Danish aid worker tops list of world’s most inspiring people

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Stories, images and videos go viral in pockets of the worldwide web everyday.

Occasionally, however, something will come along that really cuts through the noise to strike a chord with people across the globe.

This year, one of those moments arrived courtesy of Danish aid worker Anja Ringgren Lovén, who made the world sit up and pay attention when a shocking photo of her feeding an abandoned, near-starving Nigerian child went instantly viral back in February of this year.

Now, Lovén has topped the Ooom 100: The World’s Most Inspiring People list, in recognition of her efforts in the Nigerian orphanage she works at.

The photo, above, shows Lovén giving two-year-old orphan Hope a drink of water, while holding a packet of Digestive biscuits in the other hand.

It is clear from the image how starving Hope, whose parents abandoned him as they believed he was a “witch child”, was. The child is clutching a can of fizzy drink while leaning forward on his skinny, bowed legs, as Lovén crouches down to give him the water.

The heartbreaking image brought the suffering of children in Nigeria home to people around the world, and highlighted the need for aid in third world countries.

Speaking to Ooom magazine, Lovén said, “For me it was clear at this moment that I would fight with all my strength for this little boy to survive.”

And taking to Facebook, Lovén insisted that she should share the credit with those she works with, writing, “To see my name at number 1 is really amazing. I'm like WOW.

“But as I have said so many times before. I'm not alone. I'm surrounded by the most hard working and devoted team members in the world.”

Inspirational Lovén sold everything she owned back in 2012 to start a humanitarian mission, before founding the African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation, which aims to help children abandoned due to fears they might be witches.

Thanks to Lovén and her team, children such as Hope (below) are going on to live full and healthy lives.


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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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