When I was five-years-old I loved Barney and I pretty much thought my grandmother was the best person in the world.
She always gave me cuddles and defended me if I got in trouble with my mom. I loved her so much that I probably would have looked after her if I could.
But the truth is at five-years-old the only thing I needed to worry about was Barney.
But for 5-year-old Anna Wang from Southwest China, taking care of her grandmother and great-grandmother is her way of life.
Anna is the sole caregiver for both elderly women. It is a role thrust upon her by circumstances beyond her control.
We can all agree, it a role no child should have to endure.
Anna’s father was sent to jail when she was only 3 months old.
Her mother later remarried, but shockingly abandoned the young girl shortly after.
Now Anna lives in the remote mountains of Zuyin with her severely arthritic grandmother and 92-year-old great-grandmother.
The brave toddler begins her day by gathering food and cooking for them. She then cleans and helps her relatives to the toilet.
The little girl even bathes the women who are twice her size.
Anna has some help from a neighbor who allows Anna to pick vegetables from their farm.
The generous neighbor has reportedly told Chinese media outlets that she does this because she wants to, and “wishes good health” for her family.
A heartbreaking series of photos, however, show a childhood that is rapidly fading and a little girl who is being forgotten.
Anna is so small that she stands on a stool and stretches her small body over a stove as she prepares family meals.
All Anna has is one photo of the man who should have been her protector: her father.
He is in prison for unknown reasons and Anna does not know if or when he will be released.
As a photographer captures a photo of Anna visibly emotional, mourning the life she could’ve had as she stares at a picture of her dad.
One question is painfully clear.
Who will comfort Anna?