The heart-wrenching story behind confronting photos showing a two-year-old Nigerian boy being fed water by a volunteer has emerged.
The boy had reportedly been shunned by his community, who accused him of being a witch.
Charity worker Anja Loven came across the disoriented child wandering the streets, reportedly living off any scraps of food that he could find.
His limbs were stick-thin from starvation and his belly bloated due to worms.
As soon as she saw him, Ms Loven stopped to feed the toddler and let him drink from her water bottle.
She took the sick child to a nearby hospital, where he was given medication and blood transfusions to increase his red blood cell count, the Daily Mail reported.
Ms Loven, a Danish national, founded the African Children's Aid Education and Development Foundation three years ago and specifically aims to help ‘witch children’, kids that have been neglected, tortured and even killed by members of their own community, believing they are witches.
She named the sick child Hope and just two weeks after rescuing him she said his condition is now stable.
“Hope is getting so much better. Already gaining a lot of weight and looking so much more healthy,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
“Now we only need him to talk. But that will come naturally when he is out of the hospital and starting his life among all our children.
“Children become stronger together.”
Sharing the confronting pictures on social media, Ms Loven said she "didn’t know how to describe it in words".
“This is what makes life so beautiful and valuable and therefore I will let the pictures speak for themselves,” she wrote.
The images made a lasting impact on many Facebook users who expressed their emotions online.
“I will never ever forget this picture… My heart is broken. Thank god for you Anja,” one woman wrote.
“I can't stop crying, how can anybody do something awful to a child!” another said.
She shared the photographs of Hope’s journey to her Facebook page this month appealing for help from the public.
In just two days, more than $1 million had been raised.
She is now building a doctor’s clinic with a portion of the money to help save more children in Nigeria.
Ms Loven has her own 18-month-old son, who plays with Hope regularly.
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