10-Year-Old Boy Lives by Himself, Farming and Foraging, After Losing Entire Family

Heartbreaking news of a 10-year-old boy in rural Vietnam who refuses to be adopted after losing his whole family, instead living by himself and working in the fields all day, has melted the hearts of millions around the world.

While most 10-year-olds have nothing to worry about but going to school and enjoying their childhood, Dang Van Khuyen spends his days slaving in the fields around his modest home in a remote village in Vietnam, planting vegetables and foraging for things to fill his stomach with. His life has never been easy, losing his mother at a very young age and having to live with his grandmother while his father went away to find a job in construction. However, things got dramatically worse after his father died in an accident at work and his grandmother remarried in another village, as he was left with no support whatsoever.

Photo: Nghe An

Khuyen relied on financial support from his father, who regularly sent home money for food, clothes and other necessities, and on his grandmother for cooking, but now that they’re gone he has to do everything himself. In a video feature by Vietnamese media, the 10-year-old boy is shown planting vegetables in the fields around his home, and harvesting bamboo shoots to cook. He spends his days and nights in a derelict hut with a thatched roof, but doesn’t want to get adopted by another family.

After hearing about the death of Khuyen’s father, his teacher managed to raise enough money to bring his body home for burial, and alerted local authorities about the boy’s situation. As neither his parental or maternal grandparents expressed any desire to take the boy in, admission to a foster home and adoptions were the only solutions, but he flat out refused, claiming that he could take care of himself.

Photo: Nghe An

Dang Van Khuyen currently relies on the generosity of his neighbors for nutritious foods like rice, but he also harvests bamboo shoots and plants vegetables himself. He claims he is more than able to live by himself and refuses to even consider adoption, but admits that sleeping by himself every night, with he wind howling through the walls of his home is not the most pleasant thing in the world.

Ever since Khuyen’s teacher shared his story online and Vietnamese media started writing about his admirable courage, support has been pouring in from all over the country. Some people offered to adopt him, while others expressed a willingness to donate supplies, but it’s unclear how much help the boy is willing to accept.


One of the most impressive things about this brave 10-year-old is that despite his hardships, he has never missed a day of school. Every morning, he gets on his bicycle, attends classes and then returns home to do his daily chores.

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