people Roots&Shoots

R&S 25years

JaneQuote: “Roots creep underground everywhere and make a firm foundation. Shoots seem very weak, but to reach the light, they can break open brick walls. Imagine that the brick walls are all the problems we have inflicted on our planet. Hundreds of thousands of roots&shoots, hundreds of thousands of young people around the world, can break through these walls. We CAN change the world

Dr. Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE


The Roots&Shoots program is about making positive change happen for our communities, for animals, and for the environment. And it all starts with you!

With thousands of young people in more than 130 countries, the Roots&Shoots global network connects youth of all ages who share a desire to help make our world a better place. Our powerful, youth-driven network is a place where youth and adults come together to share ideas and inspiration, implement successful community service projects and participate in special events and global campaigns.

Have a look here which educational projects JGI Belgium can offer to R&S groups and schools. Or browse in our Frequently Asked Questions below to find your answers.

We are always looking for Belgian schools who would like to start a Roots&Shoots project or recognition of existing projects as a R&S project. Do you know a school interested? Contact Us! Do not forget to visit our Youth Corner

Frequently asked questions

1. What is Roots&Shoots?

Roots&Shoots is the Jane Goodall Institute's international environmental and humanitarian programme for youth of all ages. It is a fun and exciting way for young people to learn about problems and issues in their local communities and then discover ways to make the world a better place. All projects are focused on improving the lives of Animals, People and the Environment. Kids who belong to Roots&Shoots groups have the opportunity to network with R&S members from around the world to learn about other cultures and gain a deeper understanding of the global impact of their action.

2. What is the Roots&Shoots mission?

• To foster respect and compassion for all living things
• To promote understanding of all cultures and beliefs
• To inspire each individual to take action to make the world a better place for animals, people, and the environment (APE).

3. Where does the name Roots&Shoots come from?

Dr. Jane explains: "Roots creep underground everywhere and make a firm foundation. Shoots seem very weak, but to reach the light they can break open brick walls. Imagine that the brick walls are all the problems we have inflicted on our planet. Hundreds and thousands of Roots&Shoots, hundreds and thousands of young people around the world, can break through these walls. You can change the world.""

4. What makes Roots&Shoots different from other organizations?

Our history, flexibility, international network and youth-driven programs:

History: Our roots are unique and special. We were founded by 16 Tanzanian students and Dr. Jane Goodall in 1991. We continue to be inspired by the leadership and legacy of Dr. Jane. Her pioneering idea that each individual can make a difference is the foundation of Roots&Shoots.

Flexibility: Our learning model of knowledge, compassion, and action provides a flexible structure for group activities, with room for seemingly endless creativity in application. Our members have formed Roots&Shoots groups in almost any context: classrooms, voluntary service hours, after school hours, universities, home school groups, families, neighborhoods, community centers, zoos and nature centers, museums, scout troops, even prisons.

International network: Roots&Shoots members on every continent, and in more than 100 countries, make connections far beyond their home communities, fostering a better understanding of cultures and ecosystems.

Youth-driven projects: We believe young people have the power to make a difference, and we know they can plan and implement projects that are truly youth-led.

5. What are examples of typical projects?

Projects can be simple, such as fundraising for a JGI project through bake sales, or larger group efforts requiring a lot of people-power, like organizing to clean up a major urban park. How about holding a food or clothing drive or helping at an animal shelter? Many Roots&Shoots groups help out at local senior centers, plant butterfly gardens, build bird houses, educate others about endangered species or promote practices to reduce household energy use. Any project that helps the human community preserves the lives of animals or improves the environment, fits within the Roots&Shoots goals. Our website includes project ideas to help jump-start your ideas. To get inspiration, view our educators page, or some examples of "Belgian R&S projects" Also see FAQ 6. for more information.

6. Which material for R&S projects can JGI Belgium offer?

We have some exciting campaigns coming up:

a. Our annual tree planting event: We expect the next JGI/Sunbeams Tree Planting Event to be on Sunday 17 March 2013 and are waiting for a location somewhere in Belgium from our technical partners. We will be able to visit about 15 participating schools - dressed up as trees - some weeks preceding the event and expect this to be in week 8 (18-22 February 2013). The cost 5 euro per tree.

b. Our mobile phone recycling campaign will be launched officially at the end of December 2012. Our pilot stage of last year has been evaluated and we decided to keep the same partner. The company will collect the boxes of mobile phones, the old phones will be recycled by them and JGI Belgium gets a fee for each phone. We have made a flyer and will feature this on our new website linking the topic to illegal coltan mining in DRC, chimps as bush meat, and peace in Central Africa. One of the JGI 'Projects of Hope' in DRC will benefit from this campaign.

c. The peace dove campaign: all R&S groups are invited to celebrate peace each year around international peace day 21st September and build their own Giant Peace Dove Puppet (instructions available here). They will also be invited at the UN Day celebrations around 24 October 2012 at Grand Place.

d. We support the national campaign on Thursday Veggie Day, linked to the film LoveMeaTender (click here to order DVD) and the educational package for schools. Dr. Jane Goodall appears in the movie and talks about these issues.

e. The wonderful film Jane's Journey (click here to order DVD ) covers Jane's life and span of work and we link it to some selected JGI Projects of Hope to discuss in class and/or to fund-raise for

f. The Chimp Guardian programme allows classes to fund-raise for the adoption of one of our irresistible baby chimps (you can read their individual story and profile here ) and the class receives a beautiful adoption package, including their chimp passport, stickers, and news on the chosen chimp.

g. The amazing Disney Nature movie "Chimpanzee" will be launched in Belgium in February 2013 (documentary with narrator and story of a baby chimp called Oscar) and a wonderful educational package (English) on chimpanzees goes with it. We link this launch to the Chimp Guardian programme and mobile phone campaign. The DVD will be available in Europe later.

We strive to have all our information and campaigns available in three languages: English, French, and Dutch. Please have a look at our educators page.

7. What does R&S Belgium have to do with chimpanzees?

Dr. Jane Goodall has been observing the behavior of chimpanzees in the Gombe reserve in Tanzania most of her life. She noticed that the local people living around the reserve put a lot of pressure on the habitat of the chimpanzees just for their own survival. Forests were cut and chimpanzees were hunted for food (bushmeat). She noticed how animals, people and the environment were very much intertwined, but also how all living beings could live in harmony with each other. She started with TACARE , her community development programme, specifically to improve the lives of those local people. In 1991, Dr. Jane met 16 Tanzanian students who asked her what they could do to help. She replied that every individual can do something for all living beings whether they are living in Africa or elsewhere: the Roots&Shoots programme was born.

In addition, many decisions we make here in Europe have repercussions on what happens in Africa, in the rainforest and the chimps living there. Just think of the metals needed to make our mobile phones. If you want to make a link to the chimpanzees with your Belgian R&S group, there are many options: you can learn what you can do for the mobile phone recycling programme of JGI Belgium; you can start a fundraising project with your group to adopt a chimp from Tchimpounga or to donate to the Project of Hope of DRC or you can contribute to our campaign against exotic pets in Belgium. Also see 6. for more information.

8. How young, or how old, must I be to become a member of Roots&Shoots Belgium?

Youth of all ages can join Roots&Shoots. You are never too young to make a difference! Roots&Shoots members traditionally range from 5 year old to university students. However, knowledge, compassion and action know no age limit, so we also have a growing number of adult groups! Regardless of age, all Roots&Shoots leaders and members care about the future of our planet and know that kids have an incredible energy and power that can change the world.

9. What are the criteria for R&S projects?

They have to be youth-driven, sustainable and show concern and care for all living beings: Animals, People and the Environment.

10. What are the criteria for establishing a R&S group?

1) To agree with the mission of Jane Goodall's Roots&Shoots
2) To create and register your projects (you or else your mentor/teacher)
3) To celebrate international peace day around 21st of September.

11. Why do R&S groups celebrate peace?

Dr. Jane Goodall is United Nations Peace Messenger. It was because of her promotion of care for all living beings and her R&S programme that she got this title. Around International Day of Peace, every third weekend of September, R&S groups all over the world celebrate peace by making peace puppets or a Giant Peace Dove puppet. Guidelines on how to build one can be found here. Around UN Day - 24 October - JGI Belgium invites all R&S groups to fly their Doves at the Giant Peace Dove Parade on Grand Place in Brussels. You can choose to fly the Doves at your own event or to fly them together with other R&S groups in Belgium. Check out our peace campaign for more info and pictures of peace celebrations in Belgium.

12. Why would I join R&S or why create a R&S group?

There are many reasons to join:
- You really feel you can make a difference for a better world
- You meet like minded people and friends
- You can connect to like minded people from other groups in Belgium and abroad and learn about other cultures
- You learn a lot of skills which will be useful later on: how to design and implement a project, to fund-raise, to organize, to work with other people, to get leadership skills etc.
- You might be able to gain some points/hours for a school project or voluntary service hours
- When you move abroad or travel you can meet others of the R&S or JGI family
- You might meet Dr. Jane in person at the annual R&S Belgium ceremony in the spring

13. How much does it cost to join R&S Belgium?

Membership is free! If you want our team members to give a presentation about R&S at your school/scouts camp/community group, then we will ask for a fee and transportation costs.

14. Help! I need funding.

We encourage our groups to use their creativity to plan low-cost projects, but we recognize that sometimes funds are required. Many projects include a fundraising part and the students learn a lot about planning and budgets on the way!

15. How much time do I need to commit as a member? As a leader?

Our flexible programme means you can devote as much or as little time as you'd like. How much time you commit to Roots&Shoots projects is up to you and can be based on the needs of your community and the availability of your group members. A lot depends on the size of your group, the ages involved and the types of projects you want to do. Many Roots&Shoots groups meet weekly. Others meet once or twice a month. Some groups appoint a leadership committee that meets more often to plan activities for meetings with the larger group. Be creative!

16. What tools and resources are available to students and teachers?

We offer resources for sharing ideas and inspiration, planning projects and networking together (see FAQ no. 6). One of our R&S messengers (see question number 31) can give a presentation on R&S at your school/university. We can help you to find the right educational packages and beneficiary groups. Have a look at our educators page!

17. How can I, as a teacher, find resources and beneficiaries for my R&S projects at school?

If you know the topics you want to work with, we can help you to find educational packages or workshops in three languages or specific beneficial target groups (e.g. a local organization for homeless people). If you are a teacher at an international school and follow the UK curriculum, we can get you in touch with the JGI UK to get access to their English educational packages specifically designed for R&S projects and integrated in the UK curriculum.

18. I am a teacher who already participates in service learning projects in my class room. Why should I join Roots&Shoots?

Your existing projects might already match the R&S criteria and just need minor adaptation. Roots&Shoots has a flexible, affordable learning model that energizes your students, empowers them to make real, positive changes in your community and adapts to your curriculum. Resources and networking available through R&S enables already existing projects to be improved and enriched. Consider the ways Roots&Shoots enhances your students' learning experience, not just this year, but into the future. Students will:
• Make community service more meaningful and have a lasting impact
• Understand their power to make a difference
• Connect with their communities and the larger world
• Share ideas and information with young people in other countries
• Enhance their cultural awareness
• Learn about global environmental and humanitarian issues
• Gain leadership and organizational skills

If you like, you can visit our Educators Section for more information

19. How do we register as a R&S group here in Belgium?

If you belong to a group at a school, we will ask your teacher to register for you. If you want to establish a group outside of school, you need to be at least 14 years or older to register, otherwise you need to find an adult for a mentor. We will need a short description made by the students/group members of each project and some photos of the group in action.Register here.

20. Do I register my R&S group on the international website as well?

JGI Belgium will register your Belgian R&S projects for you in the international database. If you want to get access to the international database you can register as a R&S group member. You can then see the R&S projects worldwide and access the US-based resource centre and forum of Click here to see the Project Database and Resource Center.

21. What is a Certificate of Recognition?

This certificate, signed by Dr. Jane, recognizes outstanding Roots&Shoots groups for achievement in their projects. Your group can earn a Certificate of Recognition by doing each of the following by 31 March each year:
1) Register as a Roots&Shoots group by sending a summary and some photos of your project(s).
2) Complete service projects covering the three areas: care and concern for the Animals, People and the Environment (APE )
3) R&S students/children will be invited to make a poster presentation of one of their projects at the annual R&S ceremony in May where the certificate will be handed over to them by Dr. Jane Goodall herself or in the presence of other VIPs.

22. What happens at the annual R&S Belgium ceremony?

Young people of all ages present their projects with a poster to the other active R&S groups and to potential R&S groups. We will do our best to invite Dr. Jane Goodall herself to hand out the R&S Certificates of Recognition to each R&S group. If Dr. Jane is unable to attend we will ask other VIPs to be present. In May 2011, the first Belgian R&S ceremony took place at the International School of Brussels. In May 2012, it was held at the European Parliament .

23. How can we participate at the annual R&S Belgium ceremony?

• You need to register as a R&S group with at least 1 on-going project before 31 March (if you have more, we will select one); matching the R&S criteria and with description and photos
• An A2 poster needs to be made for the presentation and be brought to the event
• One of the R&S group members/leaders needs to make the presentation

24. My group is looking for a project that is global in scope.

Have a look at our list under the educators page and our campaigns of which some are international, like the Giant Peace Dove campaign. You could also register as a member on the international website . They have several places to learn about global initiatives. And please check out the Partnerships in Understanding under FAQ no. 26

25. How can I get my group into the Belgian Newsletter?

We select groups and projects based on the project reports that are submitted. The Roots&Shoots staff publishes stories and images of group projects. There is no process for applying to have your group featured, but the best way to increase your chance of appearing is to submit reports for every project you complete, accompanied by high-quality photos.

26. What are Partnerships in Understanding?

This program partners Roots&Shoots groups worldwide to allow youth to create global connections and enhance cultural awareness. This Partnerships in Understanding program pairs groups around the world, but also within Belgium: we intend to connect the R&S groups of the French, Flemish and international community. The partners share emails, letters, pictures, videos and more from their community and culture. Partnerships in Understanding breaks down distance barriers to bring young people around the world closer together. If you are interested in getting connected with another Belgian group from a different language community or with a similar focus, please let us know .

27. How can I get my group featured in Project of the Week or Group of the Month on the international website?

Each week we select a recent project to feature as a Project of the Week. Projects that are chosen typically:
• Have a measurable community benefit or impact.
• Include enough detail so that another Roots&Shoots group can repeat it.
• Are creative!

Each month, from these featured projects, we choose one group to honor with Group of the Month. Groups who receive this feature often:
• Plan at least one project for people, one for animals and one for the environment.
• Report multiple projects in the Project Database.
• Have a current Group Membership.

28. I am moving abroad and want to connect with a R&S group abroad. Where can I find them?

There are JGI offices in many countries around the world (click here to see the list), but many more countries have R&S groups. Today there are more than 9000 R&S groups in more than 100 countries. Sign up as a member for access to the international R&S database through

29. Do I have to be a Roots&Shoots member to receive the international Branch Out eNewsletter?

You can receive the Branch Out eNewsletter even if you aren't a member. Sign up today.

30. I am part of a Roots&Shoots group already. How can I be more involved?

You could:
a. Link with other groups in your country or abroad through the Partnership in Understanding.
b. Consider getting involved with our international Campaigns, like the peace celebrations.
c. Become an international member and take part in discussion boards or regional events.
d. Encourage other people to start a R&S group and become an R&S messenger.
e. Help us to establish Roots&Shoots Youth Leadership Programme in Belgium.
f. Become a JGI Belgium intern or volunteer.
g. Become a R&S ambassador.

31. What is a Roots&Shoots messenger?

An R&S messenger is someone who encourages others to start a R&S group or makes presentations at schools/universities about R&S. We will organize a workshop twice a year (January and June) to be trained for becoming an R&S messenger.

32. What is a Roots&Shoots ambassador?

A R&S ambassador is a person who has a public outreach in her/his daily life and promotes the overall R&S programme in his or her public function. Contact us today: info at janegoodall dot be. Meet our current JGI ambassadors!