EFL ESL website
Some people say she's a dreamer...
Do you know the Nobel Peace Prize? Do you know who won in
2004? Her name is Wangari Maathai. She plants trees. Her group has
planted a lot of trees and done many other good things too.
In Japan, wood is mostly used to make houses, but in developing
countries wood is mostly used for heating or cooking. It is very
important for daily life. However, if everybody burns wood, soon there
aren't enough trees. This can also lead to desertification making crops
hard to grow. In Ms. Maathai's country, trees are the key to daily
life. For us, trees that Ms. Maathai plants help slow down global
If we take more from nature than it can give us back, soon
it will run out. In other ways too, civilization growing too fast
causes many problems. 'Sustainable Development' means to grow smartly
and think about the future. Planting trees is a perfect example of this.
Ms. Maathai was the first woman from East Africa to get a Ph.D.
In Kenya and the rest of East Africa, women almost never go to
university. Her tree-planting groups are also mostly women. Women's
groups are rare in Kenya. Women from Ms. Maathai's group become
community leaders and help other women. This is called 'empowerment'
and can lead to equal rights for women.
Globally, Act Locally
What we do has an effect on the whole world and only we
know how to make our area better. By making our area better, we make
the world better. For Ms. Maathai, planting trees and helping women was
the best thing she could do. For us, maybe it's not to waste things.
Like she said in Japanese on TV: Mottainai!
Next, search the Internet for the answers to the
Take the quiz on Quizlab named 'Wangari Maathai'.
BBC News: "Ecologist wins Nobel prize"
1) What country is she from?
2) How old is she?
3) What is the name of her group?
4) Can you make a donation online?
5) What is the name of her book?
6) Does GBM work in other countries besides Kenya? ( see
'Green Belt Movement' on the left. )
BBC News: Country Profiles
7) What is the capital of her country? ( Look at this cool map! )
8) What country was her country a colony of?
9) When did her country gain independence?
10) Can only one person win the prize?
11) How many other Nobel Prizes are there?
12) Who won the prize for literature in 2004?
13) Who won the Peace Prize in 1979?
14) What was Wangari Maathai the first woman in central or eastern
Africa to do?
15) How many children does Wangari Maathai have?