IMAGES of a boy who arrived at school with a head full of icicles after walking more than 4 kilometers through the freezing snow has drawn widespread attention to children from poor rural families.
Wang Manfu, 10, was photographed by his teacher Monday morning, and the picture quickly went viral after being shared on social media.
Wearing only a thin jacket, the student had braved temperature of minus 9 degrees Celsius to travel over an hour from his village home to reach Zhuanshanbao Primary School in Zhaotong, Yunnan Province.
“He arrived with his hair and eyebrows completely frozen, sparking laughter among his 16 classmates,” said Fu Heng, the school’s principal, who uploaded Wang’s image along with pictures of students with frostbite on their hands.
Fu added that his classrooms do not have heating due to a lack of funding.
After hearing Wang’s story, the Yunnan China Youth Development Foundation launched a donation campaign for children from poor families Tuesday. It has promised to give each needy child 500 yuan (US$75) to help them stay warm in winter.
As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, the provincial foundation had collected about 300,000 yuan in public donations, and its Zhaotong office had also collected more than 26,200 yuan by 5:10 p.m., according to their websites.
Wang, who has been nicknamed “Snowflake Boy” by netizens, became an overnight sensation online. By Wednesday morning, his picture had been “liked” more than 260,000 times on Sina Weibo and shared more than 40,000 times.
The name Manfu translates as “full of happiness,” but Wang does not come from a well-off family. He lives in a mud hut with his grandmother and older sister, and rarely sees his parents because they are migrant workers in other cities.