Dingue, Emeline Joyce Ngaha

Country: Philippines
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Serving At: Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation, Inc. - UMC
Home Country: Cameroon

Emeline Joyce Ngaha Dingueis an international Global Mission Fellow with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, engaged in a two-year term of service.

The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for mission experience and service. The program has a strong emphasis on faith and justice. Global Mission Fellows become active parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.

Emeline is a member of the Yaoundé University Protestant Chaplaincy in Cameroon. “I have been serving mainly in the compassion ministry,” she said. “I also assist the worship committee whenever they have events. I also serve in the marriage ministry at the level of event planning and coordination.”

She earned a Bachelor of Science honors degree in medical laboratory sciences (premedical orientation) at Africa University, Mutare, Zimbabwe. She led the liturgist team at AU.

A love for education brought Emeline to where she is today.

“I come from a region of Cameroon characterized by a high percentage of school dropouts and restricted access to education for young girls,” she explained. “It is still taboo for young girls in my rural community to aspire to anything other than marriage, and the societal constructs around this culture are a serious obstruction to their dreams of a better future.”

At age 17, Emeline refused to comply with a forced marriage planned by her uncle because she yearned to get a university education. “That was a disappointment to many relatives,” she said, “who looked forward to sharing my bride price.”

Emeline believed that education could lift her and her community out of unjust standards. “My journey and experiences among others,” she said, “shaped my aspirations and, eventually, helped me to determine what mattered most to me.”

Graduating from high school was supposed to mark the end of Emeline’s education. Refusing to settle, however, she took matters into her own hands.

“I was nominated for the Open Dreams College Prep Academy,” she said, “which helps high- achieving, low-income students who show academic intelligence and need only a little impetus to attain their full potential.” 

Then she was offered a full scholarship by the Mastercard Foundation. “Owing my good fortune to the serendipity of becoming a Mastercard Foundation scholar,” she said, “I resolved to pay it forward by extending the same help to those from less-fortunate backgrounds through commitment to community service.”

During her gap year, Emeline organized a series of capacity-building workshops across public schools in Cameroon. The goal, she noted, was “to reach out to underprivileged young people and equip them with tools to strengthen their skill set and enhance their eligibility for opportunities that would otherwise be out of their reach. 

“This experience enabled me to appreciate how empowerment could go a long way in providing an enabling environment for people to grow and lift themselves out of challenging circumstances.” 

Global Mission Fellows seems like a perfect next step for Emeline who anticipates serving with “a unique platform of like-minded and purpose-driven people.” She expressed eagerness “to leverage our voices and skills individually and collectively to tackle the pressing challenges of our respective contexts and beyond.”