My Little Thing.. Wangari’s Daughter shares’ her story

We celebrated Earth Day in April.   How I miss celebrating this day with you!   I remember  you always made us plant something… anything!  Just as long as we commemorated the day.  I loved planting the shrub we call “yesterday, today, forever”.. ? These beautiful flowers have a sweet scent that make me so happy!  It amazes me how each flower changes color daily.. what a symphony of colors.


I didn’t realise I was born the year after Earth Day was  established to educate the world about environmental issues.  But I always cherished the times we planted flowers with Muta and Waweru and we still enjoy them years later.  Thank you!


In 2004 you shared these poignant words with the rest of the world:

In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other.  That time is now.


You also  challenged us to broaden our understanding of peace, “there can be no peace without equitable development; and there can be no development without sustainable management of the environment in a democratic and peaceful space”.


In this time of the first major global pandemic in years, we are living the true meaning of the sentiments you presciently expressed.  The painful urgency and need to nurture a shared sense of identity, a sense of cooperation and shared values to ensure that our society effectively comes together to weather this and other storms to come.


When we started the Wangari Maathai Foundation 6 years ago, we wanted to share the story of your life and your work.   I have always been inspired by the fact that your childhood experiences shaped so much of who you became.  And that we too can inspire the next generation of leaders to deepen their sense of social justice, enrich their social capital, and nurture the natural world because, as you so often said, our lives depend on it.


Your voice is sorely missed in these days, but we are always comforted by the knowledge that our strategy at the Wangari Maathai Foundation will bear fruit if we stay the course.  Because we believe in the Power of One – that each of us can be potent agents of change.  And that together, we are a force.   


Sharing this message and inspiring the next generation of young leaders will always be my little thing.  The Wangari Maathai Foundation will strive to inspire young people to find their little thing.. and then go about the business of doing it.

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