Starving Child 'Witch' Photo Taken By Anja Ringgren Lovén In Nigeria Is Heartbreaking

11/02/2016 15:01 | Updated 17 February 2016

This article contains images that some may find distressing

Heartbreaking pictures of a naked, starving child in Nigeria "accused of being a witch" have been shared widely on social media.

Images of the severely emaciated boy being given water by a humanitarian volunteer worker shows the devastating effects superstition in the country can have on those accused of possessing supernatural powers.

The woman in the pictures helping the child is Anja Ringgren Lovén, the Danish founder of the African Children's Aid Education and Development Foundation.

In a Facebook post, Anja says: "I've seen much here in Nigeria over the last 3 years.

"I have spared you.. [from] 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.

"This footage shows why I fight. Why I sold everything I own. Why I'm moving out in uncharted territory."

The young boy has been called Hope by his rescuers.

It is not clear what happened to his family, but Anja's organisation uses education "to break superstition in Nigeria, which is the reason why many children and young people accused of being witches are tortured, expelled, die of their injuries or killed by the local community".

Two days after being found, Hope's condition was stable, Anja said.

She said: "He is a strong little boy. To see him sit and play with my own son is without a doubt the greatest experience of my life.

"I simply do not know how to describe it in words. This is what makes life so beautiful and valuable and I will let the pictures here speak for themselves."

Anja's charity said that it places rescued children in an orphanage.

The charity's website says: "The children receive plenty of care, medical treatment, food/ lodging and schooling, which combined to make children strong and independent citizens."


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