This starved Nigerian boy was naked, full of worms and walking the streets of Nigeria alone when he was found by Anja, a Danish rescue worker. The emaciated 2-year-old was abandoned by his family because they believed he was a witch.
“Thousands of children are being accused of being witches,” said Anja. In 2009, an estimated 15,000 children were reportedly accused of witchcraft in two of Nigeria’s 36 states over a decade. Around 1,000 of them had been murdered.
The little boy had been surviving the last eight months off of the mere scraps that strangers threw to him in the streets.
Anja immediately wrapped the boy (who she named Hope) in a blanket and rushed him to the local hospital. She chose to call him Hope because when she found him, in a village—naked, alone and almost dead—they were all hoping that he would survive.
Sadly, this is not the first time that the rescue worker has witnessed such a horrid case. “We’ve seen both frightened, tortured and even dead children,” Anja described in a blog post. A co-founder of African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation (ACAEDF), Anja is working to help more children who have been neglected and even killed by their families after being accused of witchcraft.
Her center offers food, medical attention and education for children like Hope.
Thankfully, after a daily blood transfusion, proper nourishment and medicine to remove the worms, Hope was able to make a remarkable recovery.
“This is what makes life so beautiful and valuable, and therefore I will let the pictures speak for themselves,” wrote Anja.
Just two weeks after he was found, Hope looked like a brand new boy! His once somber look of desperation was replaced with a smile from ear to ear!
Only two days after Anja petitioned for help for Hope, over $1 million in donations poured in from strangers across the globe.
“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 shared on Facebook.