Wangari Maathai

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“In the course of history there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness.” These are the words of Wangari Maathai when she received her Nobel Peace Prize. She went on to say that there comes a time “when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. And that time,” she concluded, “is now.”

Wangari Maathai was trained as a scientist at universities in Kansas, Pittsburgh and Nairobi. When she heard rural women in her native Kenya worry about the lack of fresh water, and troubles with the land, she started planting trees.

Over the past 30 years her organization, Green Belt Movement, has planted over 30 million trees. It is the connection between the value of the land, and the dignity of people that best marks the work of Wangari Maathai.


Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.