A Danish aid worker who rescued a young boy abandoned in Nigeria has celebrated the boy’s first week at school on the anniversary of his rescue.
The two-year-old boy was ostracised and left to die in the streets last year because his family believed he was a “witch”.
After hearing about the boy left on his own, Anja Ringgren Loven launched a rescue mission to find him last January.
Photographs of the little boy, known as Hope, were shared around the world after Ms Loven uploaded them to her Facebook page.
Dette her billede går verden rundt lige nu. Det er fra redningsmissionen af Hope. Jeg har meget travlt når jeg er i Nigeria og er derfor ikke meget på nettet. Når jeg opdaterer herfra Nigeria er det fra Facebook. Jeg ved at ikke alle har facebook profil men når jeg kommer tilbage til Danmark vil jeg igen være mere aktiv her på Instagram. Kærlige hilsner fra Nigeria 🇳🇬 #dinnødhjælp #nigeria #ngo #support #savinghope #childrenarenotwitches #fightagainstsuperstition #fightforhumanrights #charity #wherethereislovethereislife ❤️
A photo posted by Anja Ringgren Lovén (@dinnoedhjaelp) on
Hope was in ill-health and required an operation a few months after he was found.
But a year on, Hope is now attending school and, from a series of photos in a Facebook post shared last week, appears to be happy, healthy and surrounded by loving friends and family.
With these new sweet pictures of Hope taken by DINNødhjælp/ACAEDF Education Officer Ekemini Jacobs, and with my favorite…
In an update on her Facebook page earlier last month, Ms Loven wrote that Hope was “growing with speed”.
“He is such a handsome, healthy and very happy young boy because of the tremendous love and care he receive[s] everyday from our staff and all our children,” it read.
On the 30 of January 2016 I went on a rescue mission with David Emmanuel Umem, Nsidibe Orok and our Nigerian team. A…
Ms Loven, the co-founder of the African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation (ACAEDF), told the Huffington Post last year that it was a common practice in some Nigerian communities to shun children accused of witchcraft.
“Being rejected by your own family must be the loneliest feeling a child can experience, and I don’t believe that anyone can imagine how that must feel like,” she said.
The charity is specifically dedicated to rescuing children who have been abandoned or tortured and ensuring that they have the opportunity to go to school.
“The children receive plenty of care, medical treatment, food/lodging and schooling, which combined to make children strong and independent citizens,” the organisation’s Facebook page states.
Ms Loven was also named the “most inspiring person of the year” in 2016 by Germany’s OOOM Magazine, beating out former US president Barack Obama — who came in second — to secure the top spot.