While most 5-year-old children are in school or outside playing, little Anna Wang from Southwest China is taking care of her grandmother and great-grandmother. In fact, she is the sole caregiver for both elderly women, a role thrust upon her by circumstances no child should have to endure.
Anna’s father was sent to jail for unknown reasons when she was only 3 months old, and her mother remarried and abandoned the young girl shortly after. Left behind in the remote mountains of Zuyin with her severely arthritic grandmother and 92-year-old great-grandmother, she began gathering food and cooking for them, and undertakes other duties such as cleaning and helping her relatives to the toilet.
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A generous neighbor allows Anna to pick vegetables from their farm. She has reportedly told Chinese media outlets that she does this because she wants to, and “wishes good health” for her family. A heartbreaking series of photos, however, show a childhood lost and forgotten.
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5-year-old Anna Wang from China is the sole caregiver for her ill grandmother and 92-year-old great-grandmother
Since her elderly relatives are bedridden, Anna cooks for them and feeds them every day, while other children play and go to school
She undertakes other chores such as cleaning the house, bathing her relatives, and helping them to the toilet
The family lives in a modest house in the remote mountains of Zuyin, Southwest China
Anna wakes up early every morning to begin attending to her duties, and has no other family or friends to support her
When Anna was just 3 months old, her father was sent to jail for unknown reasons
Her mother, who remarried shortly after, abandoned young Anna and left her to provide for her ailing relatives
She stands on a stool and stretches her small body over the stove as she prepares family meals
A generous neighbor who owns a farm allows Anna to take vegetables from it, which she caries on her back
Her grandmother has severe septic arthritis, and can barely take care of herself without Anna’s help
She has reportedly told Chinese media that she does this because she wants to, and “wishes good health” for her family
However, no child should have to endure these circumstances, and Anna visibly mourns the life she could’ve had
A photo of her father is all she has left of her stolen childhood