I remember complaining about having to walk to school for a brief time when the family car had broken down. “It’s too far,” or it’s raining, or it’s cold…I never ran out of excuses to keep me from going to school. But in the Atuler village in Sichuan province, those excuses don’t even come close to what these kids can claim. They know that going to school is the only way to make a better life for their families, and even though some of them are only 6 years old, they do what they have to in order to make it to class.These unnerving photographs were captured by a Beijing news photographer who was shocked when he saw what the children were doing. Their little backpacks dotting the rickety wooden bridges and unsafe trails went viral.
He visited the village 3 times to take these pictures. Making the trek taught him about what these kids have to think about on their climb. You have to be 100% sure of each movement because one misstep can cause you to fall to your death.The journalists who went along with the photographer were scared of the climb. They wanted to know if this was the only way to reach the village…it was. They did it, just like these kids have to if they want to go to school.The journey is now being considered “too dangerous,” but that doesn’t stop the kids. Instead of making it every day, they board in homes near the school and only travel home twice a month. Hopefully, the viral pictures will raise awareness to their difficult situation. Hopefully, someone will help. Scaling a 2,600-foot cliff shouldn’t have to be the difference between an education or poverty.
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