One blind and one with no arm, these two friends have been building forests for the past 15 years


Even us who are able-bodied sometimes struggle to get through the daily ordeals of life. We get tired, stressed or just don’t have enough motivation to finish a task or achieve a goal.

Now, imagine the situations of the physically disabled. They have it far worse than us healthy people with everything they come across in life. Despite that, two special friends from China have used their physical restrictions as their strength in a quest to fight climate change.

Jia Haixia and Jia Wenqi are childhood friends based in Heibei Province in China.

For the past 15 years, they have been working together building a forest plantation. While this is a highly noble feat on its own, the fact that Jia Haixia is blind and Jia Wenqi being an amputee makes it even more impressive.

51-year-old Haixia was born blind in the left eye, result of congenital cataracts. A work accident in 2001 took away the sight from his right eye, and left him unemployed. Wenqi, 54, lost his arms arms to high voltage electric shock when he was three years old.

It was then when he joined force with Wenqi to initiate the project of planting trees. Wenqi had experience working with the forestry department, which equipped him with enough experience on outdoor plantations.

Funded by the local government, they rented out a massive space of land near a riverbank. Every morning, they get up early and endure a harrowing trip to the plantation. During the journey, they have to cross a rapid-streamed river during which Haixia would piggback-ride on Wenqi’s back.

“I am his hand and he is my eye. We make a good team, ” shares Haixia proudly.

Shorthanded on cash for their resources, the friends would scout for discarded seeds that are scattered around the land and start planting them in the holes they dig out using iron bars.

Haixia takes charge of the planting, and Wenqi is responsible for the watering and nourishment for the plants to grow. This has been their routine for the past decade, and they are more than happy with what they do day after day.

Planting a tree is certainly not a walk in the park, let alone growing an entire forest for future generations to reap the benefits of. Despite the strenuous process and physical restraints, Haixia and Wenqi are content that they are able to witness the “delicious fruits of their hard work” coming into fruition.

These two environmental warriors are setting stellar examples to all of us who vex away at the slightest inconvenience. They have shown us that you can still be happy and lead fulfilling lives while being selfless and helping the planet.


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