Hero gains internet recognition – $65,000 raised overnight

A simple link on a social news website [Reddit.com] linking to a picture with the caption:

“Meet Omari. Two days ago he returned from the hospital after being hacked in the face by a machete defending an orphanage of 35 children by himself. Think we could raise the $2,000 needed for the remainder of the cement/barbed wire wall to keep both him and the children safe?”

This captured the hearts of many people, and together the internet community raised $65,000 and counting for Omari and his orphans. Omari was received as a hero, one who took a brutal attack right in the face to protect children. Also, according to the original poster, Omari had previously fended off the attackers, who intended to steal from the orphanage. It is believed that the machete attack was retaliation for when Omari threw a hammer into the face of one of the invaders. From the post:

Being the third time this happened that week, he had already stashed a hammer beside his bed. He grabbed it, and threw it at the first person who entered his room. He hit the person square in the head, and chased the rest out. The following night, the three thugs returned, presumably to avenge their friend. Omari put up a fight but was outnumbered. The last thing he remembers was being struck in the face by the machete.

Even before the full story was told, people began to donate. Overnight (at least, for Europeans) it became clear that social media can make a difference.

The original post is touching, and one can feel the excitement of the guy who initially reached out to the online community when the donations began flooding in. Personally, this is my favourite series of excerpts:

Edit 8: Over $9,000 and I’m in a state of shock. I…… Just…………………Thank you.
Edit 9: Over $11,000. It’s 6am. In 45 minutes I will RUN to the orphanage. […] This is the best news I have ever had to privilege to tell anyone, and you are all to thank for it. Also, I am too overwhelmed at the moment, but I will do my best to reply to as many comments/messages/questions as I can.
Edit 10: $44,000!!!!!!!!! REDDIT!!!!! I can hardly breathe. I refreshed the page at least twice to make sure it was real. I cannot believe this.

It’s super cool to see that true heroes are recognised, and to see that the combined effort of many people can lead to great things.

Edit: The amount of donations is now at the $80,000 mark. For those who are interested, the construction for the wall has already began (5 days after the original call for help was initialised) but will cost about $10,000, not the $2,000 originally estimated. The charity reasons that the original estimate was just for the raw materials and not including the labour.

Here’s badass Omari with his hammer:

If you’d like to keep up with the developments of Omari and the orphanage, you can do so through this blog.

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1 Comment

  1. Lena Henson says:

    initially inspired hopes for democratic and state reforms; a ” Damascus Spring ” of intense social and political debate took place from July 2000 to August 2001.

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