Wangari Maathai Quotes
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You can make a lot of speeches, but the real thing is when you dig a hole, plant a tree, give it water, and make it survive. That's what makes the difference
You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself. That values itself. That understands itself.
You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.
When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and seeds of hope.
No matter who or where we are, or what our capabilities, we are called to do the best we can.
I’m very conscious of the fact that you can’t do it alone. It’s teamwork. When you do it alone you run the risk that when you are no longer there nobody else will do it.
Every person who has ever achieved anything has been knocked down many times. But all of them picked themselves up and kept going, and that is what I have always tried to do.
African women in general need to know that it's OK for them to be the way they are - to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence.
Human rights are not things that are put on the table for people to enjoy. These are things you fight for and then you protect.
We cannot tire or give up. We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk!
We tend to put the environment last because we think the first thing we have to do is eliminate poverty. But you can't reduce poverty in a vacuum. You are doing it in an environment.
It's the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.
There are opportunities even in the most difficult moments.
What a friend we have in a tree, the tree is the symbol of hope, self improvement and what people can do for themselves.
In Kenya women are the first victims of environmental degradation, because they are the ones who walk for hours looking for water, who fetch firewood, who provide food for their families.
Sometimes we become bound by other people's thoughts because we are not sure about ourselves.
Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking.
We can love ourselves by loving the earth.
We need to promote development that does not destroy our environment.
We all share one planet and are one hummanity, there is no escaping this reality.
Those of us who have been privileged to receive education, skills, and experiences and even power must be role models for the next generation of leadership.
In a few decades, the relationship between the environment, resources and conflict may seem almost as obvious as the connection we see today between human rights, democracy and peace.
It is important to nurture any new ideas and initiatives which can make a difference for Africa.
The living conditions of the poor must be improved if we really want to save our environment
An individual citizen cannot protect himself from the powers of large corporations or external governments. It is the responsibility of the government to protect its citizens.
I am working to make sure we don't only protect the environment, we also improve governance.
When you know who you are you are free.
I don't believe [Africa] is ready to shift - and she needs to shift. So she needs to get the technology and she can only get that technology from the developed world.
I know there is pain when sawmills close and people lose jobs, but we have to make a choice. We need water and we need these forests.
The little grassroots people can change this world.
If you make mistakes that is alright because we all make mistakes and we learn from those mistakes. You gain confidence from learning, failing and rising again.
Disempowerment - whether defined in terms of a lack of self-confidence , apathy, fear, or an inability to take charge of one's own life - is perhaps the most unrecognised problem in Africa today.
We are very fond of blaming the poor for destroying the environment. But often it is the powerful, including governments, that are responsible.
That's the way I do things when I want to celebrate, I always plant a tree.
Some say that AIDS came from the monkeys, and I doubt that because we have been living with monkeys from time immemorial, others say it was a curse from God, but I say it cannot be that.
We can work together for a better world with men and women of goodwill, those who radiate the intrinsic goodness of humankind.
Because I was a woman, I was vulnerable. It was easy to vilify me and project me as a woman who was not following the tradition of a 'good African woman.'
You can educate people on how to preempt their own conflict.
First of all, farmers should work with universities and research institutions in the country, and hopefully with the government.
The issue of carbon is one area where we really need to work together and if people don't have the technology they need, that technology needs to be made available and affordable.
Culture is coded wisdom
There's a general culture in this country to cut all the trees. It makes me so angry because everyone is cutting and no one is planting.
It is wonderful when you don't have the fear, and a lot of the time I don't ... I focus on what needs to be done instead.
I definitely hope to relax when I get back hope. I will disappear into the forest and be rejuvenated by the beauty of the mountains.
We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to conserve the environment so that we can bequeath our children a sustainable world that benefits all.
Once people see that you improve you life if you are educated, then education becomes a valuable tool and people want it.
It's a matter of life and death for this country. The Kenyan forests are facing extinction and it is a man-made problem.
It was easy for me to be ridiculed and for both men and women to perceive that maybe I'm a bit crazy because I'm educated in the West and I have lost some of my basic decency as an African woman.
What I am trying to say is that they need to learn to rely on themselves and to learn from other people, and when you learn something from other people, then you keep moving onward for yourself.
It would be good for us Africans to accept ourselves as we are and recapture some of the positive aspects of our culture.