THE WORLD- FAMOUS RESEARCHER
Jane Goodall was born to a middle-class family in London on April 3, 1934. She could not attend university for financial reasons and trained as a secretary. In 1957, she traveled to Kenya and convinced Louis Leakey, the famed anthropologist, to hire her as an assistant. In 1960, Leakey entrusted her with the first long-term study of wild chimpanzees in Gombe National Park (in present-day Tanzania). That led to worldwide fame. In addition to many honorary doctorates, Goodall received the Order of the British Empire and was knighted in 2004. She was married twice and has a son.
Today, Goodall is busy as an environmental and animal conservation activist, traveling around 300 days a year for that purpose. The Jane Goodall Institute (janegoodall.org) works to protect primates, especially those endangered by deforestation of the rain forests as well as hunting and illegal trade. The projects range from nature conservation and species protection to development partnerships, and aim to help humans, animals and the environment. In the Republic of the Congo, the institute also operates a rehabilitation center for orphaned chimpanzees.
The Roots & Shoots program for children and young people is especially dear to Jane Goodall's heart. It was started in Tanzania with twelve elementary school students in 1991, and today the program has tens of thousands of members in over 100 countries. Its members get involved in local environmental and social projects. A forestry project is currently under way in Switzerland, for example, that includes an exchange with children in Uganda: janegoodall.ch/roots-shoots