An emaciated two-year-old Nigerian boy was rescued by a Danish founder of the African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation Anja Ringgren Lovén after being dumped by his family and living on the streets for eight months. The toddler was abandoned by his family because they believed him to be involved in witchcraft. He was malnourished and filled with worms.
Hope as he was named by his rescuer had survived on the streets on his own for eight months, surviving on food from dump sites and whatever he could find or was given, before being discovered by Anja Ringgren Lovén, the Danish founder of the African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation. People avoided him because he his alleged witchcraft.
She bent down to feed the toddler and gave him water after she discovered him roaming the streets. She then wrapped the boy in a blanket and took him to the nearest hospital as he was looking very frail and sick not minding the witchcraft plague on the boy.
Amazingly, after just two days of care, the boy who could barely stand straight on his feet was smiling and responding to food and treatment. She wrote that his condition had greatly improved.
“He’s taking food for himself, and he responds to the medicine he gets,” she wrote in a blog post.
“Today he has had powers to sit up and smiling at us. He’s a strong little boy. To see him sit and play with my own son is without doubt the greatest experience of my life! I just don’t know how to describe it in words.”
“Hope received medication to remove the worms from his system and daily blood transfusions to give him more red blood cells”, Ms Loven wrote.
What inspired the name Hope was a word she has tattooed on her knuckles.
Ms Lovén actually started the foundation three years ago to help children accused of witchcraft. Some of these children are abandoned, neglected and even killed by their own family and community. The rescued children are catered for in terms of feeding, health care and schooling.
“Thousands of children are being accused of being witches and we’ve both seen torture of children, dead children and frightened children,” she wrote in a Facebook post where the pictures of Hope were attached.
“This footage shows why I fight. Why I sold everything I own,” she wrote.
Ms Lovén said that though Hope was battling worms right now, he should soon be well enough to join the other children she looks after in Uyo town located in the southern Nigeria.
The pictures and her plea for financial assistance went viral online and brought in 1 million Danish Krone (£104,000) from well wishers and philanthropists. She proposes to use the money to extend her tentacles to other children in need of help and those accused of witchcraft.
“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 wrote.