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Hampshire Student Selected as National Geographic Emerging Explorer

Submitted by on June 11, 2013 – 8:30 amOne Comment

Lale Labuko 11F

Hampshire College student Lale Labuko 11F joins a roboticist, an astrobiologist, a glaciologist, a planetary geologist, an artist, and an entrepreneur as one of 17 visionary, young trailblazers from around the world who have been selected as this year’s National Geographic Emerging Explorers.

Labuko is being honored for his humanitarian work fighting to stop the ritualistic killing of infants and children in Ethiopia’s Omo River Valley and providing shelter, care, and education for the children he rescues. He divides his time between Ethiopia and the United States, where he is a student at Hampshire College.

At age 15 Labuko heard the word “mingi” for the first time after he saw a 2-year-old torn from her mother and never seen again. Ancient belief says children who are deemed mingi will bring drought, famine, and disease to the tribe if allowed to live. Ritualistic killing is seen as the only solution. Labuko was one of the first in his tribe to receive a formal education, and the perspective he gained from this fueled his resolve to save mingi children and abolish the practice.