News / 5 October 2011

30 million trees against poverty and injustice

As you may well know already: on September 25th Kenyan activist Wangari Muta Maathai died at the age of 71. For years she fought against poverty, destruction of nature, corruption and discrimination against women, through an integrated approach to these interrelated problems. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 and was an example to many African women.



Maathai founded the Greenbelt organization in 1977. Under the slogan "Plant a tree and work on the future of your children," she paid poor women to plant trees. This became a symbol of hope and recovery for local communities. Since then Greenbelt has planted 30 million trees which has generated additional income for 10,000 rural women.

Both ENDS would like to reflect on what Maathai has meant for many people. Not only was she a powerful voice for African women, she was also an inspiration: her ideas gave birth to organizations such as Both Ends, that approache development issues through access to natural resources and human rights in conjunction and in consultation with local communities. Maathai was one of the first to consider the fight against poverty inseparable from the environment, conserving natural resources and human rights. Both ENDS hopes to preserve and promote the ideas of Maathai in the future.

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