In Support of Jane Goodall

I’m not the philanthropic type. I wish I had a life that would allow me to support all of the great people who are doing good and important work on this planet. Sometimes, I am moved to find a way to cough up some money.  Today was one of those times.  While cruising through my daily e-mail from the BBC, I linked into a story on the DR Congo.  The Democratic (and using the word ‘democratic’ sometimes irks me) Republic of Congo is experiencing some difficulty.  Rebels have seized control of the eastern Gorilla Sector and are threatening to execute any wildlife rangers who enter.  Somehow this stuck in my mind.  I began to think about Jane Goodall, the world renowned primatologist, who has been a lifetime personal hero of mine. Her kind face looked down at me from a poster in the bedroom of my childhood.  I have wept when listening to this woman’s passionate words in support of her life-long work with the chimps and their habitat.  She is the woman who ‘lived with the chimps’ of the Gombe forrest by the shores of lake Tanganika in Africa.  In 1960 she began her on site study at a time when it was unheard of for a woman to enter the forests  in Eastern Africa alone. Now, at age 74, she continues to travel and lecture around the world, almost non-stop,  raising the world’s environmental consciousness.  Dr. Goodall was made a Dame of the British Empire.  She has earned the respect and support she deserves. Despite receiving countless accolades, titles, awards, and degrees, she remains a quiet, unassuming woman.  Her focus is unwavering and she rarely shows sign of letting up, despite health concerns. Jane is the type of selfless individual who must be reminded to sleep and eat occasionally.  If you don’t know her story, find a book, a video or documentary. How fitting on International Women’s Day, to support her work and cause.  In 1977, she established the Jane Goodall  Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation. I found her web site this morning, and became a member of her institute. Go to http://www.janegoodall.org for information. To quote Jane Goodall, “We have a choice to use the gift of our lives to make the world a better place”.

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