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A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
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A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
Writer: Nicola Rijsdijk
Illustration: Maya Marshak and Onesmus Kakungi
Nicola Rijsdijk, Maya Marshak, Tarryn-Anne Anderson, Bookdash.org and African Storybook Initiative, 2015
A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
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In a village on the slopes of Mount Kenya in East

Africa, a little girl worked in the fields with her mother.

Her name was Wangari.
A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
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Wangari loved being outside.
In her family's food garden she broke up the soil

with her machete.

She pressed tiny seeds into the warm earth.
A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
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Her favourite time of day was just after sunset.
When it got too dark to see the plants, Wangari

knew it was time to go home.

She would follow the narrow paths through the

fields, crossing rivers as she went.

A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
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Wangari was a clever child and couldn't wait to

go to school.

But her mother and father wanted her to stay and

help them at home.

When she was seven years old, her big brother

persuaded her parents to let her go to school.

A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
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She liked to learn! Wangari learnt more and more

with every book she read.

She did so well at school that she was invited to

study in the United States of America.

Wangari was excited! She wanted to know more

about the world.

A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
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At the American university Wangari learnt many

new things.

She studied plants and how they grow.
And she remembered how she grew: playing games

with her brothers in the shade of the trees in

the beautiful Kenyan forests.

A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
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The more she learnt, the more she realised that

she loved the people of Kenya.

She wanted them to be happy and free.
The more she learnt, the more she remembered her

African home.

A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
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When she had finished her studies, she returned

to Kenya.

But her country had changed.
Huge farms stretched across the land.
Women had no wood to make cooking fires.
The people were poor and the children were hungry.
A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
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Wangari knew what to do.
She taught the women how to plant trees from

seeds.

The women sold the trees and used the money to

look after their families.

The women were very happy.
Wangari had helped them to feel powerful and

strong.

A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
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As time passed, the new trees grew into forests,

and the rivers started flowing again.

Wangari's message spread across Africa.
Today, millions of trees have grown from

Wangari's seeds.

A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
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Wangari had worked hard.
People all over the world took notice, and gave

her a famous prize.

It is called the Nobel Peace Prize, and she was

the first African woman ever to receive it.

A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
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Wangari died in 2011, but we can think of her

every time we see a beautiful tree.

A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai
page #
A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai.
Writer: Nicola Rijsdijk.
Illustration: Maya Marshak and Onesmus Kakungi.
Nicola Rijsdijk, Maya Marshak, Tarryn-Anne Anderson, Bookdash.org and African Storybook Initiative, 2015.
Audio:
VT Software: AJR, NJA, TLG
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution
(CC-BY 4.0) Version 4.0 Unported Licence
Disclaimer: You are free to download, copy, translate
or adapt this story and use the illustrations as long as you
attribute or credit the original creators.