As a 23-year-old in 1960, she had traveled from England to Tanzania and bravely entered the little-known world of wild chimpanzees. She was equipped with nothing more than a notebook and pair of binoculars. But with her rare degree of patience, and fortified by characteristic optimism, she won the trust of these initially shy creatures. She managed to open a window onto their sometimes strange and often familiar-seeming lives. The public was fascinated and remains so to this day.
Today Jane’s work revolves around mobilizing action on behalf of chimpanzees, who are endangered, and all wildlife species. The Jane Goodall Institute works to protect the famous chimpanzees of Gombe National Park in Tanzania, but recognizes this can’t be accomplished without a holistic approach that addresses the real needs of local people. Our conservation efforts include sustainable development programs that engage communities as true partners. These programs began around Gombe but now spread across the continent. Likewise the Roots & Shoots youth action program Jane and a group of Tanzanian students started in 1990 now spreads to more than 100 countries.