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Wangari Maathai Peace Groves

Published on 15th February 2016

Wangari Maathai Peace Grove project

MEEN brought together the brilliant Eco Team at St Philip's Primary School and some wonderful adult activists at Hulme Community Garden Centre with the aim of them learning the story of Wangari Maathai, the first black African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. As adults and children got to know each other they saw a short film about Wangari Maathai all about her work activiating her community and planting trees.

Then everyone was given the opportunity to share stories about each other's 'activism': the Eco team talked about their Climate Change film which went to Paris, their plastic bottle greenhouse and food recycling project. The adults told stories of wanting to set up an organic farm where people can learn about growing, of actions they've been on and how they're trying to stop uranium being used in weapons of war. Everyone then talked about the things they wanted to change and, having shared their aspirations wrote them down on post-consumer recycled paper.

The following week everyone came together again. This time the discussion was around peace, what it meant and why an environmentalist would win a Peace Prize. They also learned about the different varieties of rowan trees they were going to plant, before braving the rain Storm Imogen had inspired and the mud bath!  

Everyone enjoyed the digging, getting wet and giving the trees a new home. There was a sense that the grove, which was planted in a circle, would be a great place to come and sit and think, a place of peace and quiet, and hopefully a place where we could all be reminded that the little we do, all added together, becomes a much bigger movement. Using the words of Wangari Maathai 'I will be a hummingbird, and simply do the best that I can.!


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