For the past several years the Hamer Tribe has been encouraged to keep all mingi children in their villages. About 18-months ago, some Hamer villages stopped killing their children while others continued the practice. One village in the mountains near Dimeka, Ethiopia reluctantly complied with the government mandate to stop killing the mingi children and to let them live in the village.
Last week was a very sad and painful week for that Hamer village. After allowing the mingi children to live in the village, the Hamer elders decided to kill all 10 children identified as mingi. The elders blamed these children for bad things that had happened in their community. One night after a meeting, the elders of the village began killing the mingi children. Roving gangs went hut to hut seizing the children and taking them into the bush to be killed. People in the village were screaming and crying. It was a horrific scene.
Two fathers heard the screams and grabbed their daughters (ages 1 ½ and 3 ½) and fled. As they ran with their daughters several of the elders saw them escaping and gave chase. The elders began firing their AK-47’s at the fleeing fathers and daughters. The fathers returned fire and a gunfight ensued.
As the pursuing elders took cover, the fathers fled into the bush and into the night. Hours later they made their way to the Dimeka police station. The local government security and the “Women and Children’s Affairs” administrators gave them sanctuary. The government administrators contacted Omo Child and asked us to help by rescuing these children. Omo Child immediately dispatched our rescue team and now the children are receiving medical care and will slowly be integrated into the Omo Child home.
When the time is right, the fathers will return to the village and ask the elders for forgiveness. The families of the rescued children are welcome to visit the home any time. However, for now that will not be possible because the elders believe that anyone who visits the mingi children will bring the curse back to the village.
Today, we welcome Leka (1 ½) and Kaja (3 ½) to the Omo Child home.
Omo Child continues to work with the local Ethiopian government to end mingi.
Today, Omo Child provides love, care and education for 47 children.
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