top of page

Who We Are


"Roots & Shoots is about Hope." - Dr. Jane Goodall

Roots & Shoots is a program of the Jane Goodall Institute and is a global movement of youth who are empowered to use their voice and actions to make compassionate decisions, create positive influence and lead change in their communities. It builds on Dr. Jane’s legacy and vision of placing the power and responsibility to the youth of today and tomorrow to create solutions to challenges faced by people, animals and the environment.


Roots & Shoots aims to inspire, empower and encourage young people all over the world by showing them how to follow their passions, take action together and become the change our world needs. Roots & Shoots is about understanding, selecting and implementing projects to make the world a better place. It is about learning to live in peace and harmony, not only with each other, but with the natural world.

Our Story

RS0170_1 DG.png

The founding of Roots & Shoots. Group of Tanzanian students met with Dr. Jane Goodall at her home in 1991 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. At the meeting they formed the first Roots & Shoots group. Photo credit: © the Jane Goodall Institute

Roots & Shoots began in 1991 when Dr. Jane met with 12 Tanzanian high school students who wanted to tackle urgent problems in their community. They gathered on Jane Goodall’s front porch in Tanzania and expressed how they felt powerless against the problems in the world around them. As the students told stories about their lives and challenges and offered ideas to resolve these issues, Jane realised the solution to these problems was them and their own power to create change. On that day the Roots & Shoots program was born. Since 1991, over 12,000 groups involving a total of nearly 790,000 participants in over 62 countries have taken on the challenge of making the world a better place for the environment, animals and people. Roots & Shoots youth are not only the future - they are the present, and they are changing the world!

The origin of our name:
Roots & Shoots

Mission & Vision


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, animals and the environment. 


  • For all children and youth to be conscious and take action against the injustices and problems that pose risk to the wellbeing of people, the environment and animals and initiate change through their own efforts and actions.

  • To create a safe space in which everyone, particularly youth, can meet and interact with individuals from different backgrounds, belief systems and disciplines to create an aware, understanding and unified society.  

  • To expose South African children and youth to the global world through interactive projects with other children and youth in other countries.

  • To facilitate intergenerational dialogue on issues and problems that South Africans face and find solutions that can be implemented through positive action.

bottom of page