Wangari Maathai

by Tanner from Austin

<a href=http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/dec2004/20041221_maathaiaward.jpg>Wangari Maathai</a> winning the Nobel Peace Prize. (Google Images)
Wangari Maathai winning the Nobel Peace Prize. (Google Images)

Do you have a hero? A hero is someone who is brave and has courage and a sense of honor. Heroes are not always famous; they are simply the people who change your life in the most significant way. Everyone has a hero. Wangari Maathai is my hero because she changed Africa for the better.

Wangari Maathai loves Africa. That is why she worked to help her home state of Kenya. So many forests had been wiped out in Kenya that people had to travel farther and farther to find wood. Instead of waiting for someone else to take action, she decided to do something about the problem. She started the Green Belt Movement in Africa by planting nine trees. The Green Belt Movement keeps growing and it has become a project in which many women and some men have planted about 30,000,000 trees.

<a href=http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/051005/051005_wangari_hmed_6a.h2.jpg>Wangari by a tree</a>.
Wangari by a tree.

Wangari Maathai is a fighter. When she tried to accomplish equal rights for women in Africa she was put under house arrest. She was beaten and her life was threatened for trying to help poor women. Yet she still found ways to send letters to help the movement. Later, the African government put her in jail! But, that didn’t stop her. No matter how much the government tried, it could not stop Wangari Maathai or the equal rights movement. Equal rights for women in Africa were imminent.

Above all, I admire Wangari Maathai because she is persistent. She never stops, no matter how many times people tell her to be quiet. She still says the things that can be painful to hear. She refuses to give in until she accomplishes her goals. That persistence led to her becoming the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

An Art Miles Mural dedicated to Wangari Maathai
An Art Miles Mural dedicated to Wangari Maathai

Everyone has a hero. Some big, some small, but all to someone are great. Wangari Maathai is very brave, honorable and peaceful. Africa is a better place to live because of all of her work. Wangari Maathai is my hero and to me the greatest one.

Page created on 10/10/2008 2:06:59 PM

Last edited 10/10/2008 2:06:59 PM

Related Links

The Green Belt Movement - Learn more about the Green Belt Movement .
Wangari Maathi - Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 2004
- View a short film about Wangari Maathi produced by student Will Levitt.
Speaking of Faith Public Radio - Maathai speaks about the global balance of human and natural resources, and shares her thoughts on where God resides.

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