Ngala Desmond

2022 IVLP Impact Award Project: Trust Building in Faith Based and Tribal Based CommunitiesCameroon

Ngala Desmond is the founder of Civic Watch, a community based organization which empowers communities to counter hateful rhetoric, both online and offline. He has a bachelor's degree in Political Science and a master's degree in Political Science and International Relations, both from University of Yaoundé II. He is currently a PhD candidate in Conflict Resolution at the University of Buea.

He has worked as a political analyst and data analyst. Ngala is passionate about community development that empowers local stakeholders to become peace champions. He is currently the country project manager for the #defyhatenow initiative in Cameroon where he works with local and international partners to ensure effective implementation of the project. 

IVLP Impact Award Project: Trust Building in Faith Based and Tribal Based Communities

The goals of this project were to increase awareness of inter faith and intercultural dialogues between communities. This dialogue is important in community trust building and development. The project aimed to promote dialogue between sub-groups in society delineated along ethnic and religious lines. The project encouraged understanding, communication and community-driven solutions around faith and cultural values and contribute to building a tolerant Cameroon.

Project goals:

  • Strengthen Community Based dialogues to address critical challenges facing their community and country.
  • Provide emerging community influencers with alternatives to violence as a means to resolve conflict and develop skills to implement non-violent alternatives in their local context.
  • Promote a community culture of responsible information sharing, inclusion, and tolerance to counter proliferation of divisive messages, fake news and hate speech.

The activity targeted 40 community leaders in two different communities in the northwest and southwest regions of Cameroon. In Limbe and Bamenda, leaders of internally displaced groups, community leaders and religious leaders came together to build faith as the community received many internally displaced persons from the Anglophone conflict in Cameroon. This had a ripple down effect and reached about 10,000 people in different communities.

This project increased awareness on the need to sustain social cohesion through interfaith and intercultural dialogues between communities to build community trust and further development. The project engaged community faith and tribal leaders in Garoua, Bueau, and Bamenda Cameroon by implementing group and one-on-one workshops. 150 community members participated in 5 sessions to gain awareness of the important role that community dialogue can play as an Early Warning Earning Response (EWER) mechanism for conflict prevention and resolution. Additionally, the project allowed community leaders to take the initiative in local peace processes and encourage peace initiatives by engaging with key community stakeholders.

This is an exemplary form of local governance, and it helps to show us youths [how] to learn ways to lead and participate in the development process." - Project Participant


IVLP Exchange Experience 

Ngala was a participant in the IVLP Project A Global Moment in Time: Peace and Justice organized by the U.S. Department of State and Institute of International Education.

Ngala's exchange experience led to the development of his IVLP Impact Award Project: “IVLP gave me a unique opportunity to network and learn new skills to mobilize better. In this global village it is important to coordinate efforts towards peace as we all seek lasting solutions to conflicts."

U.S. Communities Visited Virtually

Los Angeles, CA; San Diego, CA; Washington, DC; Atlanta, GA; Louisville, KY; Boston, MA; Detroit, MI; Minneapolis, MN; New York City, NY; Tulsa, OK; Philadelphia, PA

Country: Cameroon

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