2015 Millennial Empowerment Conference (MEC)
Melissa was invited to give a keynote talk at the first annual Millennial Empowerment Conference (MEC) in Bamenda. Organized and hosted by gender rights advocate Marie-Claire Nabila Kuja, over 500 participants traveled from all corners of Cameroon and the United States to talk about how to affect change among youth. Melissa’s talk was about how the power of a single word can change the course of history. Her story inspired many people, and she was invited to share excerpts from it over local radio airwaves in Bamenda. Other highlights were a panel about gender-based violence led by Advice Project’s Cameroon Program Director, Fomuso Blessing (Melissa sat as a panelist), with other talks by Marie-Claire Nabila Kuja (False Labels), Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh (National Democratic Institute, Washington, D.C./Fomunyoh Foundation), Dr.Nick Ngwanyam (St Louis University Institute), Ethel Achoh Tebid, Achaleke Christian Leke, Delphine Fri, Samuel Atigi (Mandela Voluntary Foundation), Farmer Tantoh, Fon Amos, Julius Neba (CRTV), Cyril Fonjong, Sakah Bernard, and Hilda Bih (CRTV), among many other speakers and panelists. Valerie Viban emceed the three-day event. After the conference, many distinguished guests attended The Princess Recognition Awards to honor change-makers in Cameroon. Honorees included two of the most progressive fons (kings) in Cameroon. His Royal Highness the Fon of Bafut won an award for his leadership and exemplary role in his community, and His Royal Highness the Fon of Nkar won an award for the work he is doing for widows and orphans in his community. Advice Project Media was proud to stand as a witness and deliver some of the awards at this important event.