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'Snowflake Boy' sparks aid appeals
January 12,2018   By:China Daily
Student, 10, becomes internet sensation after picture of his icicle hair goes viral
 
Jan. 12, 2018 -- 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 on Monday morning, and the picture quickly went viral after being shared on social media.
 
Wearing only a thin jacket, the student had braved -9 C weather 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.
 
Statistics from the Yunnan government show that eight of the province's 88 towns living under the poverty line are in Zhaotong. As of 2017, the city had more than 1.1 million people classified as impoverished, including 138,700 primary students.
 
After hearing Wang's story, the Yunnan China Youth Development Foundation launched a public donation campaign for children from poor families on Tuesday. It has promised to give each needy child 500 yuan ($75) to help them stay warm in winter.
 
The organization's Zhaotong office also began soliciting donations on the same day to help poor families in the city.
 
As of 1 pm on 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 pm, according to their websites.
 
The Zhaotong city government said on Tuesday that the education department has been urged to ensure heating is provided to all schools in mountainous areas as soon as possible.