At 43, Zou Zeliang is finally content with life because he is living in a way he would never have dared to dream about years ago. The newlywed lives with his wife in a three-story, fully furnished detached house.
Already living in absolute poverty, Zou, from Wenwuba, a village in Huichang county, Jiangxi province, hit rock bottom after his mother died when he was young. He finally lost all hope when his father, his only close relative, died a few years ago.
"I had lost interest in everything, even my hope in life, because of the impoverished condition I lived in," Zou said.
He had worked many jobs: apprentice bricklayer; waiter; security guard; and laborer at a clothing factory in Guangdong province. Nothing lasted long because he was unable to adapt to city life.
He returned home and settled for the status quo. To add to his problems, he had injured some muscles in his abdomen while working as a bricklayer.
However, a beacon of hope came when the local government lent a helping hand.