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Kara Elders agree to end "mingi" practices
2012/08/15
By : Compathos
We are excited to announce that Kara tribal elders have officially abandoned the practice of "Mingi" as of July 2012. Although incredible progress has been made, there are still 45,000 Hamar people that still practice mingi.

Please join us in TAKING ACTION:

Watch the award winning film at Drawn from Water the Movie

100% Pay per View proceeds benefit our partner Global Team for Local Initiatives (GTLI) Child Sponsorship Program and GTLI's work with the Hamar tribes.

The 30 minute documentary takes you on a journey to Ethiopia's Omo River Valley, a region National Geographic calls the "last frontier", revealing the tragic destiny of the "mingi" children. Mingi, a bad omen or curse which is thought to bring drought to the land, presents a life struggle for families of children bearing certain characteristics. Drawn from Water is a story of one courageous tribal member, a small group of photo-journalists - all challenged to act on behalf of the "mingi" children. Since the projects inception amazing work has been accomplished. Foundations have been laid, children brought to safety, and the work of hope continues to evolve through various leaders and organizations in the region.

Drawn from Water the Movie producers are honored to partner with Global Team Local Initiatives (GTLI) in their amazing efforts to serve not only "mingi" children, but the Hamar tribal communities in Southern Ethiopia. Viewing proceeds go to GTLI child sponsorship program which builds a safe haven and provides for the needs of these children. GTLI, an established non profit combining business sense and compassion, has earned trust and respect from tribal communities, local officials and neighboring communities. GTLI's successful track record in care, community development and ending harmful tribal practices is bringing hope to many. Recent reports from GTLI founder, Lori Pappas, reveal that through her work Hamar elders have agreed to accept the mingi orphans as part of the Hamar community. Both Kara and Hamar communities have child sponsorship programs for children surviving mingi and the cultural transition it is beginning to represent..

Our story focuses on tribal leader, Lale Labuko and his vision to end the centuries old harmful tribal practice of mingi - a vision which is now coming to fruition. An incredibly moving email blast from his organization, Omo Child, shares the progress being made: The story continues as Lale reaches out, not only to his own community but by encouraging the Kara elders to invite the Hamar elders to the historic Ending of Mingi Ceremony, with the hope of showing the Hamar elders "how to take a positive step into modern civilization."

The following statements made by Kara tribal elders were made after the landmark meeting between them and OMO CHILD 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. For up-to-date information, check out OMO CHILD NEWS.

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.
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