Step 2 Part 2 - character card 3: Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai

Professor Wangari Maathai (1940-2011) was a renowned Kenyan social, environmental and political activist. She was the first African woman to win a Nobel Prize. 

In 1977, she founded the Green Belt Movement: an environmental NGO focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation and women's rights. The movement responded to the needs of rural Kenyan women who reported that their streams were drying up, their food supply was less secure, and they had to walk further and further to get firewood for fuel and fencing. GBM encouraged women to work together to grow seedlings and plant trees to bind the soil, store rainwater, provide food and firewood, and to secure a small financial compensation for their work.