In January 2016, a Danish aid worker went on a rescue mission on the streets of Nigeria where she discovered an abandoned starving child. The moment was captured in a haunting photograph – she tilts a water bottle toward the diminished boy’s lips. Now, a year later, the same boy is starting school, and we have a new photo to show just how far he’s come!
The woman from the photo is Anja Ringgren Lovén, an aid-worker for an organization called DINNødhjælp (‘your relief’) which found the abandoned boy. After the incident, she named him Hope, which we can only say was very appropriate. Anja’s organization rescues children labeled as ‘witches’, who are often tortured and killed by their own parents due to superstitious reasoning.
In short, the terrible practice looks like this. It’s hard to believe, but some religious leaders in Nigeria accuse children of witchcraft in the hopes of charging parents for supposed exorcism services. And the harsh reality is that some parents are simply too poor to pay up. So, the poor children end up abandoned, sometimes starving to death. This is an epidemic that Anja and her team combat by seeking and sheltering affected children.
But now, everything seems to be going much better…
More info: DINNødhjælp, Facebook, Instagram (h/t)
It all started with this photo in January 2016.
And this is him now, on his first day of school.
The boy, named Hope, was left to die by his parents after being accused of ‘witchcraft’.
He was taken to the hospital right away, where he was treated for malnutrition and stomach worms.
Just 8 months after his discovery, he gained a little weight and regained his energy.
He even received a fresh haircut to go along with his new lease on life!
Befitting his name, Hope made a full recovery and is barely recognizable from before.
Now he lives in an orphanage with other children cast out as ‘witches’ by their parents.