Children

Kero, 11 years old

Kero

11 years old

Kero was born in Asile, about 40 kilometers away from the tribal villages of the Omo. Kero was denoted as “Teeth Mingi,” meaning her top teeth came in before her bottom teeth. This is considered a bad omen and can often lead to children being declared by the tribal elders as Mingi. Kero was not with her family when she was rescued by OMO CHILD. In rare cases and at great risk, parents or community members who disagree with the Mingi custom will separate children away from their families for protection. This was Kero’s case. In 2008, OMO CHILD rescued her at the age of five. The village elders waited until her milk teeth fell out and her adult teeth grew in before they marked her as Mingi. Kero is a very friendly young girl who takes responsibility at the OMO CHILD home, often helping the nannies with the younger children. She is seen as a leader amongst the children and was voted the “chief” of her school! Kero is sweet in nature, often taking on the task of helping the smaller children wash their hands or helping the babies eat. She considers the children of the home her brothers and sisters and treats them as such. Her teachers at school denote her as a joyful girl, always interested in learning new things, and she is known at the home for eating her vegetables without nudging.

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Terefe, 7 years old

Terefe

7 years old

Terefe (Tere-eh-feh) was rescued at the age of two in 2009 by OMO CHILD. He is a remarkable child who was born in the Bena tribe. During this time, the Bena were split in half; part of the community wanted to end the practice of Mingi whilst the other part wanted to keep it alive. Therefore, Terefe was allowed to live while the tribe decided. He survived on a small amount of food for, what we estimate was, up to a year. When OMO CHILD found him, he was very dehydrated, skinny, and suffering. The co-founder of OMO CHILD, Lale Labuko, brought him to the OMO CHILD home where he was immediately taken to the Jinka hospital. He was very sick and received treatment for extreme illness and starvation. In an amazing way, he started gaining weight and is now a very healthy and happy boy. OMO CHILD takes pride in Terefe’s unique story. He is the jokester of the OMO CHILD home, often pinching the kids to make them laugh. He attends “Timrhetbet” which is the Amharic (Ethiopian) equivalent to Kindergarten. He walks to school daily with the rest of his OMO CHILD peers and is a favorite of his teachers for his sense of humor.

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Ruth, 4 years old

Ruth

4 years old

Ruth was a baby girl born to the Kara tribe in 2010. She was marked by Kara elders as “Girl Mingi,” meaning she was born out of wedlock. On her third day of life, Ruth was brought to the OMO CHILD home by her family and community. She is a lucky case as she arrived healthy to the OMO CHILD staff. She is now a happy and healthy four year old bringing joy to every person she meets. Ruth is constantly smiling and an amazing toddler. She is very clever even though she is young. Ruth plays a game with her nannies: she hides her bottle and snatches another from the children, saving her milk for later. Ruth is known as the “adorable cheater” at the home because she is very charming and smart.

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Mago, 11 years old

Mago

11 years old

Mago was born in the town Deimeka and was age five when she was rescued by OMO CHILD in 2008. Mago was deemed Teeth Mingi, and has a gap in her teeth which is a symbol of beauty in her culture. She is a very loving child and known by her school teachers as very smart. She loves people and being around them. As an older child, she is supportive and helps the nannies care for the other children.

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Kulo, 9 years old

Kulo

9 years old

Kulo is from the town of Turmi. He was rescued by OMO CHILD around the age of five, in 2008. Lale Labuko, the Co-Founder of OMO CHILD, brought Kulo to the children’s home himself. Kulo is a very calm child, well disciplined, and very friendly with all the children. Kulo is also an athletic child who loves to run, play, and his favorite activities are sports in the yard.  He is very determined in all the activities he undertakes.

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Lale, 4 years old

Lale

4 years old

Lale was born in the Kara Dus village, Southwest Ethiopia, in the Omo River Valley. He was born to a mother who experienced “Girl Mingi,” either unwed or unable to pay an expensive dowry in order to keep her child. Lale was born on November 2, 2010 and rescued by Lale Labuko and the OMO CHILD staff. Lale Labuko named Lale Chicha after his rescue. After his mother gave birth, she was forced by Kara elders to leave baby Lale alone in a hut, with no water or milk. Lale Labuko heard about this child’s birth and drove to Dus village, rescuing him to the OMO CHILD children’s home. When he arrived at the children’s home in Jinka, he was very ill and weak because of starvation. Immediately, Lale Labuko ordered the car to take him to Addis Ababa (the capital city of Ethiopia) to the hospital. Gido Sura (Lale’s wife) went with baby Lale to Addis and stayed with him in the hospital for three weeks. During his time, baby Lale became healthy, receiving excellent treatment by the hospital and OMO CHILD staff who nurtured him. Now, Lale Chicha is a very happy boy and growing well. Lale Chicha loves his nanny, is known for his cheerful nature, and loves to play.  Lale Chicha is known in the children’s home for being very cute. He has a calm personality and we can see by his big smile that he is a playful toddler.

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Daniel, 4 years old

Daniel

4 years old

Daniel Taye was born in the Kara tribe’s Dus village. He was born to a mother who experienced Woman Mingi (When couples are married but do not have their pregnancy blessed and approved.) Daniel was rescued in February of 2011 by Ariyo Dore and Feyissa Babur of OMO CHILD. When Daniel’s mother was giving birth, the tribal elders came to her home and said they had to kill the child. Daniel’s mother spoke with the elders, asking that she be able to give the child to OMO CHILD instead. OMO CHILD was able to rescue Daniel and has nurtured him since 2011. Daniel Taye is very happy boy and growing well. He loves his nannies and has very kind personality. He is very playful and energetic, always enjoying play time with his OMO CHILD family.

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Zino, 7 years old

Zino

7 years old

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Abi, 8 years old

Abi

8 years old

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Alma, 6 years old

Alma

6 years old

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Erbo, 8 years old

Erbo

8 years old

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Tensai, 3 years old

Tensai

3 years old

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Jessica, 3 years old

Jessica

3 years old

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Yeabsera, 4 years old

Yeabsera

4 years old

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Samson, 4 years old

Samson

4 years old

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Gideon, 3 years old

Gideon

3 years old

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Genet, 10 years old

Genet

10 years old

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Kulo, 10 years old

Kulo

10 years old

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Shoma, 3 years old

Shoma

3 years old

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Musse, 6 years old

Musse

6 years old

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