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Nigerian ‘Witch’ Toddler Transformed After Aid Worker Rescue

Just eight weeks have passed since the world first met Hope, but his recovery and transformation in that time has been staggering.

On January 31, Danish aid worker Anja Ringgren Loven met the two-year-old boy who had been left for dead by his family and had survived on scraps of food for a staggering eight months.

In heart-breaking images that were posted on her Facebook page and soon circulated around the world, Hope was shown looking severely emaciated, malnourished and riddled with worms.

abandoned-toddler-hope-02
Left: Hope with Loven on 31 January. Right: Hope eight weeks later in late-March. Source: Facebook.

Loven took Hope to a nearby hospital for treatment and was inundated by global contributions for costly medical bills and. At this time it was discovered that Hope suffered hypospadias, a genital birth defect that affects the urethra.

Now, two months and a staggering $1 million in donations later, Hope is a new boy, looking healthy and happy.

In the pictures shared by Loven on the weekend, Hope can be seen smiling and playing with other children.

abandoned-toddler-hope-03
Left: Hope on 31 January. Right: Hope just eight weeks later in late March. Source: Facebook.

Accompanying the images was the message from Loven: “As you can see on the pictures, Hope is really enjoying his life now having 35 new brothers and sisters who ALL take such good care of him, play with him, study with him, and make sure he is safe and is getting a lot of love.”

She said Hope will have surgery next week to treat the hypospadias but added: ‘This is an operation the doctors have performed many times, so Hope will be very fine.”

abandoned-toddler-hope-04
Hope looking healthy and happy at his new home. Source: Facebook.

It is believed Hope’s family considered him to be a child witch, which lead to his abandonment.

‘Thousands of children are being accused of being witches,” Loven wrote on Facebook in January. “We’ve both seen torture of children, dead children and frightened children.”

Loven, who lives in Nigeria with her husband and young son, is the founder of the  African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation.

In January 2016, she and her husband also began building their own orphanage, and plans to use some of the donated money to build a doctor clinic to help children abandoned and tortured by their families.

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