8-16-12 / Historic Kara “End of Mingi” Ceremony

Sebastian, our Co-Founder’s assistant traveled to Ethiopia to help photograph and document the historic “End of Mingi” ceremony.  These are some of his wonderful comments about the pictures he snapped on the historic day.
Sebastian: “The July 14th ceremony held in Dus Village officially ended the senseless practice of Mingi in the Kara tribe.  Elders gave speeches asking for rain to come to their land. Right at the end of the ceremony, it started pouring rain! It was really cool!  So that is why the pics include rain shots.   The wooden “gate” like structure in the photos is the Mingi gate or door.  The ceremony was done right in front of it.  It is where any Mingi related culture has to take place.  The elders gathered, gave speeches, slaughtered a sheep, cooked it and ate it.  After they all tasted the meat the change is official. Immediatley after,  is when the storm came and poured all over Dus village!  The elders all took it as a blessing, and that what they had done was the right thing to do.”
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7-14-12 / Mingi Eliminated in the Kara Tribe Offically!

Kara Tribal Elder in Dus Village. Photograph by Susan Hack.


Hello Friends,

We are very excited to announce that Kara tribal elders have offically ended the practice of Mingi in their tribe today, July 14th. There was a large ceremony held in Dus Village today to offically end the practice. Both of our Omo Child founders attended the ceremony. We will post pictures and deatils about today’s historic event as soon as we receive them back here in the US.  It’s important to note, that even though tremendous progress was made today in the Omo Valley,  there are still 45,000 Hamar people that still practice Mingi. We are committed to seeing Mingi eliminated in the Omo Valley, and will continue to raise awareness. Most importantly, we have 37 beautiful children living in our OMO CHILD shelter that need YOUR donations and support. Please help us continue to help the children and continue our mission to eliminate Mingi in the Omo Valley.

Very Best,

Omo Child Staff









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7-05-12 / OMO CHILD News from our Co-Founder, John Rowe

John Rowe’s “Omo Woman and Child” Southwest Ethiopia, 2009

Hello Friends,

In a few days I depart for Ethiopia for what may be the most important trip of my life. OMO CHILD has convinced the elders of the Kara tribe to stop killing mingi children, and I have been invited to attend the ceremony. For the next two months I will be living and working with a team in the Omo Valley and will be a guest of the Kara tribe. We will be participating in their historic ceremony on July 14th to stop Mingi, the killing of children.

Lale Labuko, the Co-Founder of OMO CHILD has been working towards this historic day since he was fifteen years old. When Lale was fifteen, he learned he had two older sisters that were born “Mingi,” and were thrown in the bush to die. Since then, he hasn’t gone a day without thinking about how he could stop the senseless practice of Mingi. For the last four years Lale has used his education to raise awareness and educate others about Mingi. He has worked hard to organize the Kara youth. He has encouraged them to engage in constructive dialogue with the Kara elders about ending Mingi. Lale is an amazing man, and at thirty years old, he’s just successfully completed his first year of college in the United States. Lale and his wife Gido are Co-Directors of the OMO CHILD shelters in Jinka, Ethiopia. There are 37 rescued children from 2 months to 10 years of age.

As happy as we are about the Kara tribe ending Mingi, there are approximately 45,000 Hamar people who continue the Mingi practice. Lale, always the ambassador and diplomat, has encouraged the Kara elders to invite the Hamar elders to the historic ‘Ending of Mingi Ceremony.’ We hope this will show the Hamar elders how to take a positive step into modern civilization. For me personally, I am very thankful there will not be anymore killing of Kara children.

Our work continues…
Please join OMO CHILD– $25.00 a month will change a child’s life.
Please visit: https://www.omochild.org for up-to-date OMO CHILD news.
OMO CHILD relies entirely on donor support.

YOUR MONTHLY donations are greatly needed and appreciated. To make a donation, please click here to go to our online donation page: https://www.stayclassy.org/checkout/donation?cid=5434 

Thank you for making a difference!

John Rowe Co-Founder OMO CHILD



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7-01-12 / OMO CHILD + Renowned Documentary Photographer Steve McCurry


Steve McCurry's "Afghan Girl," photographed in Peshawar, Pakistan in 1984

Steve McCurry’s “Afghan Girl,” photographed in Peshawar, Pakistan in 1984

Hello Friends,

Renowned National Geographic Documentary Photographer Steve McCurry To Visit OMO CHILD Home in Ethiopia

We are very excited – and honored – to announce that world-renowned documentary photographer Steve McCurry will be traveling to the Omo Valley with our Co-Founder John Rowe this July. Steve McCurry is highly celebrated for his iconic 1984 “Afghan Girl” cover photo taken while on assignment for National Geographic. This magnificent image quickly became the magazine’s most recognized photograph, and is one of the most memorable photos of the past century.

This will be Steve’s first trip to the Omo Valley where he will be photographing the tribes of the Omo and our 37 children in our OMO CHILD home in Jinka. Prints signed by Steve McCurry from the summer trip will be available for purchase on our website early this Fall. All proceeds from the sale of these prints will benefit OMO CHILD.

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7-01-12 / Kara Elders Meet To Discuss Ending Mingi

Kara tribe meets


Hello Friends,

We reached out on Monday via e-mail blast to all of our OMO CHILD supporters, and shared a very important progress update regarding the stopping of Mingi in the Kara tribe this summer. Today we want to share with you a few of the statements made by Kara tribal elders that were made after the landmark meeting between them and our Founder, Lale Labuko. Again, while we are happy and excited to report this progress, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to eliminate the practice from the valley altogether. There are 45,000 Hamar people that still practice Mingi; our goal is to continue our dialogue this summer with the Hamar tribe. For up-to-date information, please follow us on Facebook and check out our website http://www.omochild.org throughout the summer.

Kara Tribal Elder Statements:

Elder Mero Dobo: This organization brought a good help for Kara land. We have seen a good development since this organization established. But before that everybody was assumed that Lale brought curse to the Kara land.  However, we haven’t seen any curse both to the family and to the land. As I know so; far for the past four years nothing happen to the Kara land and family as well. But, last summer we discovered that Omo Child foundation became blessing for Kara land and we were astonished by John Rowe help which fed many families.  As Kara elder last summer was unique, learning moment and an unseen blessing in our lifetime.  Likewise, now we have a lot of rain in our land than before.  Therefore, I am personal I say this organization brought blessing for Kara land. Now we have a grass for our cattle and everywhere is green. Thus, Omo Child/ Lale: we accepted and we agree with your plan to stop mingi and to change the culture next month. Therefore, we are ready to change the culture and it is mostly right all your advise Lale, for most place and for most people to believe something on and existed for many years its very hard to break in short period of time. It takes time to understand new belief or idea. But in this case we are ready to change mingi practice to blessing. Likewise, we don’t have this knowledge and we think our ancestors were right and we an inherited this practice from our ancestors. That is why we kill the mingi children. Today as Kara elder I can say we ready for the change to avoid bad practice and only to keep useful tradition in Kara tribe. Lale you have been in different place and you have seen many good things now Lale we believe in you. Although, it’s not easy to bring change always needs sacrifice to bring sustainable development. Likewise, this culture has been developed over many centuries. So its hard to break down in one night or one day that why its took you four years to stop this practice but today we come to agreement to end this killing children from Kara land. I like all you speech and your Kara youth fellows speech in these week. In addition I felt like your speech was inspiring, honest and insightful for all of us.

Elder Hacha Arti;
Lale Labuko: we understood both you and your fellows plan. We learned from your speech, your speech is very touching and honest; it brought tears to my eyes. Specifically. You said, “ Life is precious, you can not buy or purchase somewhere in world.”  We discussed the same issue for four years since you open the children home in Jinka. This is our fifth day of meeting with you but we are tired discussing the same issues every year. I am personal say for Kara people its better to change the culture and to move forward to get development instead of stay under poverty.  We understood you Lale killing are not good practice it is bad practice. Also you explained today, that you have no space to take any more kids in Jinka.  It’s hard to take all mingi children and also we knew you can’t feed all the children from three tribes that will be heavy burden for you. So we accepted your idea and plan. We are ready to change the culture next month.

Elder Dido Dobo
Lale four years ago we agree with you to give all mingi children to your organization. As you told us four years ago  “ Please, give all mingi children to me in stead of killing let me be a bush, a river and a cliff I will take care of mingi children” As you requested we respected your request and we gave all the mingi children to your organization. Now you have more than 25 children from Kara tribe but nothing bad happen to family also to tribes land. Actually, we had blessing through your organization than we expected. Likewise, we have seen the mingi children are all grown health and no curse for the family and for our land as well.

Elder Sula Turguna:
Lale listen still I didn’t talk at any meeting even in government meeting this is my first day. This is my first meeting to say something about mingi. I am happy to have a chance to speak in front of you Lale and your fellows. Likewise, at this meeting has an essential message and also very good plan for Kara people. I am personal sad and disagree with killing the children, for instance as you said today to us“ All human beings has the right to live, human beings born free and equal in dignity and rights, and also all human beings has the right not be killed likewise justice for all” I like your saying and I love to quote your speech.  As Kara elder we are your fathers but we don’t have knowledge as you do to understand things. You are educated and you know better and this is your time. In the same way all youth are agree to fellow your path so we have no an ideas secession from youths. We agree with you and this is history in Kara land and to come agreement to end the killing mingi children in the tribe.  Lale you know better because you have been in America and other place and you have seen many teachable things. We as Kara elder we ready to learn from you. Please, teach us.

Elder Dore Lale:
Please, Lale listen: I am personal feel sad and regretted for all mingi children were killed in the past. For example, it’s very hard and painful for the mothers who carry the baby in womb for 9month. So that we accepted your advise and also we are ready to change the culture, please, bring you witness body to see when we do the culture change and no Mingi children would be killed in our land. Therefore, we ready to avoid our harmful traditional practice and to move another secession to attain development.

Elder Damo Bordo;
I’m elder and I am the father, all boys and girls are my children in Kara village. Last year we have concrete or solid decision not to listen for any body about mingi; because this culture scary and curse for our land. Also we were decided to fight anybody trying to stop this practice. You know Lale and you did many meetings with us and also with government for past four years but no an elder listen to you to change this culture at all. However, you never give, you continue giving us awareness to change the culture.  Eventually, we agree with you 100% to change this culture next month on July 14th 2012 that our date to you. I speak in behalf of all Kara elder: we decided today as Kara elder and we want to see for the coming years if it’s blessing or curse. Therefore, we recommended you: to bring all your witness, stalk holders’ means government and donors to see cultural change. Special, we invited John Rowe to be at the cultural change meeting day with us; because we as Kara we deserve change and we want all people around to see our decision.  We all say enough killing children we need a good name around the world. I am personal proud to stop this practice not only me all elders have the same opinion.  Please, Omo Child invite all important government body, other tribal elders, all Kara youth, and all Kara and an American donors to see our decision. We as Kara “we honest and we can do what we say and also we keep our word.”

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7-01-12 / OMO CHILD News

Almost a Mingi victimHello Friends,

It’s going to be a busy summer for OMO CHILD! We’ve made some tremendous progress regarding the elimination of Mingi in one of the tribes in the Omo Valley. Our Founder, Lale Labuko, has been on the ground in Ethiopia for the past two weeks, working with Kara tribal elders to end Mingi this summer. Kara tribal elders have agreed to Lale’s request after a difficult, four-year-long struggle to convince them. They have agreed to hold a ceremony this July that will officially eliminate the practice. John Rowe, Co-Founder of OMO CHILD, has been invited to this ceremony and will be filming the event, so that we can share this with you all. While we are happy and excited to report this progress, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to eliminate the practice from the valley altogether.  There are 45,000 Hamar people that still practice Mingi; our goal is to continue our dialogue this summer with the Hamar tribe. For up-to-date information, please follow us on Facebook and check out our website http://www.omochild.org throughout the summer.

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3-08-12 / Oh Baby! Baby Bundles

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11-28-11 / Baby Tensai


Baby Tensai

This baby girl was rescued by OMO CHILD staff and brought to the shelter in Jinka last week after two weeks of arguing and gamesmanship for her life between the elders of the Kara tribe and the local government. There was hope that the Kara elders would allow the child to live. Instead they wouldn’t allow the baby to be given food, only water. When a baby is born Mingi the child is under house arrest by the elders and watched until the Mingi child dies or is somehow rescued. Many Kara people want to stop this and they sneak milk to the baby when they can.

The photographer is Michele Zousmer, who shared her photographs and experiences from her recent trip to Jinka and the Omo Valley. Last week a group of friends of OMO CHILD met to hear Michele describe her visit to Jinka and the Omo River Valley. Our local OMO CHILD group, Ariyo, Gido, Gude and the entire staff at the homes in Jinka were wonderful hosts.

Michele really appreciated her time in Jinka with OMO CHILD. She said, “it was the highlight of her trip to southwest Ethiopia.” She reported that the children were clean and healthy and it was a loving and nurturing place. Gido, Sophia and all the women of OMO CHILD in Jinka who are providing the love and care for these children are very special people and doing an amazing job.

Most importantly one must pause and think about this little girl and what can be done to help. With the donations that are received and the work that is constantly being done, she and others are being given a chance at life. This is why OMO CHILD exists.

Please spread the word, even $25 a month helps. Join our cause where a monthly gift of $25, $50, or more can make real change. By becoming a monthly donor you will help us rescue these children and provide them with lifesaving care, nutrition, education and so much more. Every gift saves lives.

OMO CHILD needs your support. Please donate today!



We just want to share this wonderful photo of little baby Tensai after two months of being in our beloved Nannies care.  She doing absolutely great and growing stronger everyday! Tensai means resurrection in Amharic – she certainly is living up to her name!

Baby Tensai after two months of care at the Omo Child home

Baby Tensai after two months of care at the Omo Child home

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9-20-11 / Lale’s Update From Hampshire College

The First week of my class was pollution and our environment. I was very excited to hear about what we were going to learn and how it would relate to the issues we are facing in Ethiopia.

The second day we learned about how water becomes contaminated and the calculation PH (potential hydrogen) & H20(water) measurements of water temperature. We also tested pure water & acidic water. In the afternoon we drove out of the campus for several miles and stopped at a small river like stream to take water samples. We measure both the Temp, ORP (oxygen reduction potential), that means you measure with mill volts and EC (electro conductivity). After returning to the lab and performing our ICP-AES analysis of the water samples, the Calibration Curve came out perfect and we are very happy in our work and our first paper in Lab.

I am amazed with the American education system and how very helpful it is. Everyone has been very nice, and I have already met many new friends. I look forward to to bringing the knowledge I have learned back to Ethiopia and using it to help my people.

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9-09-11 / A Busy Summer

We have had a busy summer at Omo Child Foundation which began with a trip to Jinka,
Ethiopia and the Omo River Valley to film a documentary film about the 3 tribes of the
Omo who still practice Mingi, the killing of certain children who are believed cursed.

Bringing a film crew and the support team into a remote location like the Omo Valley
to film a movie is a challenging and expensive effort. We had an incredible crew who
worked in a challenging environment and dedicated themselves to making a film that
told the story of Lale Labuko, Mingi and the tribes.

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