With the Christmas weekend just gone by and 2017 waiting around the corner, our last blog of this year is one which features yet another of our amazing non-profit partners – Jane Goodall Institute Singapore (JGIS). JGIS is our featured partner of our month for December. We are all quite familiar with the awe-inspiring work of Dr Jane Goodall for over half a century now. Her efforts around community-centred conservation and development programs have reached various parts of the globe with work in over 100 countries.
We interviewed with Mr Tay Kae Fong, President JGIS, to understand more about the work in Singapore.
What is your mission:
JGIS’s primary mission is to nurture the next generation of ‘Jane Goodalls’ – people who believe that our development needs to take into account the environment, animals, and people. We firmly believe that knowledge & compassion lead to action, and everyone can make a difference through our own actions.
What are some of the high-points and achievements of JGIS:
High points are always when Dr Jane is in Singapore and inspiring more people with her story & perspective. We also love it when we see young people get excited from their Roots & Shoots service learning projects.
We are particularly proud of the success of our Roots & Shoots programme. The Jane Goodall Roots & Shoots programme is about making positive change happen both locally and internationally for people, animals and the environment. Our mission is to foster respect and compassion for all living things, to promote understanding of all cultures and beliefs and to inspire each individual to take action to make the world a better place.
With more than three hundred thousand young people in more than 136 countries, the Jane Goodall Roots & Shoots network connects youth of all ages who share a desire to create a better world. Young people identify problems in their local communities and take action. Through service-learning projects and youth-led campaigns, Roots & Shoots members make a difference across the globe.
What are some of the challenges you face and what are some of the areas where one can help JGIS:
I guess the challenges are trying to do more with the limited manpower, time, and money we have. Sometimes we can imagine so many things that can make a difference, though we have to be patient and take things a step at a time.
We’re looking for help with digital marketing, accounting, events, and fundraising. An exciting planned event in 2017 is the screening of “Seed: The Untold Story” in conjunction with Dr Jane’s birthday on Apr 3, and we need help for that. We also really need savvy people to help us with our digital presence & outreach efforts.
Your experience of working with Conjunct:
Working with Conjunct has helped JGIS move to the next level. Our first project helped sharpened our vision & mission, so we had a strong sense of purpose and direction moving forward. We then worked with Conjunct to use that as a rallying call to build a volunteer community, which is the driving force behind our achievements since. Our last project on fundraising has helped kick-start efforts to sustain ourselves.
Conjunct has energetic, smart young people who are full of ideas. On the other hand, the advisors bring many best practices and practical advice, so this makes for a compelling combination. They are also very happy to work with the realities (read: constraints) of a non-profit, which I really appreciated.
What is your wish and message for the coming year:
I hope we manage to help more young people see the world more broadly, beyond just academic excellence & money. With their decisions & choices, they can help create a better place for the environment, animals, and people. With the local primates (macaques and banded langurs), I also hope we manage to contribute to their conservation by learning and sharing more about them.
It’s easy to be discouraged if you look at the whole world and all of its problems, and it’s times like this when I think about what Jane advises us to do – focus on our little piece of the whole picture and decide what difference we want to make.