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Wangari Maathai and the Real Work of Hope

We join millions grieving for Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai. She altered the course of our lives, and our one solace is in knowing that she has changed — and will continue to change — the lives of millions of others. She taught us about the work of hope.In the early 1970s, Wangari — the first woman PhD in biological sciences in East Africa — saw the Sahara desert creeping south into Kenya. In just one century, the country’s forests had shrunk to less than five percent of what they once were. Wangari knew that Kenya’s entire ecosystem was threatened, with devastating results.