In my list of heroes, Dr. Jane Goodall appears around the top. Her work among the chimpanzees of the Gombi National Park is the stuff of legends. She is the founder of Roots and Shoots — the Jane Goodall Institute, whose goal is “to promote care and concern for animals, the environment, and the human community.”
Lessons for Hope: Activities to sustain yourself and the world around you, is the kind of work she inspires. From their website: “Lessons of Hope is produced in collaboration with the Center for Applied Technologies in Education at University at Buffalo, is a web-based project, weaving service learning into high school curriculum. Inspired by the work of Dr. Jane Goodall, students are given opportunities to make a positive difference not only at school but also in their communities and even around the world. Lessons for Hope inspires high school students by helping them recognize their personal values and by encouraging them to translate those values into activities that benefit their communities.”
One of the lessons is the story of Jon.
Jon Stocking, a cook on a tuna fishing boat, was horrified to see how fishermen would accidentally trap and drown dolphins in their fishing nets while fishing for tuna. When he heard the crying of a baby dolphin and its mother gazed into his eyes, he found himself leaping into the water boiling with the thrashing of huge and terrified tuna, sharks, and dolphins. Jon, terrified himself, managed to release the dolphin and its mother. Then, with his knife, he cut the net and freed the rest of the animals.
Of course, Jon was fired. When he finally got home, he thought about the dolphin situation and all the animals being driven to extinction. What could he do? He had no degree and was not wealthy, but he desperately wanted to make a difference. So he founded the Endangered Species Chocolate Company. For each candy bar the company sells, “Chocolate Jon” donates 10% of the profits annually to organizations dedicated to fighting for the species’ survival. Dr. Jane and “Chocolate Jon” created a chimpanzee bar that raises money for the Jane Goodall Institute.
Heart warming, isn’t it?