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October 27, 2020

New kids in town

Last month we went on a two week journey to collect children from different villages for our Children Home in Turmi. We visited three tribes in the South Omo Zone (South Ethiopia) and were able to bring back children from the Arbore, Hamer and Kara tribes.

Convincing required:
Finding the right girls isn’t an easy job and requires several steps:

  • Parents need to be convinced that school education is important and that an early (childhood) engagement/marriage is not all a daughter needs
  • Discussion with village elders
    Elders have to be convinced that security issues are taken care of (because of inter-tribal conflicts) and that Omo's Morningstar Children is taking good care of their children – i.e., by having a fenced compound with guards and staff accompanying the children daily on their way to school
  • Children have to be identified with an ability to learn, with a personality which fits to the existing Omo's Morningstar children, and a willingness to leave home, their tribe, and culture to start a new life in OMC’s children home
  • If a child is engaged (as early as 4 years old) the future husband has to be consulted and convinced as well
Selection process:
Playing games, followed by bible story teaching time with singing and dancing are great tools to learn more about a child. For example, when a child is able to answer some questions from the teaching time she is attentive and willing to speak in front of her friends. Also when a child is active during the dance session it is seen as a positive factor for selection.

Playing games: sharing, 
creativity, and ability 
to follow instructions 
are things to observe

Competitive behavior/ 
aggressiveness can be monitored
by playing tug of war

During game time I observe if a child is willing to share, to help others, able to follow instructions, and/or is creative. Eye-hand coordination and logical thinking are other observation points. Can you see the scientist in me?

Evaluating
logical thinking ability


Selection is cruel - 
but the losers from this round
can be the winners for next time,
but sponsors are required





The main selection criteria is however the family status, i.e. orphan, poverty, risk of child marriage, mingi, etc.).

Goat BBQ'd on sticks

The selection process in a village/tribe takes easily two days. Therefore an overnight stay in my tent is often required. Sometimes a goat is slaughtered and served in traditional style late in the night.



After a two-week journey visiting three tribes and endless villages we have 10 new arrivals in our Turmi Children Home.


Some of Turmi's Children Home children








 

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