‘Ice boy’ moves hearts online after walking 4.5 km to school in freezing temperatures

Netizens from across the country are making donations of warm winter clothing after the kid’s photo went viral on social media

Hearts have gone out across China for one young boy who braved the cold to come to school, arriving with his hair and eyebrows covered in ice.

A photo of the boy standing in a classroom wearing a fairly thin coat with his hair turned white by frost as his classmates laugh in the background has gone viral on Chinese social media. The photo was taken on Monday morning at a primary school in rural Ludian County in northeastern Yunnan Province.

The school’s headmaster said that the boy, who is quite the class clown, lives 4.5 kilometers away from school with his sister while his parents have moved to the city to work. He walks to school each day, a trek that takes him about an hour each way.

Monday was the first day of the school’s final exam period . The temperature outside dropped to a frigid -9 degrees Celsius in the morning.

While the primary school provides breakfast and lunch for its students. It does not have heating in the classrooms, something that the headmaster says he is trying to change.

For some perspective, here’s a photo from outside the school:

Along with one of its frozen gate:

And here are two photos of the boy’s hands:

As you might have noticed, that second photo shows that the kid scored 99 out of 100 on his test, a result that has inspired many netizens, including one woman who drew the following cartoon:

“Kid, the bitterness you endure now will shine a light for your path ahead,” another Weibo user wrote.

While web users have praised the boy for his dedication to learning, they have also questioned why the government is not doing more to help “left behind” kids like him succeed in school. Many have also asked how they can help.

When interviewed by reporters, a local government official suggested that people could donate winter clothing to poor children in the area. Weibo users have provided the following address:

“Yunnan Province, Zhaotong City, Ludian County, Xinjie Town, Zhuanshanbao Primary School” (南省昭通市鲁甸县新街镇转山包小学). Postal Code (邮编): 657100.

CCTV also provides a bank account number for a local youth development foundation in the nearby city of Zhaotong:

账号 (account number):53001636136051004515,账户 (account name):昭通市青少年发展基金会,开户行 (bank):建行昭通昭阳支行,热线 (hotline):0870–2246511.

Overnight, the little “Ice Boy” (冰花男孩) has become a celebrity in China with reporters and philanthropists visiting the ramshackle home where he lives with his sister and grandmother. The boy’s 28-year-old father has also returned home to deal with his son’s newfound fame.

The father told reporters that he makes about 3,000 yuan a month as a migrant worker and is able to return home once every four or five months. He also calls home at least once a week. Meanwhile, the boy said that his mother had abandoned the family.

Watch on QQ video.

Aside from going to school, 8-year-old Wang Fuman says that he spends his time helping his grandma on the family farm. When he grows up, he wants to become a police officer so that he can help catch bad people. The place that he most hopes to visit someday is Beijing, so that he can see how students there study.

This year, his New Year’s resolution is to study hard and make some money to buy medicine for his sick grandma.

“Going to school is cold, but it’s not too hard,” he says.

The path that Wang takes to school each day.

[Images via NetEase]