As soon as a newborn or small child is declared “mingi”, the child will be abandoned in the bush (where it will starve or die of dehydration) or drowned.
Between 200 and 300 children fall victim to this cruel superstition every year.
A particularly tragic aspect of the fate of mingi children is the fact that it affects innocent, healthy newborns or small children. Children may be already be up to 1 year old before they are declared mingi and so sentenced to death.
Children that develop their top teeth before their bottom teeth
Children resulting from a pregnancy or marriage that was not approved by tribal elders
Children born out of wedlock
Children born with a twin
Founder of the humanitarian organization “OMO Child Ethiopia”
Lale Labuko, an Ethiopian and member of the Kara tribe, lost both of his older sisters as a result of mingi. He was one of the first of his tribe to go to school and realize that a stop must be put to this cruel ritual. He has since made „Stop Mingi“ is life task. Thanks to his work, one tribe has already put an end to the mingi rituals. The Hamer tribe, however, with a population of around 50,000 people and the Bena tribe, still maintains their belief that mingi children bring misfortune. OMO Child Ethiopia is continuing its efforts to convince this last tribe that the mingi ritual should be ended.
Until that happens, Lale Labuko together with his wife Gido and their friends will attempt to rescue as many children as possible from being killed by their tribal elders and look after them in his children’s home. Currently, 50 children ranging from newborns to about 12 years of age live in his care and are fed, clothed and cared for. OMO Child Ethiopia’s mission is to make a safe home and quality education available to rescued mingi children, enabling them to take on leadership roles in their tribes and communities in the future, and make sure that rituals such as the mingi are finally a thing of the past for ever.
“The declared goal of the organization OMO Child Ethiopia is not only to raise awareness of mingi, but to completely eliminate it by the year 2030.”
Founder of OMO Child Ethiopia
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