Children of the Omo by Steve McCurry
American photographer Steve McCurry was invited to the remote Omo Valley region of Southwest Ethiopia by a local charity called Omo Child. The charity founded by Lale Lubuko and photographer John Rowe aims to provide a safe home and education for children and infants who are considered by their tribe to be mingi.
Mingi is the ritualistic killing of infants and children believed to be cursed by tribes living in the remote Omo Valley. A child can be mingi for many reasons, but once they are mingi they are left alone in the desert without food and water or drowned in a river.
OMO CHILD’s mission is to rescue these children with hope that these children will become future leaders in their tribes and communities. The charity also wants raise awareness about the practice of Mingi and work to see it eliminated.
“It has been a privilege to go back to the Omo Valley in Ethiopia with my friend, John Rowe, to photograph the work he is doing with Lale Labuko in their mission to end the practice of mingi and to house and shelter the mingi children who have already been rescued,”Steve says.
Often called “the last frontier” in Africa, The Omo River Valley is located in Southwest Ethiopia. There are nine main tribes that occupy the Omo River Valley, with a population of approximately 225,000 tribal peoples. The majority of the people living in the Omo River Valley live without clean drinking water and without medical care.
You can visit McCurry’s blog to see more photos of the series.
More about the Omo Child charity: www.omochild.org
All photos courtesy of Steve McCurry