Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kenya donation: The Green Belt Movement

One of the things that is most important to me about Whirls and Twirls is to develop a sense of civic responsibility in The Whirl Girl. I want her to begin to understand, as best a 3 1/2-year-old can, the importance of giving back to her global community.

A couple of the picture books we read this month were about Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan woman who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for "her persistent struggle for democracy, human rights and environmental conservation." The book that made a particular impression upon The Whirl Girl was Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya. From this book she learned how Wangari Maathai helped poor women all over Kenya by planting trees, which helped provide food, firewood, and money.

I also read Wangari Maathai's memoir Unbowed as my Kenya book for the month. It was an inspiring account of her decades of efforts to improve the lives of women and the poor in Kenya.

After learning about her work, it was an easy choice to select Wangari Maathai's organization The Green Belt Movement for our donation this month. So that The Whirl Girl could understand the idea of making a donation, we made a tree collage with Kenyan fabrics. We wrote a note about how we are sending money to help plant more trees and mailed it to Wangari (and her organization).

The Whirl Girl with her card and the Mama Miti book

1 comment:

  1. Did you all watch documentary about Wangari Maathai?? http://takingrootfilm.com/
    I saw it last year and it was amazing. It really gets the message across that individuals and small actions can make a big difference. I highly recommend it.