Since she can remember, Adiza Ujo has been bothered by the heaps of trash she sees in her hometown of Abuja, Nigeria. But when she saw trash building up at Usama Dam, the city’s source of drinking water, she knew she had to do something.
“I went on social media and put out word to my friends, and we organized a dam cleanup,” said Ujo. “Amazingly, 65 people left what they had to do on a beautiful Saturday to clean up the dam.”
Seeing this great turnout made Ujo realize that people in her city did care about the environment, and they were looking to her for the next step.
“The more I got involved in protecting the environment, the more questions I had—and nobody could give me the answers,” Ujo remembers.
Connecting and training community leaders like Ujo is the primary focus of the Daniel Center, a ministry of Christian Reformed World Missions in Abuja. Ujo discovered the Daniel Center through Sara and George Ahiome, CRWM missionaries who attended her church.
Ujo and the Ahiomes began to meet regularly at the Daniel Center to dream, brainstorm, encourage, look for partners, and come up with strategies for this growing movement. Through this, Ujo also began to see creation care from a biblical perspective.
“I knew about cleaning the environment, but talking about creation care gave me a different perspective,” said Ujo. “It gave me more insight into what I was doing and helped me learn that it was God’s intent.”
With a renewed sense of calling, Ujo started a group called “Stop! Don’t Drop,” which seeks to not only clean the environment but also teach others how to care for creation. Recently, the “Stop! Don’t Drop” group taught middle school students about recycling and built a playground out of recycled products at their school.
“We have somehow forgotten humanity’s first and primary God-given task to tend and care for creation,” added George Ahiome. “Adiza is trying to draw people back to this very important duty.”