Empowering young people to make a difference
Roots & Shoots is a unique programme that encourages young people to live sustainable lifestyles and influence those around them to do the same, by developing and working on youth led projects.
What’s the mission?
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.
How it all began
In 1991, Dr Jane Goodall met a group of local teenagers in Tanzania. They were eager to discuss a range of problems they knew about from first-hand experience that caused them deep concern. Dr. Jane was impressed by their compassion, their energy and desire to develop a solution. It was thanks to these young people that Roots and Shoots was born!
Since then, the 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.
‘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
Why is the Roots & Shoots programme unique:
- It aims at developing compassionate leaders by inspiring young people to take action.
- It creates an international network of young people to exchange ideas and best practices.
- It encourages understanding of different cultures, communities and backgrounds through its global network.
- It is for all: everybody can start a Roots & Shoots project.
‘It’s about rolling up your sleeves, getting there and doing it.’
Dr. Jane Goodall
Examples of projects developed by Roots & Shoots groups in Belgium:
Photo credit: (hero image) Sebastien Pirlet/JGIB