It was a privilege to go to the Omo Valley in Ethiopia with my friend, John Rowe, to photograph
the work he is doing with Lale Labuko in their work to end the practice of mingi and to house
and shelter the mingi children who have already been rescued.
I met John in Burma a few years ago. He is a photographer and
successful businessman who has founded companies which develop software
for digital media and the entertainment industry.
He has also devoted a tremendous amount of time, energy, and
financial assistance to the work of Omo Child.
Lale was born into the Kara Tribe in the Omo River Valley.
He was one of the first of his tribe to receive a formal education.
That opportunity led him to realize the critical importance of ending the tribal ritual of Mingi.
Outlawing and stopping this devastating practice of Mingi is his life’s mission.
Mingi is the ritualistic killing of infants and children who are mingi
because they are considered impure or cursed.
A child can be mingi for many reasons, but once they are mingi they are
left alone in the desert without food and water or drowned in a river.
Once safely in the care of the loving and nurturing care of nannies at the Omo Child shelter,
they are fed, clothed, sheltered and educated.
The hope is that the rescued children will be future leaders in their communities and
will help raise awareness to help advocate the ending of the tribal practice of mingi.
The Omo River Valley is located in Southwest Ethiopia, Africa. It has been called “the last frontier” in Africa.
There are nine main tribes that occupy the Omo River Valley, with a population of approximately 225,000 tribal peoples.
The majority of the people living in the Omo River Valley live without clean drinking water and without medical care.
Please join me to help John and Lale rescue and care for these children.