Features Issue 154 Sep, 2014
Text by Astha Joshi

Jane Goodall, a renowned primatologist and an outspoken environmentalist was recently in Nepal spreading her message of hope.

She’s 80 and still so inspiring” a young girl overheard while waiting for her turn to click pictures with the world renowned British primatologist, Jane Goodall. 

Jane Goodall was in Nepal for her 80th birthday celebration, her fifth visit to the country. Even at the age of 80, she still inspires and spreads the word of hope, the hope of creating a kinder and a better world. Roots and Shoots, an organization that she started with 12 young Tanzanian students has now branched out to 132 countries spreading the importance of making better decisions about the planet.

At a time, when global warming is a major concern for many, rising green house gases and increasing methane level paints a very bleak picture of the future but despite this doom and gloom she still spreads the message of hope. Accompanied by Mr. H her toy monkey and her toy Cow, her spokesperson for abused farm animals, a gift to her from the state of Wisconsin she told us why she believes in hope-

First reason
The marvelous human brain which makes us the most intelligent beings on the planet that have the ability to create, innovate and sole problems.

 “I look at the moon and I think to myself, we sent a man to the moon. But again, we can’t live there. With all that intelligence, man is set on destroying the only home we have. We have to think of how the decisions we take will affect our life here.”

Second reason
The indomitable human spirit. In all her journeys around the globe she meets many people who dare to dream the unattainable. 
“I regularly come across people who live by this principle. In 2013, while visiting Canada, I saw a young man climb the 802 steps of the Calgary Tower in nearly 25 minutes. He wanted to climb the tower to raise funds for the zoo in Calgary that had been damaged by floods. Climbing 802 steps might not be such a big deal to us but what makes his feat extraordinary is that the young man had been born without arms and legs. To climb every step, he had to turn his back and use the flipper at the end of his arm bone to push himself up.”

Third reason
The resilience of Nature and the importance of every individual. “Every individual matters, every individual has a role to play, every individual can make a difference”. 

Fourth reason for hope
The young people and their determination. 
“If young people are informed and empowered starting from a young age, they can make a difference in their communities. Young people all around the world, part of Root& Shoots have been doing just that. My greatest reason for hope is the spirit and determination young people have to do right after they know what the problems are and have the tools to take action.”