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Sabon Rayuwa Ecological Centre, Yola, Nigeria

6 January 2004


"Whatever our project, or wherever we focus our energy
Unless we are situating that within the context
Of the total community on the planet
We are failing to be faithful interpreters of the Signs of our Times"

from Thomas Berry

"We struggle to be radically and unequivocally with, and on the side of, our sisters and brothers who are poor, and our impoverished planet earth"

(Congregational Chapter Statement, 2000)

In 2002 the Sisters of Mercy in the Nigerian Region, in collaboration with the Catholic Diocese of Yola, built a house in the village of Kofari, 8 kms from the city of Yola, where they offer a model of compassionate, earth-friendly and hospitable living, grounded in the bio-region. It is a place where:

  • Earth ways and Earth wisdom are lived and celebrated
  • The Earth story is learned and studied as a source of inspiration and motivation for all being and acting
  • Guidance and help is discerning one's way of life within the context of the whole planet is offered
  • Food is sacred and special attention is given to the choices we make in light of eco-justice
  • There is an open door for all who wish to live with courtesy, respect and reverence before all of life.

Water Purifying System at Sabon Rayuwa

Square Foot Planting at the Centre

This initiative is grounded in a theology of right relationships with God, self, others and the cosmos and a "growing awareness of the inter-connectedness of the whole community of life and our place in it. (Cong Chapter Statement 2000) . It is a compassionate response to our impoverished planet earth and her people who cry for mercy. It is based on our belief that:

  • It is poor people who suffer most from the environmental crisis, their land is being stripped, their towns are being made into toxic dumps, their health is endangered, their jobs are effected, their subsistence from the land is threatened etc
  • Earth's resources are finite and no species has the right to endanger future generations by claiming these resources as their own
  • The Preferential option for the poor and the poor earth is the Great Work of our time

We are called to embrace the "breadth of our human story, particularly its rootedness in Africa, the incarnational significance of that unfolding, and the justice response it calls forth in our time as the people of Africa call out for meaning and hope".  (Evolutionary Faith P 166, D O Murchu)


Organic Farm

'Cooking Pot' used at Sabon Rayuwa

The Sisters work in collaboration with local communities in some of the villages and in the small Christian communities in Yola city in developing an organic farm.

Future Plans

  • Development of renewable energy sources for light and cooking
  • Digging of two wells on the farm
  • Development of sand water filtration system
  • Development of herbal (medicinal) garden
  • Indigenous tree planting in co-operation with Environmental Ministry.

Programmes Planned

  • Earth Literacy classes in local primary schools currently being piloted.
  • Community Education programmes for sustainable living are being planned and will be offered in 2004.

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