When I signed my Girl Scout troop up for an event to celebrate the United Nation's International Day of Peace they were dubious. Did they have to go? Yes I insisted, this is important. We are going to learn about Jane Goodall, and how we can help the world be a better place. Isn't that what Girl Scouts is all about? She is the United Nation's Messenger of Peace, I told them. That's a big deal! The were unsure about the whole thing, (being the teenagers that they are) but I think after all was said and done, they had an experience they will remember. When Dr. Goodall walked through the audience (to a standing ovation) and onto the stage it was hard to believe what a huge impact this slight grey-haired woman has had on science, and on the world. We have all read about her studies with the chimpanzees, but hearing her in person and about everything she has accomplished, was amazing. As one of my Girl Scouts commented "she was mesmerizing".
The first part of the event was a couple of weeks before hearing Dr. Goodall speak. We went to the Center for Living Peace in Irvine to learn about Dr. Goodall's work, learn about careers in peace and to build and fly giant peace doves. The girls spent the morning with other girls and Girl Scouts to build the giant peace dove puppets. After they were built they took them on a test "flight" across the bridge from the Center, over to the UCI campus and back. They were amazing! The project was all about celebrating the United Nation's International Day of Peace. We also got a chance to learn about Dr. Goodall's many projects. The Jane Goodall Institute helps create healthy ecosystems, promote sustainable livelihoods and nurture new generations of committed, active citizens around the globe. Her Roots and Shoots program is for youth of all ages and has groups in over 130 countries! Dr. Goodall's community centered conservation projects in Africa, her scientific research and her dedication to changing the world is so inspiring. I would love my Girl Scouts to join Dr. Goodall in her vision to empower people to make a difference for all living things. There can be no sustainable future without a sustainable peace. We must all make the choice to wake up and and rise to the challenge of making the world a better place. (sound familiar Girl Scouts?) Our choices must be ones that will be positive for future generations, not just for ourselves. As Dr. Goodall put it- "We must join our heads with our hearts to have a hope for the future".
To learn more about the Jane Goodall Institute go to: www.janegoodall.org
For information on Roots and Shoots go to: www.rootsandshoots.org
If you are in Orange County, CA please go by the Center for Living Peace in Irvine and see what projects they have going on. www.goodhappens.org