On January 30, 2016, Anja Ringgren Lovén, a Danish social worker living in Nigeria, rescued a starving toddler from imminent death. The child had been abandoned by his own family and community after he was accused of being a ‘witch’, a practice that, sadly, is common in many African countries
Disturbing images taken nearly five years ago showed a badly malnourished three-year-old, who had been left to fend for himself on the streets of Eket, Nigeria. The boy was called hope.
Barely capable of walking, he had been living on the streets for eight months and surviving on scraps thrown by people.
Hope was emaciated, riddled with worms, and suffered from hypospadias, an inborn condition in which the child has an underdeveloped urethra. Thanks to the money raised, Hope was able to undergo surgery and the pint-sized fighter could recover completely.
CURRENT LIFE OF HOPE
Anja said: “Hope was in a terrible condition when we rescued him.
“He was seriously malnourished and had multiple diseases.
“The first two weeks he was hospitalized he was in a critical condition.
“We didn’t know if he would survive or not.”
But today the young boy, who despite all odds survived his traumatic past, is now a thriving seven-year-old.
“Hope is very healthy and loves to go to school.
“He is very intelligent and his passion is art and to be creative.
“He is extremely talented at art and many of his paintings have even been sold.
“We call him our little Picasso.”
Hope has never met his parents and the organisation has been unable to track down any of his relatives.
Thanks to who Anja rescued the kid and shared his story on Facebook that went viral. She is now trying to raise awareness about this serious problem. In Nigeria around 15,000 children were accused of Witchcraft in a decade (Survey conducted in 2009).