About Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots program

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Roots and Shoots is Jane Goodall's initiative

July 14th is the 60th anniversary of when Jane Goodall first began her trailblazing research on chimpanzees. She is a legend, yet you might not yet know about Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots Program. In that case, let’s dive into it.

Intro to Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots program

Most people know Goodall as the woman who went to Tanzania to research primates, but this incredible woman is doing even more for the world than that. Her Roots and Shoots program is quietly preparing for its 30th anniversary next year. That means 30 years during which children around the world have been educated to respect the natural environment and use clean technologies to change the communities they live in. Wow.

How the Roots and Shoots program came to be

The Roots and Shoots Program is one of the main programs of the Jane Goodall Institute established in 1977, to continue research into wildlife in the Gombe area of Tanzania where her studies of chimpanzees’ behaviors were based.

However, she decided to change the scope of her institute and dedicate a great part of her efforts to children’s programs, especially in Africa. The light-bulb moment came after a meeting with a group of local children who, in 1991, came to her home in Dar es Salam to discuss local problems that had them deeply worried.

Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots program was born out of a desire to give young generations the means and knowledge to grow up into compassionate conservation-minded adults. In other words, preparing youth to become adults who able to protect the environment and the wildlife, all the while creating a better life for their local communities.

Roots and Shoots partnerships in the US

The Roots and Shoots Program now has over 10,000 groups in over 100 countries.

In the United States, Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots Program partners with many local organizations to help today’s children grow up mindful of their environment and connect with nature. Here are a few of the partnerships established for 2020:

  • National Wildlife Federation
  • The Point
  • Communities in Schools
  • Youth Together
  • Connective Inc

Let’s look at each of them in detail below.

The National Wildlife Federation

This program aims to help teenagers develop a relationship with nature and teach them about habitat restoration, through several types of outdoor programs. Such an approach is extremely important for a technology-focused generation that spends so little time outdoors.

By inspiring children to be respectful of their environment, the program hopes they will be able to use their energy to influence policymakers on various environmental issues.

The Point partnership

The Roots and Shoots program recently partnered with The Point Community Development Corporation (CDC), dedicated to changing the lives of young people living in the Hunts Point of South Bronx.

The focus of this partnership is to teach young people about air quality, understand the various causes of air pollution, and what to do about this very serious problem.

Communities in Schools organization

Roots and Shoots has turned its attention to the Communities in Schools (CIS) organization too. CIS works with children in need to help them succeed in school as well as outside of it.

The aim of this partnership is to support vulnerable teenagers to stay in school and complete their education.

Jane Goodall
Dr. Jane Goodall. Photo by Franz Johann Morgenbesser from Vienna, Austria, CC BY-SA, via Wikimedia Commons.

Youth Together is also collaborating with Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots program

The organization Youth Together is committed to educating teenagers about fundamental values such as peace, unity, and justice. Unity means standing together and helping those in a vulnerable situation. Meanwhile justice refers to building a better society where all children have equal access to tech and education.

Connective Inc

the Roots and Shoots Program also has partnered with Connective Inc. This is a non-profit organization dedicated to equipping kids with the skills needed to succeed in life.

The movement promotes self-development and encourages youngsters to use critical thinking. The larger purpose is helping children from vulnerable communities to establish goals for their lives and stay determined to achieve those goals.

Final words on Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots

Jane Goodall is a visionary. By putting so much effort into all these programs dedicated to children, she fulfills her original goal of protecting wildlife. Only an environmentally-minded next generation will have the respect for nature in all its forms needed to protect the precious species we have left and create a better future for all mankind.

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