Jane Goodall ’s Roots & Shoots programme teaches youth to go green

Posted by Ilhaam Hoosain on 24 June 2022

The Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots programme is empowering youth across the globe. What started as a small community project in Tanzania has led to a global movement, and is also taking root in South Africa. Youngsters in the club gain valuable knowledge and self-confidence as they are taught how to grow vegetable gardens, provide food for their communities, and learn about future careers in horticulture and agriculture.

Roots & Shoots South Africa students

Roots & Shoots South Africa students

They are currently busy with six programmes:

  • Greening Club
  • Greening in my Community & Food Gardens
  • Domestic Animals
  • Learning to be Role Models
  • Sports
  • Reading

The children are also part of an Eco Club that is teaching them the skill of the trade. They earn ‘Eco Bucks’ and can then purchase items in their Eco Exchange Store. Roots & Shoots Global Network co-ordinator Rita Groenewald says: ‘This is teaching the kids the value of the green economy. They are learning the value of gardening. We have two Eco Exchange Stores in Gauteng; one in Diepsloot and one in Olievenhoutbosch.’

The well-being of the youth is a priority, and they are taught how to be part of community service projects that can turn into international campaigns, and gives the youth access to peers from almost 100 countries.

Nurturing Compassion

The programme also instils compassion in the club members, based on the ethos that a compassionate citizen is someone who considers how a decision will impact all living beings and our planet. Members are expected to grow essential skills like empathy and supporting peers. The aim is to inspire well-rounded, self-confident individuals and part of this is to develop holistic and sustainable individuals who care about our planet.

Eco Exchange Stores

Eco Exchange Stores

Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace Dr Jane Goodall’s words serve as inspiration to all those making these programmes successful: ‘I do have reasons for hope…Above all, the commitment of young people when they’re empowered to take action. Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.’

Contact Roots & Shoots 

Tel: 072 723 9256, Email: [email protected]

Pictures: Jane Goodall Institute


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