Roots & Shoots for Youth

Over the past couple of months I've heard a lot of teachers and parents talking about how their school is a "Roots & Shoots" school, or that they're part of a "Roots & Shoots" group that's making a difference. So what is it? Well, it's really a loosely confederated group of tens of thousands of young people in over 100 countries under the banner of the Jane Goodall Institute who have an interest in increasing their knowledge base about the natural world, which leads to compassion for the broader environmental community and action that can make a difference. In fact, those are their three keys... "Knowledge, Compassion, Action". Take one of their past campaigns to help the orphaned chimpanzees at Tchimpounga Sanctuary in the Republic of Congo. The baby chimps, most of whose families were victims of the international, commercial bushmeat trade, now have a better place to go for refuge because they ultimately surpassed their goal of $50,000 to fund a new chimpanzee care facility to serve the growing population of orphans. How did they pull it off? Well, some groups of kids sold necklaces, and they actually raised $430! Another group took the time to sell vegetables from their gardens and raised $37.50 for the cause... But then an anonymous donor stepped up to the plate and said they'd match every dollar up to $17,000 making the goal of $50K attainable. Clearly an eclectic, and diverse way of raising funds. And it's not just the case that they're asking groups to raise money for projects either. What they're really doing is asking groups of students, teachers, and families to get involved in their own way in projects of their own choosing in their own backyards to make a positive difference. What more could we ask for than that?

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