In late January 2016, a Danish aid worker went on a rescue mission on the streets of Nigeria, and discovered a starving child on the edge of death. The moment was captured in a haunting photograph, in which she tilts a water bottle toward the frail young boy’s lips. One year later, the same boy is starting school after a full recovery, and a recreation of his first photo shows just how far he’s come.
Anja Ringgren Lovén works for an organisation called DINNødhjælp (‘your relief’) which found the abandoned boy, appropriately named Hope. They rescue children labelled as ‘witches’, who are often tortured and killed by their own parents. Some religious leaders in Nigeria accuse children of witchcraft in hopes of charging parents for supposed exorcism services, an epidemic Anja and her team combat by sheltering affected children.
Remember the starving, abandoned child found in Nigeria in January 2016?
This is his first day of school, exactly one year after he was rescued by Anja Ringgren Lovén
The boy, named Hope, was left to die by his parents after being accused of ‘witchcraft’
He was taken to the hospital immediately, and was treated for malnutrition and stomach worms
Just 8 months after his discovery, he started to gain weight and regain his energy
He even received a fresh haircut to go along with his new lease on life
Hope made a full recovery, and is barely recognizable from before
He lives in an orphanage with other children cast out as ‘witches’ by their parents
But really, who could accuse this face of anything evil?
The orphanage, run by Anja Ringgren Lovén and her team, proved to be a loving home for Hope
Anja works for DINNødhjælp (‘your relief’), a Danish volunteer organisation active in Nigeria
“All children have rights and those rights must be protected, always,” Anja writes on Facebook
One year of love and care gave Hope a completely fresh start