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Celebrating a Decade of Impact: JGI Global’s Enduring Legacy of Hope

A decade of impact

2023 marks ten years since the official establishment of Jane Goodall Institute’s Global function (JGI Global), although the idea was many years in the making.

JGI Global recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with a virtual event attended by supporters, staff, and partners from around the world. The event was a time to reflect on the organisation’s accomplishments over the past decade and look to the future with hope and inspiration. Watch the full event here!

A network of hope and action

JGI Global is the central co-ordinating function of a network of Jane Goodall Institutes (27), field offices, delivery partners and Roots & Shoots groups with a growing presence in over 65 countries around the world.

The organisation is dedicated to protecting chimpanzees and their habitats, promoting community-centred conservation, and inspiring young people to take action for the planet through our Roots & Shoots program.

Over the past 10 years, JGI Global has made a significant impact on the work of JGIs around the world. The organisation has provided funding, training, and resources to help JGIs grow and expand their programs. JGI Global has also helped to connect JGIs, sharing best practices and fostering collaboration – creating a truly global network.

Highlights from the past decade
The 10th-anniversary celebration of JGI Global featured compelling stories that underscored the organisation’s global impact. Led by Rob Muller, current chair of the JGI Global Board, we heard from past chairs about their motivations for joining JGI Global and highlighting the organisation’s growth and achievements.
The stories shared included:

  • Former Global Board Chair, Patrick van Veen shared a poignant story about a crisis at Chimp Eden in South Africa, demonstrating the pivotal role of global collaboration in resolving the situation.
  • Dr Shadrach Kamenya took the audience on a journey to the Gombe Masito Ugalla region in Tanzania, reflecting on the significant achievement of obtaining UNESCO designation as a Biosphere Reserve in recognition of Dr Jane Goodall’s ground-breaking research and JGI’s ongoing dedication, global effort and scientific approach.
  • Representative to the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime, Zara Bending, shed light on JGI’s crucial role in the fight against illegal wildlife trade, emphasising the organisation’s contribution to global efforts and the potential for ground-breaking agreements.
  • From R&S Turkey, Executive Director Aslihan Niksarli conveyed the success story of Roots & Shoots, underlining the program’s growth and impact in addressing local challenges. Led by young people, this is leading to positive change on a global scale.
  • View a video of the key highlights from JGI Global’s 10-year journey here!

A beacon of hope

The event also featured a discussion on the global expansion of Roots Shoots, with Ray Kiliho and Frank Kasilamu sharing progress in Africa. Their narrative focused on the dedication and passion of young volunteers actively addressing local challenges.

Ray: “In my coordination role, I’ve had a great opportunity to meet so many highly energetic and passionate young people from across African countries. Even though they’re volunteers, they’re highly motivated to address the key challenges in their own community in animal welfare and environments, but also in social and community aspects.”

Representatives of the JGI Global staff, Rita Groenewald and Erika Helms, provided insights into their inspiration, emphasising the profound camaraderie, togetherness, and dedication within the JGI network which makes it a unique force for change.

Rita commented; “Many of our colleagues, mentors, and youth live in countries where peace is just a dream, and where community members suffer under the effects of climate change, environmental degradation and inequality. These are often the members of the community that are most inspirational to me. To everyone who is here today, who has contributed to our network, and all the unsung heroes across the globe. Thank you for all that you do”

A vision for the next decade

Rob Muller, JGI Global Board Chair shared his vision for JGI Global moving forwards:

“In the next ten years, we envision JGI making a big impact worldwide. We want to continue protecting endangered species and expanding our work in primate and chimpanzee research. Our focus also includes, at its heart, supporting communities in a way that respects the environment.

A key part of our vision is the Roots and Shoots program, inspiring young people globally to take action for the planet. We aim not just to keep up our efforts but to grow them, especially by motivating and involving more young minds. Imagine a future where these actions become a powerful force for positive change around the world. That’s our vision for the next decade at JGI.”

Image credit left and top: Zlouma

Dr Jane Goodall’s Hope for Peace

The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly Dr Jane Goodall’s inspiring message. With her characteristic wisdom and compassion, Dr Goodall reflected on the past decade, acknowledging the challenges faced and the triumphs achieved. She emphasised the importance of continuing the fight for chimpanzee conservation, her unwavering commitment to the cause serving as a beacon of hope for our planet.

Dr Jane Goodall is extremely grateful to those who have supported this journey so far, with their unwavering commitment to the aims of the Institute. It is a particularly poignant time to reflect, as Dr Jane turns 90 next year and aims to travel to as many JGIs as she can.

Finally, Dr Jane expressed hope for peace, emphasising the role of Roots Shoots in fostering compassion, understanding, and unity among young people worldwide.

Thank you!

On behalf of JGI Global, we extend our deepest gratitude to all those who have contributed to the organisation’s success over the past decade. Your dedication and support have been instrumental in shaping our organisation into the force for good that it is today.

As we embark on the next chapter of our journey, we are filled with excitement and anticipation for the possibilities that lie ahead. With ambitious goals set for the next 10 years, we invite you to join us on this extraordinary adventure. Together, we can continue to make a lasting difference for chimpanzees and the planet we share.

Please take a look at our latest Annual Report for more information and click here to donate!

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