Roots & Shoots Global Spotlight: Chile

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In 1991, Dr. Jane Goodall and just 12 of her students formed the first ever Roots & Shoots group. Nearly 27 years later, Roots & Shoots is now a worldwide force of young change-makers. People of all different backgrounds are working together to make the Earth a better place for people, other animals, and our shared environment. With new projects in more and more countries, Roots & Shoots empowers people through education. One such place is Chile where the country’s Jane Goodall Foundation (Fundaciόn Jane Goodall) is spreading environmental activism through a variety of projects. From organizing workshops to celebrating National Fauna Day, the ways to spread Dr. Jane’s message and make real change are limitless. 

The Fundaciόn Jane Goodall works in and around Santiago, the country’s capital and largest city. Worried about the lack of awareness about the environment, the Fundaciόn’s goal is to connect young people with their Chilean natural heritage. Like many urban areas, it is difficult for people to feel connected to the natural world when it is largely absent from their daily lives. The Fundaciόn also wants to highlight concepts such as biodiversity, natural history, and environmental protection in formal education.

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Jane Goodall once said, “Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help.” Education is super important because it helps us understand what threatens the environment. The Fundaciόn has worked hard over the past year to promote education and understanding of the Earth. They also teach about what life flourishes in Chile. Here is a glimpse at what they have been busy with over the past year:

  • Established a Jane Goodall Institute Chile website to distribute educational material and share Dr. Jane’s story with the country.
  • Conducted multiple workshops and talks at various schools to raise awareness and teach young people about Roots & Shoots and local environmental issues.
  • Printed and sent educational materials to schools to encourage education about natural systems.
  • Brought young people outside to connect with nature.
  • Hosted a National Fauna Day Event to engage people with Chile’s natural heritage. The Chilean National Museum of Natural History, the Ministry of Environment, and various national NGOs all participated in this educational fair. It was open and free to the entire public and involved samples of conservation initiatives along with games, lectures, and art exhibitions.

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All these incredible projects accomplished in Chile truly shows the power of Roots & Shoots. Compassionate leaders following the example and inspiration of Dr. Jane Goodall are making a difference no matter where you are in the world. United by a common goal, people everywhere are working to add to our Tapestry of Hope. Our projects and the compassion they inspire are the reason we have hope for the future. This hope, and this love for people, animals, and the environment, is not contained within one country – it is global, and anyone who makes a difference can join in. 

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The Jane Goodall Institute is a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring people to conserve the natural world we all share, we improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Everything is connected—everyone can make a difference.

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About Author

Yanni is a member of the Roots & Shoots U.S. National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC). As a member of the NYLC, Yanni acts as a youth voice and works to make a positive change in his community — for people, animals and the environment. Yanni is a Senior at Sacred Heart High School in Massachusetts where he is involved in cross country, piano, and the school literary magazine. He has been the president of his school's Roots & Shoots club since 2011.