Who we are
Roots & Shoots is a global community action programme founded by Dr. Jane Goodall in 1991. The programme aims to inspire, empower and encourage young people all over the world.
It shows them how to follow their passions, take actions together and become the change our world needs. That way, we can all ensure a better future for people, animals and the environment.
Roots & Shoots encourages youths to implement practical positive change by providing teachers and team leaders with free resources and a place to share their success stories with the world.
Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots around the globe
Starting with 12 Tanzanian high school students who set out to solve problems in their community, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots programme has multiplied many times and can now be found in over 50 countries around the world with hundreds of thousands of young people involved.
If you want to join Roots & Shoots, click on the map to find your nearest Roots & Shoots contact!
What is Roots & Shoots all about?
Roots & Shoots is about looking around you, and selecting and implementing projects to make the world a better place. It is about learning to live in peace and harmony, not only with each other, but with the natural world. It is about turning thoughts into actions by working on projects to help people, to help other animals and to help the environment, and seeing that what you do DOES make a difference.
Roots & Shoots is an adaptable and ever-changing programme. Everybody can start a Roots & Shoots project.
Through hands-on experiences that promote leadership skills, teamwork, critical thinking and compassion, young people become agents of community change.
Roots & Shoots is helping young people to understand that we face major problems in the world and to enable them to discuss these problems and find some solutions. When young people begin to realise, that what they, their friends and other young people all over the world do is making a difference, this really changes the way they think and creates the feeling of collectiveness: Yes, together we can change the world.
We are all connected
Why it’s called Roots & Shoots
The Roots & Shoots name is symbolic. Every big firm tree began its life as a little seed, in which tiny little roots and shoots appear to reach into the soil to reach the water. Although this seed might seem so little and weak in the beginning, there is a magic and a live force in it, so strong and so powerful that those little roots and shoots can break through dense soil and rocks to reach water and sunlight.
Roots & Shoots Vision and Mission
Our vision: A healthy planet where people live sustainably and in harmony with animals and our shared environment.
Our mission is to foster respect and compassion for all living things, to promote understanding of all cultures and beliefs and to inspire each individual to take action to make the world a better place for people, other animals, and the environment.
To make the world a better place, we have to change the way we make decisions. We need leaders who care about how their actions affect the world we all share. Roots & Shoots empowers young people to become compassionate and creative leaders who will make right choices to build a better world. Hundreds of thousands of Roots & Shoots members all over the world are working together to improve their communities and be the kinds of leaders that our world needs. Together, the actions taken by each individual weave together to create a tapestry of hope … a powerful ripple of change. Join us in our mission!
Dr. Jane Goodall
In 1960, one day in October a young woman named Jane Goodall made a landmark discovery: She observed a wild chimpanzee, which she named David Greybeard, carefully modifying plant material in order to use it as a tool to fish for termites. At that time tool-related behaviour was not considered to be a habitual trait in wild animals. Dr Jane Goodall´s research ultimately helped to change the way we understand chimpanzees, other animals and our role in caring for the planet we all share. Her work with young people and communities continues to inspire individual action to help people, animals and our natural world. For her Roots & Shoots program Jane Goodall was named UN Messenger of Peace by the United Nations.
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International Day of Peace 21 September
Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE was first appointed as a UN Messenger of Peace in a ceremony at the United Nations in September 2002 by then Secretary General Kofi Annan. Reappointed by Secretary General Ban ki Moon, she remains in this important role today. The designated UN Day of Peace is 21st September each year.
In addition to participating in community activities to share culture and break down the barriers between us, Roots & Shoots members, families and friends craft Giant Peace Dove Puppets from reused materials in their neighborhoods to symbolise their commitment to peace. Roots & Shoots day may be held on any day Dr. Goodall established Roots & Shoots International Day of Peace in 2004, in honour of the UN Day of Peace and to encourage Roots & Shoots members and other interested individuals to promote peace in their communities and around the globe.
In addition to participating in community activities to share culture and break down the barriers between us, Roots & Shoots members, families and friends craft Giant Peace Dove Puppets from reused materials in their neighborhoods to symbolise their commitment to peace. Roots & Shoots day may be held on any day around 2lst September each year, to allow maximum local participation.
First created by the Roots & Shoots University Students in Wisconsin in honour of Dr. Goodall’s appointment, Giant Peace Dove Puppets have flown in almost 100 countries in past years, in city parks, gardens, convention centres and refugee camps. Held high by young hands, the Doves have spread their wings everywhere, including the Colosseum in Rome, a monastery in Mongolia and the base of Mount Fuji. They’ve been floated down the river in Jackson Hole Wyoming, and even fluttered from the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
“With the Peace Doves, we remind everyone of the truth they sometimes forget – that peace is possible. We celebrate all that is free and noble in the human spirit. And we celebrate all that so many people have done throughout the year – and will do next year – to create a better world for all,” said Dr. Goodall. For the thousands of Roots & Shoots members around the world peace is a way of life. With Roots & Shoots, peace is possible.
Contact your local Roots & Shoots office for information on how to commemorate Peace Day this year.
Use this contact form to get in touch with the global Roots & Shoots community.