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Jane Goodall Global Youth Summit – Renews Hope in Humanity

“Before leaving for Florida, I was beginning to lose faith in myself and those around me. Me and a few friends had a huge enthusiasm to make a difference, but couldn’t see enthusiasm in those around us. I was about to give up. Then I arrived at the summit, where me and 99 other young people from 28 different countries around the world, had all been united by Jane Goodall, for one reason, to spread ‘Reasons for Hope’.”

“I arrived late in the evening but the sun was still shining in the sky, my excitement was enormous. What would the people be like? What stories would they have? What would I learn? Everyone was extremely friendly, kind and loving, everyone had a huge enthusiasm for life and for making change. They had stories of sadness and distress, of obstacles and challenges, but every story finished with happiness and triumph. And they taught me so much.”

“In those five long days that passed so tremendously quickly, we discussed the conflicts in our home countries like gun crime and war. We discussed wildlife issues, like snake charming and the bush meat trade. We discussed social issues like poverty and gender discrimination. Most importantly though we discussed the ways we could combat these issues and we shared our ideas and projects. We realised how similar many of our individual situations are and how important it is to share our experiences to help each other succeed. It wasn’t all work though, between the discussions and the workshops, we spent time dancing and sharing songs from our respective countries. One night we went to Fort Wilderness and were taught by a real cowboy how to line dance. We laughed and joked, we swam in the pool and played games and amused ourselves with each others accents and language.”

“One thing I learnt whilst away, which dramatically changed my outlook on life, having experienced the massive segregation between races and classes in this country, is that people from different countries, with different cultures, traditions and beliefs, can live together in harmony and enjoy each others culture. We did it, we spent our time as 28 different countries sharing each others ways of life and I have left with a feeling of great internationality, I feel like I have a bit of each of those countries within me all the time. I carry their love and support and their lessons with me every step of the way.”

“But the lesson that restored my hope in humanity, was the realisation that we are not alone in the world. Whilst we struggle at home to encourage people to care and to make positive changes to their lives, there are people all around the world who do care and if we support each other we will succeed.”

“So on my return home, amongst the many projects I would like to carry out within my own community and to support other countries, my main goal is to increase the communication between our Roots & Shoots groups in England, so that we can support and encourage each other, teach each other and work together. I also intend to help Roots & Shoots grow within England and to reach out to Scotland and Wales, but I need your help.”

“We are all friends and family within Roots & Shoots, wherever one Roots & Shoots member lives, you have a home, so if we all get to know each other and work together we can make a positive change in the United Kingdom.”

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