Los Altos, California – Former Miss Ethiopia and Zumba fitness-dance instructor Sehin Belew has scheduled a Zumba dance-instruction fundraiser to benefit Drawn from Water 3-4 p.m. Feb. 5 at Marti’s Dance Studio, 1140 Riverside Drive, Los Altos.

Belew said several tribes in Africa fear evil spirits that bring ill fortune to their villages, using the word “Mingi” to describe persons who are cursed or otherwise imperfect.

“Those deemed Mingi face severe consequences, as (villagers) believe the presence of these children on their land curses the tribe,” she said. “Their solution to this perceived threat is to drown Mingi children in the river.”

Belew said an estimated 1,000 children in Africa are killed in such a manner every year.

The situation touched Sacramento residents Jessie and Levi Bankert, who adopted a baby rescued from Ethiopia and later moved there.

The Bankerts established Drawn from Water, which raises funds to rescue other children. So far, they have rescued 32 children and placed them in an orphanage.

The class is $10. Proceeds benefit Drawn from Water.

For more information, call (650) 714-3311 or e-mail sehin@sehinbelew.com.

Source: Los Altos Town Crier