Matthew Walsh's EFL ESL website

Some people say she's a dreamer...
Wangari Maathai

   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 warming.

Sustainable Development
   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.

Women's Rights
  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.

Think 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 questions below.
   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?

       Use google
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?

'The Hummingbird'

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