*It has often been said that one person can make a difference. If just one person speaks up; takes action, decides to actually do something besides feel bad about a situation, things begin to move in the right direction. This is what happened when one man traveled to Ethiopia, hired another man to assist him, and the two unlikely men became trusted friends; with one taking action to change the mind of others’ who believed in a superstition that causes many Ethiopian babies to be put to death.
In the southern valley of Ethiopia is a small village called Omo. It is where Lalalupo lives, and met John Rowe, a retired software executive-turned-photographer, who went to the country and hired “Lollie” as his guide.
“Lollie was the wise old soul who I connected to, and began to trust and love like a son,” Rowe explained to the media. He returned to Ethiopia on numerous occasions, always meeting up with and growing closer to Lollie. As the relationship between the two men continued to develop, Lollie revealed a superstition that had long been a practice in his town. If a child’s top teeth came in before the bottom, or the child was born out of wedlock, the baby was believed to be cursed – bringing drought or disease to the tribe – and had to be put to death.
“I said, one day I’m going to fix this problem,” Lollie explains, and asked for Rowe’s help.
“I said to him, we’re going to draw a line in the sand right here. These kids are going to be OK. We’re going to protect them,” an emotional Rowe tells Curry.
Lollie risked his life as he enlisted volunteers to slip into the villages and rescue children set to die. They rescued forty children.
See the emotional rescue and report by NBC News anchor Ann Curry below.