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Wangari Maathai,Nobel Peace Prize laureate and founder of the Green Belt Movement, offers a refreshingly unique perspective on the challenges facing Africa, even as she calls for a moral revolution among Africans themselves, who, she argues, are culturally deracinated, adrift between worlds. The troubles of Africa today are severe and wide-ranging. Yet what we see of them in the media, more often than not, are tableaux vivantes connoting poverty, dependence, and desperation. Wangari Maathai presents a different vision, informed by her three decades as an environmental activist and campaigner for democracy. She illuminates the complex and dynamic nature of the continent, and offers "hardheaded hope" and "realistic options" for change and improvement. With clarity of expression, Maathai analyzes the most egregious "bottlenecks to development in Africa," occurring at the international, national, and individual levels-cultural upheaval and enduring poverty among them-and deftly describes what Africans can and need to do for themselves, stressing all the while responsibility and accountability. Impassioned and empathetic,The Challenge for Africais a book of immense importance. From the Hardcover edition.
Hummingbirds have long been a symbol of wisdom and courage. In this charming story, a hummingbird makes a valiant effort to put out a raging fire that threatens her forest home - trip after trip, her beak is filled each time with just a drop of water. Her efforts show her woodland companions that doing something - anything - is better than doing nothing at all. The hummingbird parable, which originates with the Quechuan people of South America, has become a talisman for environmentalists and activists worldwide committed to making meaningful change. This retelling, enlivened by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas' fabulous Haida-manga illustrations, is suitable for all ages of would-be activists. Although environmental responsibility often seems like an overwhelming task, The Flight of the Hummingbird shows how easy it is to start and how great the effect could be if everyone just did what they could.
When Kenyan environmental and democracy activist Wangari Maathai became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, she capped a life full of firsts. She was the first African woman to earn a Ph.D. in Eastern and Central Africa, and the first woman to attain associate profes¬sorship and to hold a department chair at the University of Nairobi. In 1977, shocked at the environmental devastation caused by deforestation in her beloved Kenya, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement (GBM). For twenty-seven years, GBM has enabled many people-particularly women-to plant trees in their regions, providing them with food and fuel, and halting soil erosion and desertification. GBM became much more than that, however. It became a movement for representative democracy that led to Kenya's 'first fully democratic elections in a generation, during which Maathai was elected to Parliament and made a minister for the environment. The Green Belt Movement: Sharing the Approach and the Experience is the story of the Green Belt Movement in Wangari Maathai's own words. It reveals the struggles and the structure of this extraordinary effort to reforest a vast region and free a people. Over the course of its history, nearly 30 million trees have been planted, and tens of thousands of people have earned a livelihood. The Green Belt Movement is the inspiring story of people working at the grassroots level to improve their environment and their country. Their story offers ideas about a new and hopeful future for Africa and the rest of the world.
In Unbowed, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai recounts her extraordinary journey from her childhood in rural Kenya to the world stage. When Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, she began a vital poor people's environmental movement, focused on the empowerment of women, that soon spread across Africa. Persevering through run-ins with the Kenyan government and personal losses, and jailed and beaten on numerous occasions, Maathai continued to fight tirelessly to save Kenya's forests and to restore democracy to her beloved country. Infused with her unique luminosity of spirit, Wangari Maathai's remarkable story of courage, faith, and the power of persistence is destined to inspire generations to come.From the Trade Paperback edition.