Teamwork makes the dream work


Catastrophe is an inescapable part of the human experience, but its value lies in the response. Creating a future we envision from the setbacks highlights the key parts of critical thinking, resilience and most importantly human spirit.


In the village of Yeli, just outside of Beijing, two men have dedicated themselves to a simpler dream where their answer is "being alive means having a purpose". This is the story of turning disaster into a hope for a better future. Starting with what can only be considered tragedy, Jia Wenqi has no arms and Jia Haixia was born with a blind eye, before completely losing his sight in a workplace accident. Much deeper than just disadvantages, despite being easy to fall into a pit, these two men shows the greatest endurance and strength in the face of adversity. Through these challenges their inseparability has united them in a singular goal; planting trees to improve the environment where they live which faces the onslaught of relentless industrial development. Known for its pervading pollution problems, it seems that they not only plant for themselves but for the improvement for generations to come.


"Though we are limited physically our spirit is limitless... even after we're gone they will see that a blind man and an armless man have left them a forest".


However this has still been a path beset with obstacles. Facing initial failure, more than 800 trees died shortly after being planted but through learning new techniques and methods for cultivating the land, and finally planted 10,000 trees. They've been able to transform the area and create an impact that can only be called timeless. Through this growth they've attracted birds and other animals, giving a new voice to nature.


Resilience of the human spirit. Willingness and solidarity. This is a story of inspiration; the hope and trust of the human experience. Nobody would have been surprised at despair from their tragedy but a dedication to something greater than themselves, transforms any vestige of pity into inspiration.