Wang Haotian is twelve years old and one of two hundred left behind children living in a small village outside of Hohhot, Inner Mongolia. As GCV has been making its way through Mongolia, we have been connecting with multiple families with left behind children. Haotian’s story is particularly moving.
Haotian and his grandparents live in a small, one-bedroom house. Outside, they have the company of a guard dog, a mule, sheep and chickens. With no running water, the family survives on rainwater to drink and wash clothing.
We approached Haotian to ask him a few questions, and soon found that he is extremely shy and avoids eye contact. Later his grandmother explained that Haotian’s parents left to work when he was only ten months old. Nowadays he only gets to see his parents once a year. Haotian’s grandma encourages him to do well in school, but he is lonely and withdrawn. She believes this is causing his schoolwork to suffer. Haotian’s future was an emotional topic for both grandparents to discuss, and it is their hope that he will get a good education.
When we asked, Haotian couldn’t tell us what direction he wanted to go in after he finished school. We asked him what his biggest dream is, and he didn’t have an answer.
“To see the lives of LBC really brings your emotions into play,” GCV member Christine Labbe said after meeting Haotian and his family. “It makes you realize that there are real kids that need help. There are 58 million left behind children in China, but if we can help the 200 children in that village, I think that even makes a difference. That’s a lot of lives changed.”
This is one story of many. We hope to connect with and inspire many left behind children and their families on our journey through Mongolia. Stay tuned for more information to come!
*Name has been changed for privacy reasons.