In a heart-warming story, Hope, a Nigerian toddler, who was rescued last year by an aid worker, Anja Ringgren Lovén, has started attending school.
Hope was rescued on the 30th of January last year, accused of witchcraft by his family members, abandoned and shunned by the community in Uyo. The pictures of the toddler caused a sensation.
The boy was found in a life-threatening state and his health was precarious owing to the inhumane conditions he was exposed to. He reportedly lived on the streets for eight months and was riddled with worms after being forced to live off scraps thrown to him by passers-by.
Hope has made a remarkable recovery since his rescue.
It has been a year since Hope’s rescue and to celebrate the boy’s first time attending school Loven re-created an old picture, and what a remarkable contrast.
Lovén wrote on Facebook:
“On the 30 of January 2016 I went on a rescue mission with David Emmanuel Umem, Nsidibe Orok and our Nigerian team. A rescue mission that went viral, and today it’s exactly 1 year ago the world came to know a young little boy called Hope,”
“This week Hope will start school,” she adds.
The post has gone viral with over 33,000 reactions, and more than 8,000 shares on Facebook.
Lovén founded the African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation dedicated to helping abandoned children.
According to Lovén, there are many cases where children suffer after being accused of witchcraft in Nigeria, with devastating effects on their lives.
Commenting on the rescue operation, Lovén last year wrote on Facebook: “Ive seen much here in Nigeria over the last 3 years. I have spared you for many experiences when we’ve been on the rescue operations”.
“Thousands of children are being accused of being witches and we’ve both seen torture of children, dead children and frightened children…I have chosen to call the boy hope for right now, we all hope that he survives”.
We applaud Lovén and her husband David Emmanuel Umem for the amazing work.