A Young Boy named Max recently wrote an outstanding essay that won a contest on behalf of OMO CHILD. We wanted to share his essay:
Thank you Max! From The OMO CHILD Team
Once upon a time there was a boy named Lale Labuko who lived in the Omo River Valley in Ethiopia, Africa. At the age of 12 young Lale was sent to school. This was a big deal. Lale and some of his friends were the first kids in his tribe to attend school. They had to walk. The walk was about 60 miles and took about 3 days time. Because it was so far away, this school required students to live there, sort of like boarding school today. When Lale was 15 years old he came home to visit his family and he saw a baby being taken away from its mother and the mother was crying. Suddenly Lale wondered why that was happening. So he asked his mother. His mother explained to Lale that the baby was declared mingi wich means ‘bad luck’ or ‘cursed’ to the tribe and the baby had to be left to die. After that experience Lale thought that they should not do that to little kids. So from that point on Lale Labuko vowed to change the tribal law and save the babies who were being abandoned. Later he started OmoChild.
OmoChild Foundation is a non-profit charity that cares for the children that Lale and his organization save from being abandoned or sacrificed. Instead they are loved, educated and are given a safe environment to live in. There are many types of Mingi, such as when a baby is born out of wedlock or when a child’s top teeth grow in before their bottom teeth. Also, in these tribes twins are considered bad luck so both babies would be considered Mingi. Once children are considered Mingi, the tribe will not take them back into the tribe because they believe that it would bring bad luck and hurt the whole tribe. Having a Mingi child is like having a child with an incurable disease. It is a tragedy for the families. OmoChild picks up Mingi babies and educates them with the hope that one day they will become the leaders of their community. Then they can explain to the tribe that no children are bad luck and that parents do not have to suffer the trauma of losing a child to Mingi. As a result of Lale’s hard work, last summer OmoChild successfully convinced the Kara tribal elders to stop the practice of Mingi. He continues to work to stop Mingi in the other two tribes of the area.
OmoChild has successfully saved 37 children. Here are a few of the children they have saved: Kero at the age of five was determined teeth mingi because her top teeth came in before her bottom teeth. She was rescued by OmoChild in 2008. Kero is a friendly, young, intelligent girl and because of her maturity Kero often helps take care of the younger kids. Terefe was rescued at the age of two in 2009 and is now living in the Omo child home. Terefe was extremely dehydrated when he was rescued but was brought to the hospital immediately and overnight he gained weight and is now safe and sound in the hands of OmoChild. The last child I will show you and tell you about is a child named Lale Chicha. Young Lale was rescued in early November of last year. His mother was forced to leave him out to die in a hut because he was born out of wedlock. Lale was rushed to the hospital because he was starving, and after a three week stay in the hospital he was finally healthy again and brought back to the home. OmoChild deserves to be donated to because this charity does not have the advantage of being publicized or the benefit of a wealthy company backing it up like other charities do. OmoChild gives pretty much all the money it raises to the care of the OmoChild kids. They are a small charity that has one paid part time employee and a handful of volunteers. Both my Dad and my Mom are volunteers. It costs about $270 a month to support each child. So, any money that we raise from this garage sale will help this charity immensely. Just think, by selling our old stuff, we can help 37 children get an education and grow up to change the world.