A Nigerian boy, now named Hope (pictured left), wandered the streets, emaciated and unclad, for eight months after he was labelled a witch and shunned from his community. In late January, Danish aid worker Anja Ringgren Loven (pictured left) found him and gave him water and food before wrapping him in a blanket (right) and taking him to the hospital. See more photos after the break
Horrified by Hope’s condition, Ms Loven bent down and began feeding him and giving him water from her bottle. She then wrapped the disorientated and sick toddler up in a blanket, holding him in her arms, before taking him to the nearest hospital for treatment.
Ms Loven is the founder of African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation, which she created three years ago to help children that have been labelled as a witch and therefore neglected and even killed by the members of their community.
‘Thousands of children are being accused of being witches and we’ve both seen torture of children, dead children and frightened children,’ she wrote on Facebook, accompanying images of her feeding the young boy and appealing for donations to help pay for his medical bills.
When Hope reached the hospital he was given medication to remove the worms from his belly and daily blood transfusions to incorporate more red blood cells into his body, Ms Loven said.
‘Hope’s condition is stable now. He’s taking food for himself and he responds to the medicine he gets. Today, he has had powers to sit up and smiling at us. He’s a strong little boy.’
Ms Loven said Hope even plays with her own son.
‘I just don’t know how to describe it in words. This is what makes life so beautiful and valuable and therefore I will let the pictures speak for themselves,’ she said.
Two days after Ms Loven asked for the community’s help with Hope’s costly medical bills, she received $1million in donations from around the world.
‘With all the money, we can, besides giving Hope the very best treatment, now also build a doctor clinic on the new land and save many more children out of torture!’ she said.
Ms Loven runs an children’s center where the children she saves live and received medical care, food and schooling. She and her husband, David Emmanuel Umem, began building their own orphanage in late January.