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BellaNaijarians, Let Us Be the Change! See How a Danish Woman saved a “Hopeless” Nigerian Boy



Rescued Boy
This photograph is one of the most heartbreaking images you will ever see.
This is not from a warzone or refugee camp.
This image was taken in January 2016.
In Nigeria…

Danish Anja Ringgren Lovén is married to Nigerian David Emmanuel Umem. The couple live and work in Uyo where they founded the African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation (ACAEDF).

Anja Ringgren Lovén & David with their son

Anja Ringgren Lovén & David Emmanuel Umen with their son

The boy in the photograph is named Hope and he was abandoned by his family because “they thought he was a witch”. He was found hungry, homeless and hopeless by Anja in January, this small child had spent months completely neglected but since Anja rescued him and thanks to the Foundation (supported by donations from all around the world), his life has turned around.

He now lives in a children’s centre managed by the Foundation. He lives alongside other children and is surrounded by love. Hope has a medical condition called hypospadias (a congenital condition in males in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis) and will be undergoing an operation soon. However, the prognosis is very good.

Hope 2 Hope 3Hope 7 Hope 4Hope 8Hope 6

Visit the African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation (ACAEDF)’s Facebook page for more info and remember to always show love whenever you can!


  1. Marlvina

    April 1, 2016 at 12:08 am

    I just can’t control the tears!


      April 1, 2016 at 7:51 am

      Mind u, this woman with the scary tattoos is not a head-tying born-again o!. Does she even faithfully attend church? I don’t think she knows any scripture from Genesis to Revelation. , She does not speak in tongues and did not have any revelation from the Holy Spirit in order to save this innocent child. This is simply the language of love. And u want to tell me God will not bless this trouser-wearing atheist? Food for thought for those who carry religion on their heads….over to you.

  2. Samuel

    April 1, 2016 at 12:19 am

    I will be the change I want to see! Thank you bjorn!

  3. Benny

    April 1, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Us wey don dey road since Monday de distribute items to IDPs, nothing for us. This feels like we Nigerians do nothing and others come in to do for us. Perhaps those of us who risk our lives gotta be a different pigmentation too. I’m sorry but the headline is cliché and painful to read.
    Not to mention this tired ol’ “be the change” in the midst of a government with a failed change mantra.
    God bless Anja and her husband for their efforts. Beautiful people

    • Chic_hijabi

      April 1, 2016 at 3:03 am

      Thank you, a lot of us are making changes too, we just are not in the media or white….BUT YEAH, we will keep doing it even without recognition.

    • Ehiwarior

      April 1, 2016 at 8:12 am

      Thank you Benny..and God bless Anja.

      Out there, there are one million and one Nigerians, both male and female, changing lives. I am an example.
      Because, we don’t shout about about doesn’t mean we are not doing.

    • Bell

      April 1, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      BENNY thank you!!!! There are many like you in nigeria. It’s sacrifice and I do appreciate it. Other commenters there is no need to bad mouth our people. We are making strides it’s just not always documented.

    • shield

      May 25, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Exactly what my boss said when I tried to “encourage” him to do some charity program. People who make so much impact (on the less priviledged and helpless) do not blow their trumpet. I’m sure Anja wasn’t seeking attention and God bless her and her family for all they have done. However, there are a lot of people doing greater things in their environment without any recognition. Na God Almighty go reward us all.

  4. Aisha

    April 1, 2016 at 12:37 am

    I am in tears as I write. What exactly are we doing in this country called Nigeria?
    All we seem to care about are parties, clubbing, showing off brand clothes and accessories, etc.
    Does it always have to take someone else to show us what we aught to be doing anyway?
    And this is a country with so many mosques, churches and what have you….

    • what?

      April 1, 2016 at 7:01 am

      Please speak for yourself biko. Many of us are making changes in our community, we just don’t put it up in the media. Hian.

    • Rampage

      April 1, 2016 at 8:01 am

      Lol! So emotional.
      Rest assured that so many nigerians at home and abroad are also helping our kids in tough conditions. You may not have noticed them yet, but they are working even with their brown skin.

    • Ehiwarior

      April 1, 2016 at 8:15 am

      Not everyone care about parties, many of us are changing lives, but we are media-shy and I am an example.

  5. Tosin

    April 1, 2016 at 12:51 am

    love the message. love the people, esp the kids. love her style too omg.

  6. Elizabeth

    April 1, 2016 at 12:59 am

    BN… I love you guys. But I had to comment. I find your title for this feature rather misleading. Nigerian’s have been continuing to social change for years. Everyday many Nigerians are helping and serving their communities through charities ..and community work. Unlike other countries many of us have been raised to do that. Yes we don’t have NGO’s set up by everyone but we are definitely contributing in various areas.

    Can we do more? ..almost definitely. Must we do more…he’ll yeah. But just be cautious with these headlines. It paints the picture as, the ‘internationals have come to save the day’. Yes she is doing a great job. Let us encourage her and contribute to her NGO. But by all means let us also embrace that we have been making change. We only need to continue. #thanks

  7. Nmadeevah

    April 1, 2016 at 1:03 am

    God bless their hearts abundantly.

  8. Miss B

    April 1, 2016 at 3:09 am

    This story has been in circulation for almost 2 months and finally Bella Naija has picked it up after the Daily Mail carried an update as its headline earlier today.

    As a Nigerian (living abroad) I have never felt more ashamed and helpless as I did when I first read about this child. Ashamed that his parents and his people abandoned him to certain death, ashamed that it took a foreigner to rescue him and more so to bring attention to his plight; one which is common to an unknown number of children across the region. This is in a town which has a local govt, a state which has a governor…a country that has a government. Where are the so-called authorities? What have they done with the money allocated towards “social services” and “child development” in their budgets?

    Why did no one else do anything to help save this innocent child accused of witchcraft. Judging by the sorry state of the child, he had been abandoned a long time ago.
    I felt ashamed because I have not been able to abandon my life abroad and move to a remote village to fight for these innocent lives.
    I have an immense amount of love and respect for this woman in particular and all Nigerians who extend a helping hand to their fellow Nigerians; to anyone who goes out of their comfort zone to make a difference: God bless you.

    To those who have the access, the means and even the mandate to do something but remain un-moved, disconnected and unconcerned, I implore you: these are our children too. We must protect all children.

    Bella Naija, your organization and your founder has a real ability to “be the Change”. Don’t just print a story 3 months later…DO SOMETHING. Start a movement. Petition the government! Raise some money for an actual cause! There are hundreds all around you.

    Instead of swamping us with images of excess and waste- lavish weddings, events for the sake of events, Polo for the “elite”. Do something meaningful. You have the access. You have the means. USE YOUR PLATFORM TO MAKE A MEANINGFUL DIFFERENCE.

    And before anyone says “they don’t have to publicize their charitable giving”, I say why not? Everything is public nowadays- wedding, shopping, vacation, honeymoon, pregnancy and birth…even sex! So why not share when you do a good deed! Share so the world can have its eyes opened to the need that exists! All we see is spending and materialism!

  9. neeka

    April 1, 2016 at 3:20 am

    this is so sad…i love God with all my heart, but i can’t stomach some religious people. who gave them the right to declare that a child is a witch? if they are really worshippers of God, why not show love?? God is love. blee your heart Aja and your hubby. May God continue to bless and keep u strong

  10. Felinda

    April 1, 2016 at 3:34 am

    All yall fake social media celebrities always showing off ya fake materialistic wealth. I hope you feel proud of your self. This is what life is about. It’s never about you. It’s about helping the poor and helpless daily. I am paying for fees for two young siblings no relation to me). I sleep better at nite

  11. love

    April 1, 2016 at 3:36 am

    Benny please try to get your story out- people would love to and anyone else doing good. Dont be tired but keep working and share the good work and results

  12. Hmmm

    April 1, 2016 at 3:57 am

    I am unsure if the post is sponsored, or bellanaija does not know of other organizations headed by Nigerians that are working hard for nigerians. I really hope this organization was not singled out for mention because of the wife’s lack of melanin?!

    Anja and her husband’s efforts are wonderful! But again, please do not make it seem as though, there are other Nigerian organizations being the change that so many of us want to see in the country. So please highlight others…ie (Destiny’s Child Center…the reason the name is fresh in my mind is because the name is catchy). It was actually through that organization that I first learned about the issue of children being branded witches by churches and families abandoning their child as a result, YEARSSSSSS ago.

  13. truth

    April 1, 2016 at 4:44 am

    It is sad that it took a stranger to remind us the need for human kindness without selfish gain. This should be a great example that we as humans, as nigerians should value every life,no matter what the stupid demonic pastors say. I am so glad that the life of Hope has given us a new hope for what possibilities of greatness lies in all of us.

  14. Ides of March

    April 1, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Heartbreaking! I’m so glad the baby survived. Gosh, words cannot describe how i feel :((((

  15. queenbee

    April 1, 2016 at 7:51 am

    The real change will happen when Nigerian religions atop endorsing ideas about witchcraft and all other nonsense. The religious ignorance continues therefore there will be several more of these babies abandoned. kill the problem at its root. Regulate your churches and religions. your pastor chris’ and TB joshja endorsing ideas about witches and demons has only served to encourage a people already fully entrenched in the disastrous ideology of these sort of superstitions. It is your children who will keep suffering. Africa needs to regulate it’s religious bodies and enforce criminal charges against those spreading this hateful ignorance


    April 1, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Thanks to all the wonderful BellaNaijarians and anyone out there doing wonderful things especially related to charity and development.

    Anyone who is a BN regular knows that we feature Nigerians giving back very regularly –

    There are so many more examples.

    In this case, let us not be cynical. Let us give credit where it is due, Yes, she is white. Yes, she rescued this child, yes this particular child had been helpless for 8 months and no one took the extra step to provide him healthcare and a home. Sure some people may have dashed him N10 Naira here and N20 Naira there.

    In addition, she and her husband (who is Nigerian and also mentioned in this article) run a Foundation.
    For us at BN, stories like this also inspire us to do even more than what we currently do. We also give back in many ways, like other commenters mentioned, not every instance is made public.

    For us, black or white, naija or oyinbo, if you are doing great things, we will celebrate you.

    Love and kisses. Happy April.

  17. Mercygal

    April 1, 2016 at 9:57 am


  18. Bimbo

    April 1, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Real change will be regulating pastors and their abusive preaching. That would stop a lot of witch – lynching s etc.
    That’s why a responsible government like the UK refused to grant entry to Helen upkabio .

  19. banana

    April 1, 2016 at 11:30 am

    pls is it the skinny boy that has become chubby…….OMG

  20. Fola Coco

    April 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    People can be myopic in their thinking,and enslaved in their minds..What has color of skin got to do with this post? If volunteering and charity work is part of your life,you will see this post for exactly what it is…There are a lot of Nigerians,White(Caucasians),Africans etc doing a lot of good around the world. Not every story of good deed can be posted or aired,that doesn’t take away from the people who labour for a good cause. If you want your works seen,post them on your social media handles.

    If BN post charity and volunteer stories they’ve worked on constantly,some of us will still complain that they are showing off(must they announce it)…No one has a right to tell anyone how to spend his/her money(giving,charity,volunteering,being of aid etc,is individual,between you and your conscience and whatever you worship)…We see post like this we get angry,we cry, and we move on..Instead of it to cause us to act,you don’t need to be rich,celebrity etc to help..You don’t always need money to help,you can make a difference and be the change you want with your TIME…

    The church,the rich,government,BN,etc can’t do everything,and can’t be the medium for aid always…God has blessed us all in little or big ways,we can be responsible for @least a child’s school fees. We can help with their home [email protected],we can cook 1nce in a month(or more) for starving kids.. May God bless all the hearts who sow seeds of kindness(whether seen,posted,or done in quiet)

  21. Real Countess

    April 1, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Nigerian pastors/Politicians are busy flying jets and displaying rolls royce and latest automobiles. Diverting funds/tithes and offerings. Its hightime I start donating my tithe and offering to those in dire need. Na wa

  22. Drew

    April 1, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Felt so sad when I saw this story making the rounds and as a mother I couldn’t even bring myself to really take a good look at the picture with that poor child looking that bad. However I managed to pick up where this took place and imagine my surprise as a non-Nigerian BNer,that this child is a Nigerian and lives in present day Bella Naija’s Nigeria. A state known as Akwa Ibom?? I remember the governor there sponsoring people and making ambassadors of already well to do and popular people from stories I’ve been reading on here. A child this young abandoned by his family,failed by the state and a Nation!! But wasn’t really surprise I never came across the story on BN until today. Let’s all be busy forming classy (in my Naija’s accent)

  23. Warri Pickin

    April 1, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    “Sometimes Angels protect us from the consequences of poor judgment. Or the very dumb and potentially harmful things we do.”

    – Dan Martell,”About Angels”
    Thank you Anja and Husband for this Uncommon good deed, God bless you

  24. VivLaw

    April 1, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    I’m not sure why some people are being like this. Nobody said Nigerians don’t help their communities or help those in need.
    An innocent soul was saved, after being abandoned for 8 months. We should all be happy. He’s alive and well and is developing well. That’s the most important thing! Let’s not bring race into this. All those helping the less fortunate are on the same team!

  25. Drknite

    April 1, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Thank you white woman for saving this dingy Nigerian boy. I hope his parents are ashamed of themselves. They seriously need to be neutered.

  26. Md

    April 1, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Sometimes , I wish Africa will be colonize again

  27. Keya

    April 2, 2016 at 11:18 am

    I really hope this opens the eyes of many nigerians especially the rich and even anyone. Because this boy’s case is one of many. There are many videos of children of all ages being accused of witchcraft and left alone in nigeria… It soo unbelievable that for 8 months this 2year old was walking around n eating from the floor and not even the people of the village helped…

  28. Ethel

    April 4, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    awww… see how chubby and handsome he looks

  29. annoynimous

    May 26, 2016 at 5:58 am

    This country needs more foriegners such has Herself. Amazing!

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