Recent Chinese history is marked by mass campaigns. Mass campaigns to industrialize, mass campaigns to expand the economy, but a mass campaign to restore the balance of nature is still forthcoming. Rather than wait, the Jane Goodall Institute China has taken up the reigns in this campaign to educate China's youth through the Roots & Shoots program. Ms. Helms hopes that knowledge of the environment will spread virally from child to parent and from school to community.
Ms. Helms talks about the Roots & Shoots program, which has been implemented in hundreds of schools across China since JGI started operations in 2000. The main goal of Roots & Shoots is to change the attitudes and behavior that the young people of China have towards nature. The program encourages young people to design their own environmental programs and implement them locally so they can in turn influence the behaviors of their parents, classmates and communities, therefore learning that any individual can make a difference.
Ms Helms also explains how JGI partners with other organizations to produce educational materials on topics such as animal welfare and “train the trainer” programs for school teachers.