Wangari Maathai, The Hummingbird Of East Africa

Wangarai Maathai

I heard this story told by Wangari Maathai. The story of the tiny humming bird working on extinguishing the great jungle fire. It carried one drop at the time in its little beak. Flying back and forth, while the other animals were just standing there, not knowing what to do. That hummingbird wanted to do SOMETHING, even if it was as small as one drop at the time. Likewise it became Wangari Maathai’s mission. To reforest her country, one fragile plant at the time!

Learn more by watching the video. I’ll sing a song for you while you do. ūüėČ

Wangari Muta Maathai was born April 1, 1940 in Ihithe, Kenya. Hers was a¬†farming family. Thus she learned¬†to¬†observe nature. To “respect the soil and its bounty.” As I’m stating in the video above,¬†women¬†are the farmers of Africa. Maathai grew up close to her¬†mother. In her own amazing way she remained¬†true to that heritage. Millions upon millons of trees have been planted all over the world, thanks to her powerful influence.

In time she became¬†a world renowned¬†environmentalist. She founded the environmental organization Green Belt Movement in 1977. She even held the position as Kenya’s deputy environment minister 2003 –¬†2005.

In her lifetime Wangari Maathai received a ridiculous number of awards an honorary doctorates.  Internationally acknowledged, to say the least. She stood up tall and fierce for democracy, human rights, and environmental conservation.

I’ll just state three random celebrations of her greatness¬†below. Well, the Nobel Peace Prize is not that random. And not Right Livelihood Award either. ūüėČ

  • In 1971, Wangari Maathai was¬†the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn¬†a Ph.D.
  • In 1984, Maathai received the Right Livelihood Award for her work with the Green Belt Movement.
  • In 2004 Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize .
    Nobel committee argued like this: Peace on earth depends on our success to secure living environment. Maathai stands at the front of the fight for the environment, democracy and women’s rights.

She also married, had three children and then divorced. Want to know what her husband said about her? She was too educated and too difficult to control. W H A T?? Yes, you read that right! Oh well, let’s see that as a compliment!¬†An educated woman is difficult to control, he was right about that one.

She died of ovarian cancer on 25 September 2011, only 71 years old. More on Wangari Muta Maathai here.

Wangari Maathai

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Walking in Wangari Maathai’s footsteps

I was reminded of Wangari Maathai at a lecture held by my dear friend Jeanette Ohlsson. In the video below she continues the work of her late daughter Justina. This while walking in the footsteps of the magnificent Dr. Maathai.

To have your own trees planted in the Stina Forrest go to Plant4Future.com . A Bracelet Of Hope will be sent to you for every tree planted!

When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and hope.

– Wangari Maathai

 

If you have tips on inspiring people within my selected field, please leave a comment below. I’m after those not so well known, still deserving the spotlight!

Many Thanks! ūüėÄ

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