture, people don’t feel like advocacy is important, but it is. Some women are not educated, or they are shy, which is why they are not speaking up for themselves. Somebody has to speak up for them.”

Jiru originally learned about MINN from a simple Google search. She was visiting Ethiopia when she was given the advice to connect with international NGOs upon her return to the US as she wanted to work in the international development space. So she did her research and joined MINN as a Board Member. 

“Since I joined the MINN board, I’ve met a lot of energetic globally-minded people who want to work for good and change lives. I’ve had the opportunity to learn about a lot of other NGOs that have been making a difference. I previously served on the Board of Oromo Community of Minnesota and I am currently on the Board of HIRPHA International which founded by a group of Oromo diaspora individuals. I am passionate about actively participating and giving my time to nonprofits with missions of making positive differences in global communities.”

Jiru finds her hope from Anole Sisters, an organization she founded where Oromo women can come together to provide support for one another. “We always get together in person, over Zoom, or on the phone. The door is always open for me to go to them anytime.” Her goal is to extend Anole Sisters beyond local communities to Ethiopia in partnership with HIRPHA International.  

We’re so proud of Jiru’s accomplishments and hard work! You can read more about the award here.


Interested in international development work? Want to be part of a community passionate about doing global good, better? Apply now to be on MINN's Board of Directors by November 1.