Anja Loven came across a starving and dehydrated little boy, who was abandoned and wandering the streets in southeast Nigeria.

This 2-year-old, now named Hope, had been surviving on his own for over eight months after being left by his parents who feared he was a witch. When Anja found him, he was barely able to stand and searching for scraps of food.

Distressed by his condition, Anja said, “I was so sick to my bones to see a two-year-old boy in such a horrible condition.

When we first entered the village, I looked over my shoulders and slowly turned around to see Hope sitting on the side of the road. I became a mother myself 20 months ago and I was thinking of my own son when I saw Hope.”

She immediately approached Hope, giving him water and some food, and told him, “Yes, you are coming with me. Now you don’t have to be here anymore.”

Anja and her husband, David, run the African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation (ACAEDF), an orphanage in southeast Nigeria for children abandoned due to superstitious beliefs. They took Hope to the hospital the same day, where doctors found he had serious medical conditions, including worms. He received medication and daily blood transfusions.

Anja recalled, “He got the best treatment we could give him, and every day my team and I were hoping that he would survive… Very quickly we discovered that Hope was a very strong boy. A little fighter.”

Hope’s medical bills were high, but after Anja asked for help, people from all over the world donated over $1 million to support Hope and other children. Hope has now recovered and attended his first day of school. He also enjoys playing soccer.

Anja continues to rescue children who are abandoned, starving, and accused of being witches. Her humanitarian work has earned her recognition as the most influential person in the world in Germany.

“To the world, you may be just one person. But to one person, you may be the world.”

Many children around the world are in need, and it’s up to each of us to help them as best we can. You can support Anja’s work and watch a video of her rescuing Hope.