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Nigerian ‘Witch Child’ Hope Starts School A Year After Being Left For Dead

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03/02/2017 11:26 | Updated 03 February 2017

A starving child who was abandoned by his family amid suspicions of witchcraft has been pictured on his first day of school one year on.

The tiny boy’s plight first came to light when humanitarian aid worker Anja Ringgren Lovén published pictures of herself giving him food and water in Nigeria.

Naked, emaciated and clutching a handful of rubbish, the future looked bleak for the little boy, who had been forced to live on scraps after being shunned by his family and society.

Lovén, the founder of the African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation (ACAEDF) renamed him Hope and welcomed him to her orphanage, where he was treated for worms and a minor birth defect.

Now one year on, Lovén has posted an image of her and Hope in the same poses, showing him to be a healthy, beautiful child about to embark on his first day of school.

Lovén previously told the Huffington Post UK she had sold everything she owned to devote her life to help “witch children” in Nigeria.

Anja Ringgren Loven
Hope now has lots of 'siblings' to play with at Lovén's children's home 

She said: “I travelled alone to Nigeria where I met children who had been tortured and beaten almost to death because they were accused of being witches and therefore left alone on the street.

“What I saw was so barbaric and terrible and it left a deep impression on me.”

With her husband David, Lovén now runs a children’s home for young people accused of witchcraft.

The couple, who have a three-year-old son together, look after more than 30 children, all of whom have been accused of witchcraft.

Anja said: “When children are being tortured and abused and left alone on the street, it gives a child a lot of terrible trauma they carry around inside.

“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.”

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