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Charity Worker Rescues Starving 2-Year-Old Accused Of Being A Witch In Nigeria (Photos)

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A photo of a Danish charity worker offering food and water to a small, emaciated boy in Nigeria has gone viral.

The 2-year-old boy, who has been named Hope, had been cast out of his home because his family thought he was a witch, according to the Independent. He had reportedly wandered the streets for eight months, living on scraps of food given to him by passersby, before being rescued.

Anja Ringgren Loven, the charity worker who rescued the boy, found him naked, starving and infected with worms. After offering him food and a drink of water from a bottle, she wrapped him in a blanket and took him to the nearest hospital.

Hope was given medication to rid him of the worms in his belly and daily blood transfusions to give him more red blood cells.

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Loven, who lives in Africa, founded a charity organization called African Children's Aid Education and Development Foundation to assist African children who have been accused of being witches and abandoned by their families. The center she runs provides medical care, food and schooling for these children.

Loven recently posted a message on Facebook asking for donations to help cover Hope's medical expenses, the Independent reported. In just two days, she received $1 million in donations from people all around the world.

She said the toddler has shown improvement since being rescued. 

"Hope's condition is stable now," she wrote, according to the Independent. "He's taking food for himself and he responds to the medicine he gets."

She added that the boy is now strong enough to play with her own son.

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A significant number of children in rural Nigeria have been abandoned, abused or killed by their communities due to accusations of witchcraft from village pastors who blamed them for causing illness and poverty, CNN reported in 2010.

Although the Nigerian government claims to have passed a children's rights bill to stop the abuse of children accused of witchcraft, there have reportedly been no prosecutions under this law. 

Sources: The Independent, CNN / Photo Credit: Anja Ringgren Loven/Facebook via The Independent

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