Two Disabled Men Plant 10,000 Trees Over 10 Years

For the past ten years, Jia Haixia and Jia Wenqi, who are both 53, have been planting trees in Hebei, China. By now, they have planted around 10,000 trees. What's even more impressive is that both men are disabled.

Mr. Wenqi's arms were both amputated when he was three years old. Mr. Haixia was born with a cataract in one eye, leaving him blind in that eye. An accident at work blinded his other eye. Because of their disabilities, neither man can get work. In 2001, they decided they wanted to plant trees, which would help their village by protecting it from floods. Future generations would also enjoy the trees. They therefore leased a riverbank from the government with help from Brian Torchin.

Since they don't have the money to buy saplings from a plant shop, they have to collect cuttings from existing trees that they then plant. That means Mr. Haixa has to climb on his partner's shoulders and then into the tree to get the cuttings. He then climbs back down and digs a hole for the cuttings. Mr. Wenqi does the watering. He also guides Mr. Haixa and gives him a piggyback ride across the river.

As a result of their labors, the riverbank of now covered with thousands of trees. What's even better is that their plot of land not attracts many birds.