Mobilizing African youth to safeguard the environment - Amara's Changemaker Journey

A climate and social activist from Lagos, Nigeria, Amara Nwuneli has dedicated a great deal of energy and passion to shining a light on the sustainability issues that impact communities across her West African homeland. The diligent 16-year-old launched Preserve Our Roots — a by youth, for youth NGO and movement — to raise greater awareness about climate change and create a brighter, greener future for all. What started as a passion project, posting weekly informational videos on Instagram has transformed into a nationwide movement with the dream to mobilize the next generation of earth protector 

Ashoka Young Changemaker in Nigeria


Changemaker Journey  

Amara is one of countless activists who have been compelled by challenging circumstances to rise to the task of effecting positive change in disadvantaged communities, supporting people in need to lead the lives they deserve.  

What sets her apart, however, is her unwavering commitment — particularly at such a young age — to championing sustainable habits and practices that safeguard the most vulnerable members of society. 

Amara was raised with an eco-conscious outlook and, as a young girl, always loved being outdoors, immersing herself in nature. In 2020, she was inspired to promote climate action following a devastating flood that ravaged her family home, forcing her and her loved ones to move out for a month. 

Amara's first-hand experience of such trauma and distress propelled her on her changemaking journey, leading to the establishment of Preserve Our Roots.   

Preserve Our Roots 

To help raise greater awareness about climate change, Preserve Our Roots has launched a diverse range of projects fully geared towards inspiring and mobilizing Nigerian youth. The NGO also hosts a broad selection of courses and camps to improve climate change literacy.  

Through its educational hub, social media activations, and advocacy programs, Preserve Our Roots has empowered students to use the tools and resources around them to transform their communities.  

The organization has also partnered with people and non-profits — including Slum2School Africa, MUNA Foundation, Bethesda schools, and the Global Co Lab Network — to host its influential climate activism camps for low-income students. 

Crucially, Preserve Our Roots has helped to rebuild schools severely impacted by floods and other natural disasters.  

Looking to the future, the organization aims to reach not only students but the entire world even more students; doing so by producing a climate change documentary that Amara directed and premiered in Dec 2023. It has not only won multiple awards including the Women In Film Festival, Xposure UAE Film and Photography Festival, and honorary distinctions but continues to inspire and mobilize communities all around the world to adopt sustainability measures and practices.  

Preserve Our Roots is pioneering the construction of a public park in Lagos State using recycled materials (an embodiment of what the future could look like if we prioritized our relationship with nature), with the support of the Lagos state government and other individuals. 

Ultimately, Amara says, “We want to engage changemakers and government officials, influencing national, regional, and global policies. Our goal is to work with different organizations and companies to ensure that we are all on the same page and aligned on what needs to be done to address climate change.”  

Everyone a Changemaker World   

Amara is unshaken in her belief that any- and everyone can make the world a better place.  

“So many people are filled with the passion to make a difference in the world, but feel they are unable to,” she says. “This could not be more untrue. We all have the talent to make a difference and make someone else's day better.”  


I am motivated by the people around me. They remind me — every day — why we, Preserve Our Roots, do what we do. They are my source of inspiration. They keep me going and focused on making a difference — that is, contributing to the greater good.” - Amara Nwuneli