Christelle Bay Chongwain
Christelle is the Founder of Hope For the Needy Association (HOFNA) CAMEROON and a 2019 Peace and Social Change Fellow of Columbia University’s Women Peace and Security program. She has over 9 years of experience engaging youth, women groups and CSOs across Cameroon, using entrepreneurship, debates, drama, music and agriculture to promote women’s economic empowerment and address gender-based violence in communities. She equally leads initiatives that engage women in peacebuilding processes and in preventing and countering radicalisation and violent extremism. She has received many national and international awards including the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (2014), the Eye National Award of Excellence for outstanding leadership and Empowerment of women in Cameroon (2014) News Watch Nation Builders Award for championing the fight against violent extremism (2018) and The African Dream Achievers Award in recognition for her continuous efforts in the empowerment of women and girls (2018). Under her leadership, HOFNA is currently in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.