Friday, April 4, 2014

Feel Good Friday - Roots & Shoots

photo credit: Jane Goodall Institute
Yesterday Dr. Jane Goodall turned 80 and Feel Good Friday is celebrating her birthday by spreading the work of her Roots & Shoots organization!

We all know Jane Goodall for her work with chimpanzees and the recent video of a rescued chimp who hugs her before returning to the wild. 

But what is Roots & Shoots and how did it get it's name? The ever-optimistic Dr. Goodall explains the name in her own words in this 1:11 min video.

Their website explains the purpose of the organization. "Roots & Shoots is the youth-led community action and learning program of the Jane Goodall Institute. The program builds on the legacy and vision of Dr. Jane Goodall to place the power and responsibility for creating community-based solutions to big challenges in the hands of the young people. Through the program, young people map their community to identify specific challenges their neighborhoods face.  From there, they prioritize the problems, develop a plan for a solution, and take action."

The best part about this is the encouragement for people not to become overwhelmed by every environmental issue that's going wrong but instead focusing on steps we can all take to make a change for the better. She said it best herself in a quote I recently discovered, "What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."

Since it's inception in Tanzania in 1991, Roots & Shoots has expanded to 130 countries with over 150,00 members! Whether you join a project or donate money, Dr. Goodall's birthday wish, which she shared on a live broadcast Google+ hangout, is that the work being done by Roots & Shoots continues with or without her.

As always, you can keep up with this remarkable woman by liking Jane Goodall on Facebook or following the Jane Goodall Institute on Twitter @JaneGoodallInst. I hope I'm half this awesome when I'm 80.

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