We estimate at least 200-300 infants and children are killed every year due to the Mingi practice. Up until recently, three Omo Valley tribes practiced Mingi – the Kara, the Banna and the Hamer tribes. However, the Kara and Banna tribes have now committed to ending the practice. In fact, the efforts of Lale Labuko and OMO CHILD were instrumental in ending Mingi in Lale’s native Kara tribe last summer.
Unfortunately, the Hamer tribe, with an estimated population of 50,000 and more decentralized tribal governance, continues to practice Mingi. OMO CHILD continues talking to Hamer elders, mothers, young adults and government officials, educating and advocating for the end of Mingi.
Kara Tribe Ends Mingi
Lale Labuko and John Rowe were invited to attend the official Kara tribal ceremony in Dus village (deep in the Omo Valley), ending the practice of Mingi on July 14, 2012. There, John & Lale spoke with people in the tribes who have been directly affected by Mingi. They heard many heart-wrenching stories and saw first-hand the joy and relief that ending Mingi brought to the people of the Kara tribe.
In February 2013, John Rowe returned to Ethiopia and visited Dus village to meet the Kara tribe’s elders for the first time since they ended Mingi seven months earlier. John learned that since the ceremony, two children (who would have been considered Mingi and killed in the past) have been born. Both infants are alive & well, living in the village as accepted tribal members.
This was indeed confirmation that the Kara tribal culture had changed and finally ended the long tradition of infanticide. OMO CHILD was also honored by the Ethiopian Government with a special certificate for its work with the Kara tribe, and helping to end the practice of Mingi.