Step 1: Get Inspired
This step takes approximately 1 hour to explore.
Hope and inspiration are two of the most powerful catalysts for action known to humankind.
In the first step of the Roots & Shoots journey, we want you to get inspired to make a difference – to see the change you can be in the world!
The wild (but true) story of
Dr. Jane Goodall
In July 1960, Jane Goodall traveled from England to what is now Tanzania to study the little-known world of wild chimpanzees. She was only 26 years old.
Many people thought her mission was foolish. She had no formal training or education, and at the time, the idea of a young woman going into the jungle by herself to study wild animals was scandalous. But she knew she had the power to make a difference, and was absolutely determined.
She stepped off a game warden’s boat onto the shores of Gombe, equipped with little more than a notebook, binoculars, and her fascination with wildlife. The game warden later said he thought he'd never see her alive again.
Jane spent months trying to get close to the chimpanzees, but they didn't trust her. As soon as she saw one, it would run away. But one day, an alpha who Jane had nicknamed "David Greybeard" (pictured below) let Jane follow him. He seemed curious about this woman who had been hanging around for so long.
David began to trust Jane. As a result, David's community began to trust her, too. They let her observe from a distance, without running off. And her observations changed the world.
Her breakthrough discovery came when she observed David Greybeard "fishing for termites." He made a sort of fishing pole out of grass to reach into termite holes and collect termites to eat. This is the first-known observation of tool-making in the animal kingdom, which means animals are much smarter than we originally gave them credit for. David Greybeard has been named one of the most influential animals of all time for sharing these secrets with Jane.
Jane also observed compassion, community-
building, tribal conflicts, mother-child bonds, selflessness, affection, and a need for connection in these chimpanzee troops.
Through nearly 60 years of groundbreaking work, Dr. Jane Goodall has not only shown us the urgent need to protect chimpanzees from extinction; she has also redefined species conservation to include the needs of local people and the environment. Today, she travels around the world, writing, speaking and spreading hope through action, encouraging each of us to “use the gift of our life to make the world a better place. “As a conservationist, humanitarian and crusader for the ethical treatment of animals, she is a global force for compassion and a UN Messenger of Peace.
Watch Jane's message to everyone starting their Roots & Shoots journey.
Get inspired by exploring other Roots & Shoots projects across the country.
(Animals, People, Environment)
As you're getting inspired, think about animals, people, and the environments we share. After all, that's what we're trying to protect and nourish through Roots & Shoots.
What do you find inspiring about the ways animals interact with people and their environments?
Who is the first animal you ever truly loved?
What species intrigues you?
Can you think of some inspiring examples of people protecting animals and the environment?
Who inspires you to act?
What would you say to them if they were with you right now?
What is your favourite outdoor place in the world?
What would you do to protect it?
What animals and people you love are connected to this place?