Christelle Nenapa

2024 IVLP Impact Award Project: Empowering Educators: Promoting women's rights and enhancing access to fair trial and justice for female detainees in the Buea Central PrisonCameroon

Christelle Nenapa is a jurist at the High Court of Fako in the Southwestern region of Cameroon. Her academic background and professional experience include legal practice, promoting human rights, and peace building engagement, as well as work in youth leadership. She has a passion for networking and community development and is always looking for new challenges.   

Her drive to better her community inspired her to work with civil society and other private organizations where she strives to promote the values of democracy, good governance, and sustainable development through a human rights-based approach.    

IVLP Impact Award Project: Promoting women's rights and enhancing access to fair trial and justice for female detainees in the Buea Central Prison 

The project addresses the gaps in women's access to justice in Cameroon, where despite existing legal frameworks and international involvement, women continue to face significant barriers when seeking justice. This project empowers women, strengthens legal institutions, and promotes gender-responsive justice mechanisms. By bridging the gap between formal and informal systems, the project creates an environment where female detainees can assert their rights without fear of negative consequences. 

The project activities include: a series of legal awareness campaigns; capacity building for legal professionals to sensitize them on gender biases and equip them with tools to handle cases involving women; gender- responsive legal aid services through legal aid clinics focused on women’s rights; and establishment of community-based justice forums. Data on case outcomes is being collected to identify areas for growth and improvement

"To have equal justice under the law, one should be able to have access to fair trial and justice, which is not always the case for women detainees. That is the 'raison d'etre' of my project – which the promotion of women's rights and access to fair trial through the assistance of the legal aid commission ...” - Christelle Nenapa 

IVLP Exchange Experience  

Christelle participated in the IVLP Project: Immigration, Women, Human Rights and Social Issues, organized by the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center, in partnership with Global Ties Miami, Global Ties San Fransisco, International Citizen Diplomacy of Los Angeles, WorldBoston, WorldChicago, and WorldOrlando.  

Christelle’s exchange experience led to the development of her project, which focuses on the promotion of incarcerated women’s access to a fair trial. “During my IVLP experience I [had] the opportunity to learn about the US judicial system, especially about the mechanisms put into place for the effective promotion of rule of law and human rights. ... We [had] the opportunity to learn about the work of the Bar Association of San Francisco, improvement of the legal system in the United States, and efforts to champion equal access to justice. From there I drew the inspiration to propose this project...which will provide pro bono legal aid service, [identify] female detainees in need of legal assistance and assist them until the end of their trial.” 

“My interactions and engagements with individuals, organizations, and educational institutions during the IVLP exchange have shaped my understanding of innovative pedagogical practices, emerging technologies, and collaborative approaches to education.” - Christelle Nenapa 

U.S. Communities Visited 

San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Washington, DC; Miami, FL; Orlando, FL; Chicago, IL; Boston, MA

Country: Cameroon 

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