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No, they’re not in training for I’m A Celebrity… they’re just going to school

No, they’re not in training for I’m A Celebrity… they’re just going to school

  • Children balance on a high wire 10 meters above a flowing river to go to school
  • A bridge was destroyed by heavy rain more than two years ago
  • The students then have to walk another seven miles through the forest to get there


If you thought it was a chore to get the kids to school, think about the parents of these kids who have to balance on a high wire 10 meters above a flowing river to get to their class on time.

These determined Sumtra students then walk another 11 kilometers through dense forest to their school in the town of Padang.

Instead of skipping school every day, 20 strong-willed students from the village of Batu Busuk on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, have been forced to cross the local river like daredevils since the suspension bridge collapsed in heavy rain more than two years ago.

Children use cables to cross the river to go to school in Pintu Gabang, Indonesia

Daredevil route: Children use high wires to cross the river, 10 feet below, to go to school in Padang, Indonesia

During the wet season, some children decide not to make the crossing for fear of falling into the flowing river below

Heavy rainfall: during the wet season, some children decide not to make the crossing for fear of falling into the flowing river below

Local photographer Igoy Fitra Yogi, 31, described how the brave children faced injuries and possibly death from drowning so they could go to school.

He said, “These kids have to fight to chase wire rope across the river to get to school.

“They keep their balance by walking slowly on the wire, swinging their arms.

Once across the river, the children have to walk eleven kilometers to get to their school

Once across the river, the children have to walk eleven kilometers to get to their school

School days: These students start the day with a different kind of test

School days: these students start the day with a different kind of test, just to go to school in Sumatra

Cross-wire: A young boy makes his lonely trip to school

High wire: A young boy is determined to get to school on time as he balances 10 meters above the moving river

The kids risk a 30-foot fall if they cross the river before school every morning

Risky Route: The kids risk a 30-foot fall if they cross the river every morning before going to school in Pandang

‘The river is very fast, some children are afraid of falling in and their uniforms get wet when they cross the river.

“When it’s the rainy season, many children decide not to go to school for fear of getting carried away.

‘Sometimes many parents cross the wire with their children, so that they can be sure that they will cross the bridge safely.’

People are forced to cross the river in this way due to the lack of road access to the village.

Indonesia is hit by natural disasters every year. In July, a flash flood hit West Sumatra, killing eight people and leaving more than 250 homeless. The worst affected areas were Batu Busuk and Padang.

In September, Padang suffered flooding after hours of heavy rain that killed four people and left dozens without homes.

Children forced into balancing act after torrential rains destroyed a local bridge

Children forced into balancing act after torrential rains destroyed a local bridge

Three schoolgirls wait to cross river on high wire after heavy rain destroyed bridge more than two years ago

Fear: Three schoolgirls wait to cross river on high wire after heavy rain destroyed bridge more than two years ago

In the shallows: These two schoolgirls help each other in the shallows of the river on their way to school

In the shallows: These two schoolgirls help each other in the shallows of the river on their way to school

The school run: a man carries his daughter through the water to take her to school because there is no access road to the village

The school run: a man carries his daughter through the water to take her to school because there is no access road to the village

To get to the other side: A schoolgirl wades through the flowing river while going to school from Batu Busuk village

To get to the other side: A schoolgirl wades through the flowing river while going to school from Batu Busuk village

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