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Wangari Muta Maathai ( 1 April 1940 – 25 September 2011) was an internationally renowned Kenyan environmental political activist and Nobel laureate. She was educated in the United States at Mount St. Scholastica (Benedictine College) and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the University of Nairobi in Kenya. In 1977, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organization focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights. In 1984, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, and in 2004, she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.” Maathai was an elected member of Parliament and served as assistant minister for Environment and Natural resources in the government of President Mwai Kibaki between January 2003 and November 2005. She was an Honorary Councillor of the World Future Council. In 2011, Maathai died of complications from ovarian cancer. ( From Wikipedia)


“Human rights are not things that are put on the table for people to enjoy. These are things you fight for and then you protect.” ― Wangari Maathai

“I’m very conscious of the fact that you can’t do it alone. It’s teamwork. When you do it alone you run the risk that when you are no longer there nobody else will do it.” ― Wangari Maathai

“There are opportunities even in the most difficult moments.” ― Wangari Maathai


“Education, if it means anything, should not take people away from the land, but instill in them even more respect for it, because educated people are in a position to understand what is being lost. The future of the planet concerns all of us, and all of us should do what we can to protect it. As I told the foresters, and the women, you don’t need a diploma to plant a tree.” ― Wangari Maathai 

“Finally I was able to see that if I had a contribution I wanted to make, I must do it, despite what others said. That I was OK the way I was. That it was all right to be strong.” ― Wangari Maathai
“The generation that destroys the environment is not the generation that pays the price. That is the problem.” ― Wangari Maathai
“There comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness . . . that time is now.” ― Wangari Maathai
“We all share one planet and are one humanity; there is no escaping this reality.” ― Wangari Maathai
“No matter how dark the cloud, there is always a thin, silver lining, and that is what we must look for. The silver lining will come, if not to us then to next generation or the generation after that. And maybe with that generation the lining will no longer be thin.” ― Wangari Maathai
“We cannot tire or give up. We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk.” ― Wangari Maathai

“The future of the planet concerns all of us, and all of us should do what we can to protect it.” ― Wangari Maathai 

“Life is a journey and a struggle, we cannot control it, but we can make the best of any situation.” ― Wangari Maathai
“Finally I was able to see that if I had a contribution I wanted to make, I must do it, despite what others said.” ― Wangari Maathai
“African women in general need to know that it’s OK for them to be the way they are – to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence.” ― Wangari Maathai
“It would be good for us Africans to accept ourselves as we are and recapture some of the positive aspects of our culture.” ― Wangari Maathai

“If we went to the root cause of the problems, we would be able to overcome the problems once and for all.” ― Wangari Maathai

”It’s a matter of life and death for this country. The Kenyan forests are facing extinction and it is a man-made problem.” – Wangari Maathai

“We need to promote development that does not destroy our environment.”-Wangari Maathai

“Women are responsible for their children, they cannot sit back, waste time and see them starve.”- Wangari Maathai

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