Yes, this dynamic duo is really doing this… in a colossally challenging effort, two buddies (one blind, the other without arms) injured in accidents set out to change their world by planting trees to stave off damage caused by local floods. Here is the inspiring story of Mr Jia Haixia—a Hubei man who lost his sight in a work-related accident when he was 37 years old and Mr Jia Wenqi—his friend, who lost both of his arms in an accident when he was just 3 years old.After consulting the village committee, the officials tell them the area is facing a looming crisis. There is a serious risk of flooding to the village. So this persistent duo arrive with the intention to revitalize 8 acres of river-side land to protect village.
Starting in 2001, they’ve spent 14 years+ planting thousands of trees. They have no money to buy saplings, so they must climb up tall trees and cut branches using a sickle. This task falls on Jia Haixia to scale the tall heights as Jia Wenqi directs. Yes, falling down is part of the job.
They need to cross a treacherous icy cold river to bring their budding branches over to the barren land they want to reforest, braving slippery boulders and other hard to see obstacles.
To be more efficient, rather than digging with shovels, the pair come pound thick iron bars into the ground in order to plant and irrigate the trees. Hammer swinging is done by the blind Mr Jia Haixia, who must be careful not to miss the target.
In their first year, they planted 800 trees, now more than a decade later they are up to thousands and have created their own jungle. Their inspirational story went viral in 2015, and many people voiced offers of support, but very little arrived and more recently their project ran into challenging issues… they intend to plant a new sloping area, but the water source is a 2 kilometer stretch away. They need funding for saplings, and even more important, would be some human volunteer help. China is a country of riddles, paradoxes and disparities, yet the human spirit endures and people all over the world should reflect on how two severely handicapped men managed to selflessly plant a forest for the benefit of others…
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