Lagos, Nigeria – The boy was abandoned by his family, who accused him of being a witch, according to the aid worker who found him in Uyo, southeast Nigeria. Danish aid worker Anja Ringgren Loven says the boy, whom she calls Hope, had been living on the streets and survived on scraps from passersby. When she found him, she says, he was riddled with worms and had to have daily blood transfusions to revive him.

Loven is the founder of African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation, which she created to rescue children labeled as witches. Already gaining a lot of weight and looking so much more healthy. Now we only need him to talk.

“Children become stronger together. ”

It is a criminal offense in Akwa Ibom state, where Hope was found, to label a child a witch, but the practice persists.

Attempts to reach Loven and local officials were not immediately successful.

Belief in witchcraft thrives worldwide.

In 2014, a report by the U. N.

In 2010, CNN reported on the plight of children in Nigeria who undergo frightening exorcisms and are sometimes killed by their own family. At the time, an Akwa Ibom state official acknowledged some cases, but said reports of child rescues were exaggerated.

Sam Ikpe-Itauma, of the local Child’s Rights and Rehabilitation Network, which rescues children like Godswill, told CNN: “Once a child is said to be a witch, to be possessed with a certain spiritual spell capable of making that child transform into, like, cat, snake viper . . . a child could cause all sorts of havoc like killing of people, bringing about diseases, misfortune into family. He believes poverty is a key factor that drives the belief in witchcraft. He says: “Poverty is actually a twin sister to ignorance. “


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