In 2000, 67-year-old Yi Jiefang from Shanghai lost her son Yang Ruizhe in a tragic accident when he was on his way to university in Japan. Before he died, he told her his lifelong dream was to plant the trees.Yi plans to plant two million trees and so far she has successfully planted 1.1 million that stretch for miles on the Kulun Qi Horqin sandy desert plain, reports Huanqiu.com
In order to complete her son’s wish, in 2004 Yi quit her job and sold the family home. She and her husband also sold the clinic they owned to raise funds.
The couple started up the ‘Green Life’ organisation with the money raised from the house, her son’s insurance pay out, and the help of the local government. It didn’t take long before they started planting the trees.
Their plan was to plant two million trees in 20 years. After more than ten years, they are already over half way. Once the trees have all fully grown, they will be donated to the local villages.
She said: ‘I did not expect to stick at this more than ten years, I hope that through our actions we can get hundreds of millions of people planting millions of trees.’I think I have granted my son’s wish.’
Yi said after her son died it was very painful. It wasn’t until a year later that she buried him on December 1 2001, his birthday.