Over the past week the picture of a little boy with his hair completely covered in frost after walking to school through the Yunnan countryside has gone viral on Chinese social media.
The little boy, named Wang Fuman, is a grade three student in the Zhuanshanbao primary school in Ludian County, Yunnan Province. The school is 4.5 kilometres away from his home. Usually Wang has to trek more than an hour to get to school. The school principal Fu later explained that “on that day, the temperature dropped to minus nine degrees Celsius. As Wang arrived and made a face, all the students burst out laughing.”
It is reported that Wang is a left-behind child, living with his sister and grandmother, while his father is a migrant worker in Kunming. The picture and the following report raised extensive social attention, as many internet users expressed their willingness to donate some money.
On the afternoon of January 13th, Wang’s father announced that the family had received more than 7,000 yuan and other supplies such as clothes, shoes, milk and bread.
Also, the Yunnan Provincial Committee of the Communist Youth League and the Yunnan Youth Development Foundation launched a “Warm winter for the youth campaign” (青春暖冬行动), aiming to support the left-behind children in the remote countryside of Yunnan this winter. By 4 pm on the 15th of January, 2,796,412 Yuan had been collected in donations.
On the 13th, principal Fu announced that the school had received the first round of donations, in total 100,000 yuan, with 500 yuan distributed to each student, and the remaining money also intended for the students’ use, including the electricity charges for the heating and the medical fees.
Next semester, with the new school building completed, free accommodation will be offered for students who live far away from the school, and both a male teacher and a female teacher will be on duty every night. Dinner provided to students will also follow the standards for nutritious food.
According to the government staff in nearby Xinzhen town, the bidding to build a new road from the village committee (near the Zhuanshanbao primary school) to Wang’s residence (surrounded by more than 30 households) already finished last November, and 2.5 kilometres of roadbed are waiting to be hardened. Another road from the village to the town is also to be finished, shortening the journey from a 50 to a 30 minute drive. It will then become more convenient for students to go to school and for residents to leave.