11 year old Luo Yunxia is one of 31 million children living in boarding schools in rural China. She has lived almost half her life away from home. Through the GIVE-A-DAY donation BESTSELLER and Save the Children are improving the lives of children like Luo by turning their schools in to Dream Schools.
A narrow and winding road leads the way through the green mountains. Even short distances on these roads are time consuming – and can be dangerous. Bad and treacherous roads are one reason why some 31 million Chinese children are attending boarding school. Luo Yunxia is one of them. She studies, eats and sleeps together with close to 500 other students at Fuheng Primary School in Yangbi County.
Luo is 11 years old and she has been in boarding school since she was six. Her mother lives just over five kilometers away but the combination of bad roads and 12 hour school days means Luo can’t go back and forth to school every day. So instead she lives at the school.
Luo is luckier than most in the boarding school as she can see her mother quite often.
“I see my mother every weekend. The first thing I do, when I see my mother is to run and give her a hug. But Sundays can be hard, Luo says. “I really don’t want to go back to school. I just want one more second with my mother, and I already start to look forward to the next weekend.”
For other children going home on the weekends is not an option. Poverty forces many Chinese parents to move thousands of kilometers for work and they only see their children once or twice per year. Luo also doesn’t see her father often, she says. “My father lives in Laos, so I only see him once a year. He went to work in a banana farm.”