Not a child’s play: Kids working as adults to make a living

Source: Published: 2016/3/16 16:31:02

Highlights: Classroom is where we expect kids to be, but not all kids are lucky enough to go to school. Many of them are forced to spend their childhood at home or on streets doing chores of daily life. Photographer Ma Xiaojun spotted many poor children making a living on their own in a remote city in Southwest China for years. These poor but strong kids do everything they can to live, including performing on the street, collecting scrap, and taking care of housework and younger siblings. Photos: Ma Xiaojun

  • A girl performs a bending act in front of a group of kids of the same age group on December 4, 2009.

  • A little boy holds his mother’s back while she cleans shoes for a girl on a street on the new year’s day in 2009.

  • A boy looks into a basket for ‘valuable’ things while holding a bag containing his collections of the day on August 3, 2005.

  • A six-year-old girl dresses up her baby brother on April 10, 2010. Taking care of the younger brother is a daily duty for her, with both parents out to work to make a living.

  • A seven-year-old boy stretches to reach a pot to store his freshly cooked food for supper on April 17, 2011. With parents busy with work, the boy has to take care of all the housework.

  • Zhao Kaiyuan sings on the street to earn money to pay for his medical treatment on May 19, 2015. The boy lost both his arms and one leg after an electrical accident, which cost the poor family a large sum of money.

  • A little girl, carrying her baby brother on her back, stares at a man holding his well-dressed grandson while taking a break from collecting scrap on September 14, 2003.

  • A boy reads a book on a giant bag of scrap collected by his father on October 11, 2009.

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