To Save a Child

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.

 John Rowe and friends 

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.

 Lale Labuko, founder of OMO Child

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.
http://www.omochild.org

Lale and his wife Gido

Steve McCurry in the Omo Valley

 

129 Responses to “To Save a Child”

  1. my favourite series, thank you very much

  2. Lammii Oromoo Says:

    This is good documentary! I liked it too much!

  3. rajeshblack Says:

    Amazing photographs …

  4. I enjoy the knowledge on your websites. With thanks.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Such a great theme

  6. Steve, wonderful images…I am so impressed and moved by your work. Fantastic.

  7. Steve, have you ever heard of the Witch Children of Africa?

    It is a documentary….

    I would love to see a post with children from all socioeconomic levels and cultures, with quotes by children famous or not ( ie, the little prince, your neighbor’s kid).

    You inspire me.

  8. [...] 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 [...]

  9. so impressive…… so realistic …. nice :) Philippine tourist spots

  10. good taking of pictures. high quality. ^_^ there is 1 picture that a very big mouth is that real?

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for sharing! Regards

  12. What wonderful photos and a poweful way to send your important message

  13. It’s heartbreaking to know that their are children who have a very beautiful future ahead that suffers such things. God Speed in your mission! Thank you for such post!

    Got to point out though, your photos are awesome! Very rich in color.

  14. Who ever took your photo – the last one has done a fantastic job! Lale is also doing great work! Need we say anything about the photos?

  15. [...] 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 [...]

  16. grandioso Steve!!! maravilhoso como sempre!!!

  17. Thank you for bringing posting them in WordPress to bring awareness on other parts of the world. Your presence there makes a big difference. God Bless you.

  18. This is an amazing project! I hope you don’t mind but I’ve just reblogged. I probably should have asked you first! Don’t know the etiquette but I was so moved by what you are doing I had to share it. Thank you for your fine work

  19. Reblogged this on loupollard and commented:
    This is an incredible project. Let’s help these guys save chlidren

  20. IFA ZEWDE Says:

    ITHIOPIA

  21. [...] os textos mais importantes e com maior impacto sobre os leitores, McCurry cita sua aventura na Etiópia juntamente com John Rowe para registrar um trabalho que está sendo feito para combater o mingi (abandono de crianças [...]

  22. [...] can follow any responses to Steve McCurry entry through theRSS 2.0 feed You can LEAVE A RESPONSE, or TRACKBACK from your own [...]

  23. [...] 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 [...]

  24. [...] 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 [...]

  25. [...] 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 [...]

  26. [...] 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 [...]

  27. [...] 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 [...]

  28. [...] 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 [...]

  29. [...] 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 [...]

  30. [...] It was a privilege to go to the Omo Valley in Ethiopia with my friend, John Rowe, to photograph the work he is doing [...]

  31. [...] 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 [...]

  32. [...] 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 [...]

  33. Reblogged this on Miss Moiety and commented:
    On a more serious note, be moved

  34. Your work moves me. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the degree of emotion and thought it provokes – which I think means you’ve probably succeeded.

  35. that it is… moving.

  36. Reblogged this on Sapna's Blog and commented:
    Story-telling with photographs at it’s best. Hope the tribes stop the ‘mingi’ tradition soon

  37. [...] dispuestos a contribuir con proyectos que tengan esta finalidad. Hace unas semanas veíamos en el blog de Steve McCurry al prestigioso fotógrafo norteamericano pedir ayuda para la fundación Omo Child que pretende [...]

  38. petit4chocolatier Says:

    Inspiring work! A picture is worth a thousand words!

    I hope you don’t mind if I reblog this link on my new reblog tastings page? It is so enlightening and precious!

  39. [...] "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 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 softwarefor digital media and the entertainment industry. He has also devoted a tremendous amount of time, energy, andfinancial 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.  [...]

  40. These are simply amazing.

  41. Wonderfull!

  42. i am speechless…

  43. What powerful photographs. I had never heard of Mingi before, thank you for informing me and others. I am so thankful for people like you and Lale.
    I was stopped in my tracks by the picture of the man with the disk in his lip. Does anyone know the purpose of this practice or what it is called?

  44. Anonymous Says:

    its so beautiful photography that pictures speaking thousand words and telling there unrivaled story’s i just love each and every picture on this blog

  45. @Sajith
    yes that picture bothered me the most, I was like :How is that possible?!?!
    I wonder why they do it, it looks very painful!

  46. CHANDAN D.N.GAONKAR Says:

    SUPERB IMAGES…!

  47. Beautiful people captured with your fantastic shots! Thank you for bringing awareness. – barbara

  48. It’s nice work i really like

  49. Its really nice amazing photographs! Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

  50. Mohamed Saed Says:

    In the South Indian State, Kerala, often called as God’s own country due to its greener and natural beauty , there is a group of human beings called Naayaadis. They are like nomads wearing dirty clothes and feed on tortoise found in ponds. When one of them once apporached me asking “for change’, I offered him a chair and asked him to sit but he refused to sit,though I compelled him to do so. As a token of expression of their thanks, they howl like dogs reminicent of the word NAAYA in their name which in local langauge means dog. Some of them know me and come to me when I go on vacation in my native place in Kerla. Since I had told them that I could not bear them behaving like dogs, they never howl . Once one of them even begged me to allow him to howl but I told him that if he did so I would l never see him again . I asked one of the social workers why these people are still in the stone age, he said he couldn’t help it . Though Kerala government has taken measure to improve their lives, l they are still far away from the soceity.

  51. Hi Steve. I hope you are ok.

    I do not know if you remember me. I gave you in FOTOGENIO Murcia a Photo from me from valley Omo titled ” Mara ”

    Mara is a girl from a little Arbore village. I won a very important national contest with this photo and I went back to give Mara´s family 4 goats. He made me a party under a fully moon. What a incredible night. Thanks for tell us all this information. Thanks a lot.

  52. Anonymous Says:

    thanks a lot!

  53. These are so incredibly stunning I can’t believe it! I’m a wordpress blogger but found your blog on the ONE Moms Facebook page. I am working with ONE Moms and other social good organizations to help spread the word about what is happening around the world. Amazing, amazing photographs! Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

  54. Anonymous Says:

    Great post. Thanks!

  55. Anonymous Says:

    Nerve wracking scenes. I was born in the South Indian State of Kerala witnessing exploitatiion of the low caste people by greeedy land lords but that was fifty years ago. Now due to the support of the government, their condition has improved and they are almost equally treated. Around 45 years ago I went to a rural area in Tamil Nadu State( formerly known as Madras ) accompanying a relative who ran a teashop there. I was shocked to find low caste people being barred from entering the shop. They had to bring bottles or bowls and wait outside to get tea or snacks though they paid the same price. God bless those who risk their own lives to server those down trodden human beings

  56. So sorry not to be able to find and use right words in english, so I answer in french.

    Bien evidement, incroyables, sublimes photos qui malgrès la beauté et la qualité de leur réalisation, ne peuvent que nous envoyer en plein visage et au plus profond de nos ames la triste réalité du quotidien de ces tribus. Il me parait impossible pour quelqu’un de normalement constiué de ne pas être touché et ne pas réagir en aidant, même le plus modestement ces formidables personnes qui oeuvrent pour cette misère du monde. Bravo à eux et félicitations pour leur dévouement.

    Spécial thanks for John Rowe that I am very proud to be his friend
    YAN.

    YAN.

  57. Great work, and great meanining of helping people.
    I always like Your photos, are particular and are moments of great reward.
    Thanks so much!

  58. wonderful pictures, congratulations for this job
    people who care people, is magic in this crazy world

  59. Your personal values and your approach to your causes sets an excellent example for anyone, thank you for sharing.

  60. Magical pictures, wonderful Ethiopia, beautiful people … excellent portraits..and great Steve.

  61. nokia c3…

    [...]To Save a Child « Steve McCurry's Blog[...]…

  62. Hasan Raza Says:

    wonderfull Ethiopia, beautifull people and great Steve. and engaging work

  63. Thanks for sharing this article. Good luck to John, Lale and you in your effort to save OMO children.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

  64. Reblogged this on Cosmic Travel Hub and commented:
    One of the best work from a story teller, Artist and Photojournalist. It is always a privilege to get the opportunity for having a look at Steve McCurry’s work. A must read blog.

  65. Reblogged this on and commented:
    საოცარია ამ კაცის ყველა ფოტო!

  66. Patti Wade Zint Says:

    How often we are all so caught up in our own high tech world that we forget what is there so close yet so far from us. These beautiful children’s photos are poignant reminders. May God bless the OMO children with a better, kinder, and more hopeful future…and bless you for sharing.

  67. Even in this day and age, such practices are prevelant in many a tribal communities. How do we help these communities to change their beliefs and leave behind those practices that are inhuman, yet not urbanize them so as to preserve their best practices that is adding so much value to the world! Wonderful initiative this…

    Fostering belonging and facilitiating. Thanks Steve for enlightening.

    Belonging is a powerful emotion and that drives most of our actions in life… inspired by your work, here is my exploration of belonging – http://sreeniviews.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/i-me-my-mine-belonging-and-possessing/

  68. Even in this day and age, such practices are prevelant in many a tribal communities. How do we help these communities to change their beliefs and leave behind those practices that are inhuman, yet not urbanize them so as to preserve their best practices that is adding so much value to the world! Wonderful initiative this…

    Fostering belonging and facilitiating. Thanks Steve for enlightening.

    Belonging is a powerful emotion and that drives most of our actions in life… inspired by your work, here is my exploration of belonging – httphttp://sreeniviews.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/i-me-my-mine-belonging-and-possessing/

    kindly bless. Thanks

  69. I is good to see how the beauty of photography can serve those in need, Steve. Then, it really can make a difference.

  70. Veronique Cometti Says:

    Thank you! Thank you for sharing!
    A small group of us have already started to work to help fundraising for OMO CHILD by organizing presentations by John targeting young people in our community of San Diego.
    We are a small group but I truly delieve in this quote by Margaret Mead that says, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
    And committed we are!
    Veronique

  71. These images are revealing, alarming, captivating, incredibly beautiful, and somehow compassionate and generous. It is not possibly to look at them seriously and not be drawn to support what is essential and sustaining for the Omo Valley. Thank you.

  72. Thank you for all you do, Steve. And for this eye-opening documentation of a kind of human life that we can’t even begin to fathom., although it’s only some thousands of miles away on the same Spaceship Earth (Buckminster Fuller). I can only admire these people

  73. Marvellous photos and project! Didn’t know about this terrible practise!
    DANI
    http://www.daniplanaslabad.com

  74. last summer I made ​​a trip to Ethiopia in the Omo Valley to see these shots makes me relive the experience are my favorite photographer and I try every time I look at your shot to learn something.
    thanks

  75. These are some great pictures and this is a noble cause. Thank you for helping to raise awareness about it.

  76. Tremenda situazione. Seguo da anni queste ingiuste ed umilianti pratiche.
    Solo un grande uomo può lasciare trasparire la propria anima con la propria professione.
    Tu riesci a trasmetterci con i tuoi scatti, l’intera storia. E la realtà.
    Grazie
    Gabry

  77. Caro Sr Steve,
    è terrivel ver que do que o ser humano é capaz, mas é tambem maravilhoso saber que pessoas como o Sr e sr Lale e o sr john lutam para que possamos viver em um mundo mais justo e digno e mais humano ,precisamos todos nos engajar nessa luta
    abraço
    Milton

  78. Ravi Mishra Says:

    Beautiful, excellently presenting words. After a long time sum thing new. I am happy to know the initiative of Lale. Thank you Steve for sharing us these Beautiful pictures.

  79. I never tire of seeing your photos. Just stunning once again.

  80. thank you for your vision. Thank you for sharing.

  81. pinguinainitalia Says:

    Thank you for the stunning photograps and for raising awareness regarding this tribal practice. As the proud and lucky Mom of an Ethiopian-born son, I am deeply moved and saddened and hope the Omo organization can bring save as many children as possible and try to bring a stop to the infanticide.

  82. Powerful images, thanks for sharing..

  83. Sarah-Jane Says:

    Simply amazing!

  84. pinguinainitalia Says:

    As the lucky Mom of an Ethiopian born son, thank you for the wonderful, stunning photographs and for bringing to our attention this tribal practice that must be stopped.

    Anna in Italy

  85. Anonymous Says:

    As the mom of an Ethiopian born son, this post moves me and saddens me. My son is from the Oromo region and I am the luckiest mom in the world. Your photographs are utterly breathtaking. Thank you for sharing…I’m reposting on facebook to spread the word and stop this terrifying tribal practice.

    Anna

  86. Tania Themmen Says:

    wow

  87. Mingi is terrible, but I am bothered by this picture:

    Why do they do that? Is there a name to it?

  88. Swati Chakraborty Says:

    God Please Help Them!! beautiful Shots! Thanks for posting!!

  89. Haijo de Jong Says:

    Beautiful pictures!. You are really a great photographer. With your photos you show the beauty of this planet and the needs of people. I sincerely hope that it will open the eyes of many people.

  90. Amy Ralston Says:

    Wonderful message with words but best understood with your talented images. Thank you for this! I will spread the message because of it’s importance and I am stepmother to two boys from Ethiopia. Steve, you give inspiration without words. Thank you, from France!

  91. With tears, praise and prayers. God bless you.

  92. Wow! Beautiful photographs!

  93. The photos are beautiful. I love how you use your talent to awaken the world. Thank you for that.

  94. Connie Jensen Says:

    Thank you so much for helping to bring this story to the world’s attention. To look into the eyes and faces of these people, with their penetrating gazes, is to be drawn in… this is very moving – and as always, beautiful images.

  95. Thanks for your fantastic blog with breath taking photos. Keep up the good work. God bless. Rekha

    Sent from my iPad

  96. Sally Smith Says:

    Beautiful, stirring, engaging work.

  97. Claudette Gravel Says:

    Those pictures are powerful. And the story very sad, but hopeful as somebody is caring enough to bring it to the public. I will share this with my Facebook friends. I did not know this custom, the tribal ritual of Mingi, existed, as probably most of the world… Thank you for bringing it to our attention and my prayers go to those children, the people who take care of them, to John Row, Lale Labuko and to you…

  98. [...] "CRITEO-300×250", 300, 250); 1 meneos Colección de fotos de niños del mundo del fotógrafo Steve McCurry stevemccurry.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/to-save-a-child-3/  por arenanegra hace [...]

  99. Dear Mr McCurry…Still, it is difficult for me to understand….What can be mingi? At the beguinning I thought you were talking about being albine, …But if it is not based in something physical or sexual…That means it is absolutely aleatory and difficult to fight against…
    Love the pic with the boy running and the sun at his back…I think it can be like a promise for a better future!!!

  100. Mi mas sincera enhorabuena,tiene un trabajo espectacular!!!! soy admiradora de el.

  101. Reblogged this on Oxford School of Photography and commented:
    As always, startling pictures worth all the time you have to give them

  102. It is sad to think that people leave their infants to die in the desert for whatever reason… But, then people kill infant girls in my country all the time. When will humans actually become civilized?

  103. Reblogged this on The Cake Revolution and commented:
    amazing work, as usual!

  104. Thank you Steve, amazing images, very emotional. Love getting your blogs every week.

  105. Beautiful and thought provoking pictures as always.

  106. I have never even heard of Mingi before reading this. How absolutely apalling and cruel. How can these people kill their own children? Especially for such simplistic and backward reasons? It’s insane. Thank you so much for enlightening me yet again.

    All of these children are beautiful, just beautiful. Your portraits of them let their beauty shine.

  107. Paolo S Says:

    Inspiring as usual, in love with what you make us “see”

  108. wonderfull Ethiopia, beautifull people and great Steve.

  109. I think I feel like everyone above, who has viewed these immensely sad and beautiful photographs. The W.B.Yeats quote immediately comes to mind: “All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty was born”. I really believe this is some of Steve’s best work, not so much the photographs, but their emotional power and the portrayal of stillness that exists at the centre of all our lives.

  110. Tremendous John Rowe. If its Ok I would like to reblog and translate the post. Let me know what you think please.

    Thanks,

    Juan

  111. Anonymous Says:

    love your blog

  112. Beautiful Steve!!

  113. The story behind this fascinating pictures is unbelievable! Difficult to understand that we really share the same planet! Thanx for this unic pics!
    Greatings Sophie

  114. Raimo Filomena Says:

    Meravigliose immagini,che ci portano a conoscenza di una realtà a molti sconosciuta.Grazie Steve !

  115. gostaria muito de viver na africa obrigado por mostrar um pouco pra nos.

  116. Lovely as usual ..inspired…such a great contrast to cities where people are wrapped in stiffness plastic…

  117. thank you for sharing again x

  118. Seeing a new post from you in the inbox is like spying a carefully-wrapped present. Although I don’t know what’s inside, I am sure that it will be enriching and memorable.

    There are so many amazing images here; your genius and sensitivity merge once again! I will forward this to many friends, though featuring it in an upcoming post will give it a larger audience. Perhaps many more WordPress bloggers will join me in sharing this with our readers. What method do you recommend?

    Thank you for being you!

    Z

  119. Magical pictures, that as usual stopped my day in its tracks.

  120. Heartbreaking yet hopeful. Beautiful portraits. Thank you, Steve!

  121. I’m sad but uplifted by this beautiful and very moving group of photos showing us the faces of real children who need the world to really see them and then be a part of all that can be done to make a difference.

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