Xu Kaien takes care of her disabled brother who sits on a wheelchair. [Chinanews]
Xu Kaien, a 12-year-old girl in Grade six in Naxi District, Luzhou City of southwest China's Sichuan Province, whose mother died three years ago, has been looking after her disabled elder brother since her grieving father left their town to work elsewhere. However, she still continues her studies despite the hardship at home.
Every day, Xu gets up early in the morning, quickly dresses herself, washes her face, brushes her teeth and helps her grandmother make breakfast. After cooking, the young girl is used to assisting her disabled brother, who suffers from polio, in getting up. She dresses him, washes him and sits him on a wheelchair. Then she feeds her brother breakfast, bite after bite until he finishes. Xu will hurry to eat for a while and then runs to school. Since Xu's father has left home, she is the only one who works in her household.
Xu is also a very frugal child. She has never had a 3.5 yuan (U.S. $0.6) meal for lunch. Instead, her meal is taken from home, and she rarely eats snacks. Even though she is living under such tough conditions, she never loses her dream of learning at school and is always the top student in her class. She is the shortest because of the lack of nutrition, but she works very hard and often spends some time teaching her elder brother at home.
Sometimes, Xu has to bear the bad temper of her brother but she never complains. When asked whether she has thought of abandoning her sibling, she answers: "Mom has left us, so certainly I won't leave my brother." Her dream is to be a doctor in future so she could help improve the health of people like her grandma and brother.
(Source: Chinanews/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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