The terms witch, wizard, is used to describe someone who is believed to heal someone using magic or aircraft but in Nigeria, it is generally known to be in association with evil, sorcery, and devil worship. A good number of children in Nigeria have been branded witches and are being tortured and killed as a result of this.
The physical torture which sometimes leads to the death of these children who have been branded witches face and the heartbreak she felt when she saw first saw an abused and famished boy accused of witchcraft wandering the sandy streets of a Nigerian village is why Anja Ringgren Loven, a Danish woman committed her life to save these Nigerian children that have been accused of witchcraft.
According to Anja Ringgren's investigation, these children are more likely to be branded witches when they have physical disabilities, unexplained illnesses, are stubborn and lazy. It was also discovered that poor education and poverty served as foundations for the superstitious believes of these children being accused of witchcraft.
Anja Ringgren's humanitarian works became known in 2016 when a picture of her giving a malnourished, starved, and unclothed toddler accused of witchcraft water in Uyo, flooded the internet and became the center of attention. The toddler who Anja rescued was left to die on the streets after he was labeled a witch. After she rescued him, she named him hope.Hope
It would be said that Hope's story was what strengthened Anja Ringgren's decision to commit her life and time to save children that have been accused of witchcraft in Nigeria.
Anja Ringgren with other rescued children
Anja Ringgren, her team, and her husband have rescued more than 300 children. These children are enrolled in art classes, sewing classes, creativity and play, agriculture lessons, science education, computer training, music classes, cooking classes, acting classes, poetry classes, etc, and all other classes that would expose their talents and skills and which are awarded certificates at the end, and helped to start-up businesses of their choice.
Although Anja Ringgren Loven is sometimes inspired and haunted by the horrible and unimaginable stories of these children that have been abused and accused of witchcraft, she has resolved to never back down in emancipating these children from the horrors of the known and unknown.
Photo Credit: Facebook/Anja Ringgren Loven
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