The first African woman recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai, died in late September of this year at age 71 after a long battle with cancer.
According to the Guardian, Maathai was sent to a primary school run by Italian nuns when she was young to study. She excelled in the school and eventually got a scholarship to study in the United States.
Maathai said her success was due entirely to her closeness with nature. She lived in the central highlands of Kenya with her family and was surrounded by nature.
The Guardian reported that Maathai saw the destruction of the environment throughout her life in Kenya and worked hard to protect it.
The Feminist Wire reported that Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, one of the most prominent transnational environmental groups in the world today.
The Green Belt Movement, The Feminist Wire said, provides financial incentives for women to plant and nurture native species of trees. Since it was founded, the movement was responsible for planting more than 30 million trees in Africa.
Maathai influenced countless people to become active with environmental issues and her legacy will not be forgotten.