Land of Hope, the Nigeria Based Non-Governmental Organization, which has been actively working to promote and protect the human rights of the country’s children, has recently shared a rescue story of Victory, one of the NGOs “witch children.” Notably, the children that Land of Hope rescues are abused and/or abandoned by the communities and families.
Even though the country is several decades into the post-independence period, several communities in Nigeria still struggle with faceless and baseless notions of superstitions and belief in sorcery and witchcraft. Accordingly, the NGO protects children from accusations of being witches and abused in the name of superstition.
Land of Hope shared the story of Victory’s rescue with the people on their page. With this, the authorities at Land of Hope urged them to draw inspiration from his life. The NGO rescued Victory three years ago before the Coronavirus or Covid-19 Pandemic necessitated worldwide lockdowns to contain the infection.
At the time, Victory was trying to survive on the street. The community where he lived before accused him of being a witch and ousted the boy. The gathering took this step under the influence of superstition. Meanwhile, someone saw Victory in a horrible condition and took pictures of him on different days. He wanted to report it to the police, but the pandemic hit and prevented him from leaving his house.
A few months later, some people found Victory in a critical state, where he was on the brink of death. The people then contacted the founders of Land of Hope, David Emmanuel Umem and Anja Ringgren Loven. After that, the authorities acted fast, found Victory and rushed him to the hospital.
For several upcoming months, Victory was not able to breathe by himself. His rescuers at Land of Hope had to buy oxygen every week. Meanwhile, the bottom part of his body was completely paralysed due to his struggles to survive in the streets.
When the NGO rescued the boy, he was very critical. He suffered from tetanus infection, a deadly and serious disease that caused Victory many painful body spasms. Meanwhile, Land of Hope Founders and staff admitted Victory to the hospital for over a half year. When the authorities discharged him from the hospital, he could only walk a few steps.
Following this, he started to recover much faster when he met all the children and staff at Land of Hope. Here, the NGO took the opportunity to observe that:
Humans can live about 40 days without food, approximately three days without water, and about 8 minutes without air. However, they can survive only for 1 second without love and hope. They confessed that We never thought Victory would survive, but we must never underestimate the powerful force of love and care. Victory had Land of Hope staff and some of the kids of the NGO who would come and visit, surrounding him in the hospital 24/7.
After three years, Victory has fully recovered. He is very healthy and strong. We named him Victory because he could not speak for months, and Victory was the most important name we could give him. His real name is Ubong, and he loves to be called Ubong Victory or Victory Ubong. He says he loves both. Thank you all for supporting Land of Hope. You are saving lives