Danish Aid worker – Anja Ringgren Lovén Reunites Hope with His Mother 7 Years After He Was Branded A Witch & Left To Die

Estimated read time 5 min read
Danish Aid worker - Anja Ringgren Lovén Reunites Hope with His Mother

Danish Aid worker – Anja Ringgren Lovén Reunites Hope with His Mother.

In the heart of Akwa Ibom, Nigeria, a remarkable tale of hope, resilience, and reconciliation has unfolded over the course of seven years. It is the story of a little boy named Hope, who was rescued from the brink of death and branded a witch by his own family, only to reunite with his mother in an emotional twist of fate.

Hope’s incredible journey began in 2016 when Danish aid worker Anja Ringgren Lovén crossed paths with the severely emaciated 2-year-old boy. At the time, Hope had been left to wander the unforgiving streets of Akwa Ibom, battling starvation and neglect at the hands of those who should have cared for him the most—his own family.

Photographs captured the pivotal moment when Anja Lovén extended a bottle of water to the frail child, an act of kindness that would forever change Hope’s life. Anja, alongside her husband David Emmanuel Umem, embarked on a rescue mission that would ultimately bring Hope to the Children’s Education and Development Foundation (ACAEDF), lovingly referred to as the “Land of Hope.”

Danish Aid worker - Anja Ringgren Lovén Reunites Hope with His Mother

Hope’s story is one of heartbreak and tragedy. Anja Lovén revealed that Hope’s mother was a minor when she was impregnated by a man almost five decades her senior—the village head. This distressing union forced the young girl into a life she was not prepared for. At the tender age of 15, she gave birth to Hope, a child born into circumstances that were far from hopeful.

The aid worker recounted that Hope’s story was shrouded in dark and painful details involving rape, child labor, and abuse. She chose not to reveal all the harrowing specifics, respecting the privacy and dignity of those involved. The circumstances that led to Hope being branded a witch and subsequently abandoned remained a mystery, buried deep within the annals of an already troubled past.

The branding of children as witches remains a deeply ingrained issue in some parts of Nigeria, and it has devastating consequences. Accusations of witchcraft can lead to children being ostracized, abused, or even killed. Hope’s story served as a stark reminder of the urgent need for awareness and intervention in communities plagued by superstition and ignorance.

Danish Aid worker - Anja Ringgren Lovén Reunites Hope with His Mother

However, amidst the darkness and despair that shrouded Hope’s early life, there was a glimmer of hope. Anja Ringgren Lovén and her team at ACAEDF provided Hope with the love, care, and support he needed to thrive. Over the years, Hope transformed from a fragile and malnourished child into a vibrant and resilient young boy.

Fast forward to the present day, and a heartwarming twist has unfolded. After seven long years of separation, Hope has reunited with his mother. The reunion was undoubtedly an emotional and bittersweet moment, marked by tears of joy and sorrow. While the circumstances that tore them apart were undeniably tragic, the love between mother and son endured.

Danish aid worker Anja Ringgren Lovén wrote on Facebook:

David and I finally found Hope´s mother !!

I knew in my heart that someday we would find her – now we have!

Earlier this year while David and I were filming the new documentary “Woman at the End of the World” our years of search finally ended.

Millions of people in Poland have already witnessed the moment Hope sees his mother for the first time and it left them all in tears.

I have known David for more than a decade and only seen him cry one time.
When I picked up Hope to take him to see his mother who were waiting for him under our mango tree I saw David cry for the second time.

Word´s cannot express the emotions that overwhelmed us in that moment.

Hope´s mother was only 15 years old when she gave birth to Hope. She was still a child herself !

Hope´s father was at that time nearly 50 years old and he was the Village Head. Definitely not an equal relationship. Unfortunately it is very common for men in the rural communities to take any young girl they want to be their wife.

While being pregnant Hope´s mother had to take care of her parents who both were very sick. After giving birth to Hope her mother died and not long after her father also died.

At the age of 15 years old Hope´s mother lost her parent and had to take care of Hope being a child herself.

She named her baby Steven. Hope´s real name is Steven.

Hope´s mother has stayed at Land of Hope and Hope has developed a close bond with her. It took him some time to forgive her but in Hope´s story his mother is innocent. She never left him in the village to die.

She was forced to leave the village when she got pregnant with Hope´s younger brother Daniel at the age of only 16 years old. She was send to Lagos and this entire story involves rape, child labor and abuse and I can therefore not reveal all the details.

What´s important is that Hope and his mother are reunited ❤️

Ps: When I was pregnant with our son, David suggested we name him Steven.




Danish Aid worker – Anja Ringgren Lovén Reunites Hope with His Mother.

From Toktok9ja Media

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