We’re pleased to introduce one of our newest allies, Roots & Shoots Shanghai! They’re part of the worldwide network of Roots & Shoots organizations founde by Jane Goodall.

I had the opportunity to meet up with Roots & Shoots while on a recent organizing trip to China. They’re exactly the type of group we’re looking to partner with: grassroots, full of energy, and engaging hundreds of people in positive solutions to global warming.

Read on to learn more about their work and the global Roots & Shoots network:

The following is from the Roots & Shoots Shanghai website:

For over forty years, Dr. Jane Goodall has been working to preserve Africa’s chimpanzees in the Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Now, the world’s best known primatologist has started a program to help save our planet. “Roots and Shoots” is her international environmental education program for young people. She founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) in 1977 and has since been promoting this program single-handedly. The purpose of JGI is to educate people on ways to sustain the environment.

The Jane Goodall Institute ¨C Shanghai was founded in November 1999. It is responsible for administering the Roots & Shoots programs in the area. Our organization became the first foreign-affiliated NPO that was approved by the Chinese government in November 2004.

Roots & Shoots is a positive program that focuses on helping young people find concrete ways to make the world a better place by caring for the environment, animals, and other people. Roots & Shoots stresses empowerment through environmental education. It offers a forum to bring young people together within their school environment while providing the opportunity to explore and understand their connection with the environment, nature, and community. It helps them to find a way to make a difference in these areas by taking action in their own unique way. Students who have become involved in Shanghai have accomplished tremendous goals and have learned much in the process.

Roots & Shoots receives no funding from the JGI organization. Each location must support itself independently. We are a new organization in Shanghai and are counting on corporate support within Shanghai to provide us with the critical funds and resources needed to run this organization. We currently employ four paid staff members and work out of a donated office. Everyone is a potential volunteer for our organization.

The goals of all Roots & Shoots programs are:

  • To implement positive change through active learning, caring, and interaction with the environment;
  • To demonstrate care and concern for all animals;
  • To enhance understanding among individuals of different cultures, ethnic groups, religions, socio-economic levels, and nations through our global communication network;
  • To help young people develop self-respect, confidence in themselves, and hope for the future.

Roots & Shoots activities should focus on care and concern for a) the environment, b) animals, c) one’s community. Of course, all three of these activities can be combined in creative ways. The underlying creativity and flexibility are what give this program its strength. Roots & Shoots encourages young people to get involved in ways that they think are important. Projects should be directed and managed by the students. Resources, when needed, should be donated or easily affordable and recyclable. Time is the most valued resource. Students come to realize that if they have the inclination to care and give their time, things can change for the better. The scope of the project can be large or small – the JGI philosophy is that every activity to care for animals, people, and the environment is significant, no matter what the size.

It is only through local involvement that this program can become truly sustainable in China. Currently, 100 area schools are cooperating with Roots & Shoots programs.

Please contact us at roots&[email protected] with any questions or comments that you may have.