Do Your Remember That Viral Picture of The ‘Nigerian Witch’ Boy. Wait Until You See Him Now!

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In January of 2016 Anja Ringgren Loven, a Danish aid worker, went to Nigeria as part of a rescue mission.  It was there that she met a little boy, now named Hope, who was about 2 years old when he changed her life forever.  The child was in dire condition and yet no one seemed to care. He had been accused of being a witch by his family and was cast out onto the streets, left to fend for himself for at least eight months.  When he was found he was naked, homeless, skeletal, his body was riddled with worms, and he was starved to the point where he was nearly dead.  

When the aid group that Anja was part of came across Hope he was standing on a dirt road holding a small piece of cracker in one hand.  Anja had bent down to give him a sip of water from a plastic bottle and the moment was captured in a photo that went viral across the globe after she shared it online.  

People were shocked and outraged at the treatment and condition of the poor small boy who had done nothing to deserve such a sad life.  More importantly, they were moved to contribute to the charity that Anja set up, African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation (ACAEDF), which rescues abandoned children just like Hope who have been accused of being witches.  They have their work cut out for them, in Nigeria alone there are an estimated 15,000 children who have been accused of witchcraft and the issue is growing. Oftentimes they live as social pariahs, many are beaten, tortured, or simply left to fend for themselves, sadly some end up murdered.  

Thanks to the charity, many get a second chance at life.  After Anja and her mission co-workers rescued Hope from the streets, he received treatment for malnutrition and a variety of medical conditions.  Today he lives alongside 35 other children at an orphanage that Anja and her husband, David Emmanuel Umen, manage in Eket, Nigeria.  

As you can see from the updated photo that she recreated with him, Hope looks nothing like his former self.  Now he is healthy and smiling, dressed in new school clothes, his eyes shine bright, and he looks ready to take on life.  Only a year had passed between the two pictures and the change is absolutely astounding. His recovery is a testament not only to the work that Anja and other charities like hers do, but also to what a difference the love, understanding, and hope they are given can make. 

Watch the video below for the fully story:   

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