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“Thousands of children are being accused of being witches and we’ve both seen torture of children, dead children and frightened children.” These are the words of Danish aid worker Anja Ringgren Loven, who rescued this abandoned, starving two-year-old Nigerian boy.
Sick with worms and malnutrition, the boy, now named Hope, had been wandering the streets for eight months. This boy was abandoned because his parents thought he was a witch. He had been wandering the streets for 8 months. Danish aid worker Anja found him on January 31st and named him Hope.
Hope was suffering from malnutrition and worms. Thanks to Anja, he began to receive medical attention. And slowly, he began to get better.
“Hope’s condition is stable now” “Today, he has had powers to sit up and smiling at us. He’s a strong little boy” “This is what makes life so beautiful and valuable and therefore I will let the pictures speak for themselves”
Desperately emaciated, the 2-year-old boy could barely stand as he thirstily gulped water from a bottle.
The boy was abandoned by his family, who accused him of being a witch, according to the aid worker who found him in Uyo, southeast Nigeria.
Danish aid worker Anja Ringgren Loven says the boy, whom she calls Hope, had been living on the streets and survived on scraps from passersby.
When she found him, she says, he was riddled with worms and had to have daily blood transfusions to revive him.
"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 Danish on Facebook, as she appealed for funds to pay for food, medical bills and schooling.
Loven is the founder of African Children's Aid Education and Development Foundation, which she created to rescue children labeled as witches.
Posting on her Facebook page on February 12, Loven says: "Hope is getting so much better. Already gaining a lot of weight and looking so much more healthy. Now we only need him to talk.
"But that will come naturally when he is out of the hospital and starting his life among all our children.
"Children become stronger together."
It is a criminal offense in Akwa Ibom state, where Hope was found, to label a child a witch, but the practice persists.
Attempts to reach Loven and local officials were not immediately successful.
Belief in witchcraft thrives worldwide. In 2009, about 1,000 people accused of being witches in Gambia were locked in detention centers in March and forced to drink a dangerous hallucinogenic potion, human rights organization Amnesty International said.
In 2014, a report by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees stated that human rights violations were taking place in Nepal, leading to violence against women, children, disabled people and the elderly.
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