The story of Wangari Maathai’s is simple because all her adult life she planted trees. Born to the luscious hillsides of eastern Africa, her family raised her to praise the land. From the earth of the fig trees to the tops of mount Kenya, the earth was the giver of so many good things. The food from the ground, the rain clouds from the mountains and the crystal clear streams in between, provided nutrition that was plentiful. So when Dr. Maathai returned from her studies in the United States and Germany, she was shocked. In the short duration of her life, she had witnessed the detrimental effects caused from leeching the land. And so, the planting commenced. She planted trees and she didn’t stop. She was publicly ridiculed, assaulted and even dragged from her home, but she carried on planting. Wangari Maathai is an iconic change agent and a tribute to the positive impact prolonged, peaceful persistence can provide. her level of education changed the trajectory of her life from the humble beginnings of rural Kenya to the international honorary endings of a multinational change agent. Her experiences as a Kikuyu woman on the countryside, in the classroom, in court, and finally as a commissioner led to the plating of over 58 billion trees. The Greenbelt movement became a testament to the level of rectification and reconciliation possible via the combination of prolonged education and pro-activity.
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