Anja Ringgren Loven
Anja is a very kind and selfless person. She is the co-founder of the African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation (ACAEDF). She and her husband made it their mission to travel to Nigeria to rescue thousands of children that are abandoned each year. These children aren’t abandoned because their families cannot afford to care for them or don’t have the resources. They are abandoned because their parents accuse them of being witches. To most people, this sounds absolutely crazy, but sadly, it is a reality in Nigeria.
Anja loves tattoos. She has them all over her arms and her legs. The one tattoo that means the most to her is the one her fingers. Each finger has a letter, H-O-P-E. She has had the tattoo for several years, and it stands for, Help One Person Every Day. She never knew when she got the tattoo that the word, Hope, would have so much meaning to her one day.
The Little Boy
On January 31, 2016, Anja and her husband were on their rescue mission in Nigeria. While on the mission, they found a boy on the streets who had been abandoned by his parents. He was just a toddler, and he was skin and bones. His parents had left him for dead in a small village. The sight of this little boy was absolutely heartbreaking. He didn’t have any clothes on, and you could count each of his ribs he was so thin. The little boy was on the verge of death.
Water and Biscuits
When Anja saw the little boy dying in the streets, she knew that she had to do something. She went over to the boy and began giving him water and feeding him biscuits. He hadn’t had food and water in so long that he drank and drank. Anja’s husband took photos of her giving the little boy water, and it quickly went viral. It was a heartbreaking photo.
The little boy was so young that he didn’t even know his name. Anja decided to call him, Hope. She knew that just a few sips of water and a few biscuits wasn’t enough to save this boy’s life so she wrapped him up in a blanket and she carried him to her car. She was going to make sure that he got the care that he needed. Just a day or two more and he would have perished on the streets.
His Chance Of Survival Was Slim
Giving his deteriorating condition, Hope’s chance of survival was very slim. Every breath the little boy took was a struggle. He was so weak that he could barely hold his head up. Anja hoped that by giving him the name, Hope, that there was hope for his future. He was suffering from malnutrition and worms and had a whole host of other problems.
Anja took Hope to the local orphanage. There, doctors tried to get him healthy. He was given IV fluids and mediation to treat his various health issues. Anja even helped them give Hope his first bath. She couldn’t let him die. As time went on, Hope was responding to the treatment. Once his medical issues were treated, it was time to start fattening him up. He was extremely thin, and it was going to take time for him to gain weight. Over time, he started gaining weight.
Four Months Later
The team at the orphanage gave Hope the love and care that he needed to thrive. Anja checked in on him often, and four months after she brought him to the orphanage, she took a photo of him and posted it online. The progress that he made was incredible. He had gained weight, and he was strong enough to walk around by himself. In the video that was posted on Instagram, he is dancing with the people from the orphanage. When he arrived four months earlier, he didn’t have the strength to hold his head up; now he was dancing.
One Year Later
On the first anniversary that Anja rescued Hope, she decided to recreate the moment that they met. A year later, she was no longer a blonde. Instead, she was a brunette. Hope was dressed in an adorable red outfit, and he looked happy and healthy. She gave him a drink of water the same way that she did a year earlier. This time, Hope’s future was bright. It was much different than the photo taken a year earlier.
A Happy, Healthy Boy
People couldn’t believe how much progress Hope had made in a year. He looked so healthy that you wouldn’t have known that it was the same boy. He gets all of the love and care that he needs from the people at the orphanage. He is thriving in a way that the doctors never thought possible.
A Bright Future
Today, Hope has a bright future. He is being cared for by the people at the orphanage, and maybe, one day, he will find a family of his own. If he doesn’t, it won’t be a big deal. The people at the orphanage have become his family. The children there are like his brothers and sisters. Had Anja not helped Hope the way that she did, he wouldn’t be here today. This starving Nigerian kid transformation is a miracle.