Two months ago Hope was living on the streets of Nigeria, riddled with worms, on the brink of starvation and cast out from his community accused of being a “witch”.
Now, new pictures shared by the aid worker who adopted him reveal the extraordinary transformation he has undergone in a matter of weeks.
An image of Danish philanthropist Anja Ringgren Lovén giving water to Hope was shared around the world at the end of January.
The boy’s story has since sparked an awareness campaign, led by the African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation (ACAEDF), which Ms Lovén founded with her husband David.
In an update on her Facebook page, Ms Lovén informed Hope’s supporters the boy was due to undergo corrective surgery to treat hypospadias, “an inborn condition in which one has an incomplete developed urethra”.
The surgery is expected to take place next week, but “this is an operation the doctors have performed many times, so [he] will be fine”, Ms Lovén said.
“As you can see on the pictures Hope is really enjoying his life now having 35 new brothers and sisters who ALL take such good care of him, play with him, study with him, and make sure he is safe and is getting a lot of love,” she added.
Ms Lovén has previously spoken about how she gave up everything she had in Denmark to set up a foundation for Nigeria’s so-called “witch children”.
She said she first saw the problems created by superstition in rural Nigeria when she travelled there alone three years ago and met children “who had been tortured and beaten almost to death because they were accused of being witches and therefore left alone on the street”.
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