Hi change makers! Let’s connect with other emerging environmental youth leaders across the world.
Video Credit: Roots & Shoots Uganda
JANE GOODALL’S ROOTS & SHOOTS GLOBAL PEN PALS
Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Global Pen Pals is an initiative run by Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Australia with other global Roots & Shoots chapters, that started in September 2021. It provides primary, secondary and university students with a chance to connect to young people in other cultures, build friendships, develop literacy and communication skills, plus deepen global engagement.
Roots & Shoots members write bi-monthly letters to one another, sharing around key themes such as: environmental conservation; peace and wellbeing; family and culture; faith and belief; and their dreams for the future.
The program is part of the Partnerships In Understanding family of programs globally administered by the Jane Goodall Institute family.
Joining is simple:
a) You register an Expression of Interest with Roots & Shoots Australia
b) We support you to connect with a corresponding Roots & Shoots registered school across the world
c) Your students handwrite letters, we email them across the world, and your students’ peers write letters back. Then the process restarts! We conduct regular Child Safety Checks as part of the process.
BEGINNINGS: AUSTRALIA TO AFRICA
In May 2021, a group of Australian Roots & Shoots volunteers with deep connections to Uganda and Sierra Leone had the idea for a digital letter-writing program to link Australia with their roots in Africa. The goal was to support girls secondary education engagement across the African nations, after they were disproportionately affected by the consequences of the Covid-19 global pandemic.
Via a small fee for Australian parents, the program also raises vital funds for our Girls Empowerment project in Uganda – helping girls achieve a full education by ending period poverty.
TODAY: CREATING A WORLDWIDE NETWORK
The current pilot includes Roots & Shoots chapters in Australia, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Tanzania. Later this year Turkey, Austria, Canada and the Democratic Republic of Congo will also join. The program provides a unique opportunity for global Roots & Shoots chapters to connect relationally as a global community.
“When I wrote my letter I shared what foods and animals I like. Foods which I like most are turkey, irish potato. The animal I like the most is the chimpanzee.
“My friend in Australia likes mangoes. I was so excited to hear that she also likes mangoes, as I thought that people from Australia don’t eat Mangoes.”
~Roots & Shoots Global Pen Pal Program participant, Uganda
ACTING LOCAL, THINKING GLOBAL
By taking part in Global Pen Pals and building wonderful connections, Roots & Shoots equips members across the world to:
• Share their lives across cultures and languages with other students
• Make new friends across the world in various continents
• Improve their confidence in reading, writing and communication
The program is vital in:
• Building cross-cultural awareness and empathy across nations, cultures and continents
• Girls developing friendships by improving their relational and communication skills
• Increasing girls educational engagement in participating nations, improving literacy and language skills
• Building a global sense of identity as a Roots & Shoots community
“I’m proud of the girls and this initiative. I’m very happy for those who started because it has really helped the girls and motivated their talent. They learn about plants, trees and natural things from other countries, plus how to read.”
~Royal Alinaitwe, Roots & Shoots Patron and Teacher, Everest High School, Uganda