Public School in France Named After Wangari Maathai

  • The late Professor Wangari Maathai is a woman of many firsts the world over but a trip back to her home, very few iconic creations have been put up in her honour.

    In a continent next door, however, the environmental and political activist seems to be receiving the remembrance she truly deserves.

    After a statue of an image resembling the professor was unveiled in the United States of America, the Government of France also launched a public school, Ecole Wangari Maathai, built in her honour.

    The Ecole Wangari Maathai is a public elementary school situated in Aubervilliers area, Paris, France.

    The Nobel Prize Laureate is celebrated for her efforts to conserve the environment and she spearheaded the planting of millions of trees while many others continue to be planted in her absence as a result of the initiative.

    Among the many renowned world leaders she planted trees with include the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama, former President Mwai Kibaki and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

    As a result of her activism efforts, Maathai became the first woman and environmentalist to bag the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize award in 2004.

    In comparison, former South African President Nelson Mandela, Koffi Annan and Barrack Obama are some of the famous figures to have received the award.

    In the US, Maathai was honoured by a Catholic Church-run college, The Benedictine College, which created a statue of her. She was part of the 1964 class in that institution.

    In September 2011, the Laureate succumbed to ovarian cancer at Nairobi Hospital aged 71 years.

    Back home, Maathai has been honoured by, modestly enough, having the former Forest Road re-branded to Prof. Wangari Maathai Road.