It is not uncommon in Nigeria for children to be accused of being a witch. This accusation is often the result of misfortune in the family such as a death or a marriage breaking down. Life in Nigeria believes all problems have a spiritual origin, so problems arising in families are seen as the fault of ‘witch’ children.
Nigerian movies and churches play a major role in spreading this belief. The land is full of poverty and illiteracy so deliverance style preachers and prophets have branded thousands of children as witches over the years. It is a disturbing darkness that blankets the country of Nigeria.
A two-year-old boy was left to wander alone on the streets of Nigeria to die. He wandered for eight months naked, uncared for and alone because his family thought he was a witch. After wandering for months, neglected and malnourished he was rescued by Anja Ringgren Loven. Anja found this young boy riddled with worms from the scraps of food he was forced to eat by those who passed him on the streets.
Anja posted a photo of the young child who she named; Hope and they soon caused a news media flurry. Horrified viewers seeing the condition of this malnourished child showered their sympathy and concern in hopes he would find the love and attention he deserved. Anja took the young boy to a hospital where he was treated for malnourishment, worms, and received daily blood transfusions.
After photos of Anja offering a drink of water to the young boy went viral, millions of dollars in donations were received in support from generous people around the world. Anja, founder of the African Children’s Aid Education and Development, opened a doctor clinic and children’s shelter with the donations. It was at this shelter she provided the care Hope needed.
One year after the horrifying photos of Hope left on the streets to die went viral, Anja posted new ones. Like the one above, this picture is also gaining world attention. The image shows a healthy young boy, again drinking water from Anja, ready for his first day of school. This story inspires the hearts of many that there is hope in the world.