Chinese web portal 163.com (网易) has a photo project series called “By Our Side” (身边) that focuses on “social phenomena”, aiming to document the stories of people that would normally remain untold. Recently, photographer Liu Feiyue’s series on left-behind children – called “Childhoods of the Left-behind children” (留守的童年) – was featured on the site (link here). With the permission of the photographer, CDB has republished the photos and translated their captions.
As of today, there are about 61 millions of left-behind children living in rural China. Two tragic incidents that took place earlier this year have once again brought public attention to the issue (see here for CDB’s special focus). It is estimated that 10 million of these children don’t get to see their parents even once a year while 2.6 million dont even get the chance to speak to their parents even once every year. Government and NGOs are working hard to provide material aid to left-behind children, but their mental and psychological health have long been ignored (information from a White Paper recently published by the NGO Road to School (上学路上)1.