Many people are born with disabilities that can affect their day-to-day lives. But what if you found a partnership with someone who complimented your disabilities, and together you accomplished something greater than you could’ve ever imagined?
Meet Jia Haixia and Jia Wenqi. Two childhood friends that consider themselves to be as close as brothers. Wenqi is a double arm amputee since age three, after touching an unprotected electric cable on the ground, and Haixia was born blind in his left eye due to a cataract before a factory accident left him completely blind since 2000. They had drifted apart during the previous years, but found each other again shortly after Haxia’s accident. Together, the two have begun planting as many trees as possible to help protect the environment.
“I am his hands and he is my eyes” Haxia explains to Outlook for BBC World Service. “We are good partners”.
Every day on their way to work, Wenqi leads the way through a forest with Haixia holding on to his sleeves. When they reach a river, Haixia will climb onto his back while Wenqi walks across it.
Their task is simple: To plant as many trees as possible. Since they’ve begun their work, they believe they have planted over ten thousand trees, which have also attracted nesting birds.
"For me it is not complicated," Haixia continues. "I'm disabled and don't want to be a burden on my family, so I plant trees. After ten years the trees will grow and I will get money."
Recent medical studies have shown that there may be a way to reverse Haixia’s blindness, as he’s been placed on a waiting list for a cornea transplant. However, should the transplant happen to be successful, he states he will continue to plant trees.
"it doesn't matter if my eyesight comes back or not, I'm going to continue my work until my last breath," he says.
It’s incredible how people who are given a short hand in life can work together to create something absolutely spectacular.