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01st Apr 2016

The Nigerian ‘witch child’ saved from death looks so different now he’s healthy

He is now "enjoying life".

Ben Kenyon

It was a photo that shocked the world.

A desperately frail and skeletal toddler on the brink of death, meekly sipping water from an aid worker.

That one bleak image of the nameless two-year-old Nigerian boy, cast aside and left to die by his family who thought he was a ‘witch’, went viral on Facebook back in January.

Anja Ringgren Loven, a Danish woman living in Africa, rescued the boy who she found wandering the streets alone, starved and riddled with worms.

More than $1m in donations flooded in to help the young boy who has now been named Hope.

Now just eight weeks on from this moment and the boy has made an incredible recovery and is now ‘enjoying life’.


Anja, who is the founder of African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation which helps children accused of being witches, shared some photos of the happy and healthy Hope on her Facebook with this touching message…

‘The day I carried this sweet little boy in my arms for the very first time I was so sure he would not survive.

‘Every breath he took was a struggle and I did not want him to die without a name, without dignity, so I named him Hope.

‘Hope to me is a special name. Not only the meaning of Hope, but what it stands for. Many years ago I got the name HOPE tattooed on my fingers because to me it means:

‘Help One Person Everyday.’


‘As you can see on the pictures, Hope is really enjoying his life now having 35 new brothers and sisters who ALL take such good care of him, play with him, study with him, and make sure he is safe and is getting a lot of love.’

Hope is about to undergo treatment for a birth condition called hypospadias, which causes the urethra to emerge at the base of the penis rather than at the tip.

She added: ‘The doctors found this inborn condition on Hope, so next week Hope will have surgery.

‘This is an operation the doctors have performed many times, so Hope will be very fine.’

Images via Anja Ringgren Loven