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Oxford University Thinks Global, Acts Local

Roots and Shoots Oxford started this year by filling its members with new angles on current affairs. We held film screenings of ‘The Cove’, a beautifully shot documentary detailing how a group of activists attempt to stop Japanese fishers illegally catching dolphins. A showing of ‘Crude’ was provided in the wake of the Louisiana oil spill. It certainly put the amount of pollution into perspective; a mere drop in the ocean in comparison to the destruction of Bolivian rainforest life.

May saw the welcoming of Josia Razafindramanana to the group, and ?the start of our Madagascar initiative. Josia, having coordinated Roots & Shoots in Madagascar, gave us a kick start to the projects. We began with our end of academic year book collection, with desperately needed books to be sent to schools and universities in Madagascar. Students from across the university donated 9 boxes of books and set us the awesome task of raising £800 to ship them to Madagascar. A combination of Malagasy themed fundraising nights and around town collections this term will hopefully both catapult us towards that target and educate all in some of its culture.

With the start of the new term approaching preparations are hurriedly being made to gather fresh recruits and once again spread the Roots & Shoots message to the students. The Oxford Team’s greatest and most important mission is this information diffusion. We can listen to both the Oxford student and Roots & Shoots communities to make positive change happen. This year being part of the Roots & Shoots network has been invaluable, providing us with information and events for all our members, and is set to take us further! Currently a letter exchange between local schools in Oxfordshire and Madagascar is taking shape. We will be starting with those Roots & Shoots school networks and, depending on the scheme’s popularity, expand to all local schools.

All this activity has certainly brought the Roots & Shoots Oxford community into the wider environmental and ethical scene in Oxford. Just as we gain from the Roots & Shoots network we will be looking to team up with other like minded groups in Oxford.

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