Eight weeks ago, a two-year-old boy was found abandoned and starving on the streets. He was riddled with worms and forced to fend for himself for eight months after the local community branded him a ‘witch.’
A photo of the boy, named Hope, went viral after Danish philanthropist Anja Ringgren Lovén uploaded it on Facebook in January.
Soon after the photo was taken, Anja took Hope for treatment at the African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation (ACAEDF) – a charity she and her husband set up in Nigeria.
And now, two months on, Hope has made an amazing recovery.
The boy’s story has since sparked a campaign led by ACAEDF, which plans to raise awareness about witch superstitions held in parts of rural Nigeria. It will also spread awareness about the plight of child soldiers and starvation in the area.
Lovén also took to her Facebook page say Hope will undergo corrective surgery to treat hypospadias, ‘an inborn condition in which one has an incomplete developed urethra’.
The surgery is expected to take place next week, but it ‘is an operation the doctors have performed many times’ – so he will be fine, Lovén says.
She added: “He is a strong little boy. To see him sit and play with my own son is without a doubt the greatest experience of my life.
“I simply do not know how to describe it in words. This is what makes life so beautiful and valuable and I will let the pictures here speak for themselves.”
What an amazing little boy.