A story of a friendship

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A story of a friendship

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Wangari Maathai and María Teresa Fernández de la Vega met during the trip to Kenya made by the then First Deputy Prime Minister of Spain in March 2006, and from the outset a special understanding was established between them.

This understanding became apparent when, three months later, they met at the headquarters of the Human Rights Council of the UN in Geneva, where they held a meeting in which María Teresa invited Wangari to participate in the Second Meeting of Women for a Better World to be held the following year in Madrid.

Wangari accepted the proposal during this meeting and delivered a moving speech that advocated protection and regeneration of the environment as a factor for development and progress throughout the world and especially in Africa. From then on, Wangari Maathai was an active and enthusiastic member of the movement of African and Spanish women headed by the Deputy Prime Minister.

See the letter.

It is therefore not surprising that two years later in 2009 Wangari Maathai returned to Spain, where she again joined those meeting at the 5th Meeting of Women for a Better World, which was held in Valencia.

A few months before Wangari Maathai’s death, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega received the letter which is shown here.

The Mujeres por África Foundation would like to acknowledge and pay tribute to the person who was undoubtedly one of the most important women of the twentieth century, a pioneer and a champion of the environmental rights of all the citizens of the world, and especially those of African women. For the foundation, Wangari Maathai is and will always remain an inspiration.

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