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Freezing Chinese boy turned viral sensation earns donations for school, family

/ 05:36 PM January 15, 2018

Images: Screengrab from Facebook/People’s Daily, China

A boy’s snowy trek for a final exam turned into a heart-melting viral post, and a deluge of donations has thereafter flowed.

Eight-year-old Wang Fuman became an Internet sensation when he was pictured with frozen eyebrows and hair from a 4.5-kilometer walk to school in flimsy clothing.

Now, he and his classmates will be able to keep warm through an engineering firm’s donations.

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The company gave 144 items of winter clothes to students and heating equipment to the province’s school, according to People’s Daily.

It also offered the boy’s father a job in the town so that he could be near his family. Wang is described as a “left-behind child”, a phenomenon happening to children in China as parents leave rural areas to work in urban cities. The boy lives with his older sister and grandmother in a mud house.

Local authorities turned over the initial batch of 100,000 yuan (approximately P780,000) to Zhuangshanbao primary school, located in a poor part of western China. At least 81 students received 500 yuan (P630) each in subsidies as well.

When Wang’s picture went viral, his father went home to give him money worth 5 yuan (P40). The schoolboy told news website The Paper, “I want to save it for treatment when my parents get sick.”

The Yunnan China Youth Development Foundation raised funds after the photo went viral and has since received 1.9 million yuan (nearly P15 million). Left-behind children in nine cities in Yunnan also stand to be beneficiaries. According to a 2016 survey by the country’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, there are 61 million left-behind children in China.

“I’m so happy because many people are helping me and have given me many gifts,” Wang said to state television. Niña V. Guno/JB

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TAGS: China, left behind children, Migrant workers, Poverty, Yunnan
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