Wangari Muta Maatha; The Woman who Planted Trees

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Wangari Muta Maatha is a woman I have never heard of before in my life but her impact for the Kenyan deforestation issues was so significant that I taught that she should be known more by all of us. She was born April 4th, 1940 in Kenya with a family of 6 children where she happened to be the eldest. In Kenya, the woman are the one suppose to go collect fire wood for their family but Wangari realized growing up how much wood was exploited and that the forests of her country might disappear if no actions were taken. She studied hard and acquired a baccalaureate in 1959. In 1960 she received a scholarship allowing her to pursuit her studies in an american university. In 1964 she became the first woman in West Africa to receive a biology licence at “Mount Saint Scolastica college” in Kansas. In 1971, she acquired her PhD at the Nairobi university where she then started to teach veterinary medicine. Even if she worked in the veterinarian field, she didn’t forgot about the deforestation issues Kenya was

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Wangari Muta Maathai planting a tree with Barack Obama

facing and she was scared. Driven by her fear, she funded the green belt movement which consist of empowering Kenyan communities (especially their women ) to conserve the environment by planting trees and taking a better care of the soil to prevent deforestation. The organization also tries to fight against big corporation construction or development that might affect the environment and the forests. Deforestation is a direct cause of climate change and its affect not only affect the earth but also the living condition of the citizens affected by those cuts. The movement planted more than 30 millions trees in 16 years. Shes not only a environmentalist but also a member of the “Maendeleo ya wanawake” (The national woman council of kenya ). She also started her career in politic by founding the “Mazingira” ( the green party ) which later became affiliated to he federation of green part of Africa. In 2003 she becomes the deputy minister of the environment and was the first African woman to win the Nobel prize. She also became a member of the Nairobi branch of the Kenya Red Cross society, and became the director in 1973. Me and Wangari Maatha, we may not have explicit resemblances but the simple fact that she is form Africa like me make me so proud even if I am not from Kenya. I really wish that in Algeria ( where I’m from ) , women will one day be recognize a for the impact some of us made on our community. She’s different from me since she is much more older and lived in a very different era than mine, so I would have a lot to learn from her. I chose Wangari because it’s the end of black history month and I didn’t want to have only an influencing woman but more specifically an influencing black woman. I found inspirational that she made the most with the resources she had. She was the definition of a strong independent woman and she really made a difference for the women and the ecosystem of Kenya. For me, the definition of inspirational is someone who motivates me to do better thing or more significant thing of my life to help the world get better.

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