Hope’s parents abandoned him because they thought he was a “witch”. The Land of Hope organization found him and helped him to recover.
In 2016 Anja Ringgren Lovén found a two-year-old boy aimlessly wandering around a Nigerian village. The little one had been abandoned by his parents because they thought he was a “witch”, which is a commonly held belief in some regions of Africa.
Anja is the director of Land of Hope, an organization that rescues abandoned babies. She told the story to the Nigerian news outlet Vanguard, which began in 2008 when she came across a documentary called “Saving Africa’s Witch Children ” and learnt the raw truth about children being abandoned, tortured and even killed because of superstition.
In 2012 she decided to found an organization, which to this day has helped more than 100 children. She even adopted some of them herself.
“Before Hope’s rescue we had already rescued more than 50 children, who were also in a terrible condition, so we were well prepared. Hope’s parents were not in the village and had left him alone on the street and the villagers claimed that he was a witch. We took Hope to the hospital for treatment and the rest is history. Today he’s a very healthy and strong young boy who loves to go school and play with his friends at Land of Hope” Anja Ringgren Lóven told Vanguard.
Last January, the Danish woman shared photos of how Hope looks now: Happy and radiant, after having been close to death in 2016, suffering from malnutrition and worms.
Anja Ringgren Lovén shared the photos alongside a caption about Hope, filled with happiness and nostalgia.
“I think most people around the world have seen or heard about the famous picture of Hope and I, where I kneel down in front of his starving, malnourished body to give him water. I don’t want to share that picture today. Instead I want to share pictures of Hope as he looks today, 4 years after the rescue. A very strong, intelligent, funny and beautiful young boy who survived, despite the odds!” She wrote
“Hope has seen the famous picture of him and I many times. He will point at himself to say that it’s him on the picture, and then he will smile, as if he was proud. But I know it’s not about pride. Children are born with the ability to forgive. Children are born with no prejudices. It is when children are taught what to think and not how to think, we fail as a society. Do we raise Hope to hate his parents that abandoned him, accused him of being a witch and left him alone on the street to die ? No, of course not.” She added.
Hope looks better than ever!