Junior Professionals Program for West African Women
The Junior Professionals Program is an opportunity for qualified, professional women in West Africa to transform their passion for international relief and development work into a career with Catholic Relief Services. Over a 12-month period, each Junior Professional will build core skills while working alongside experienced staff and supporting critical programs. Junior Professionals will benefit from strong mentoring and regional networking as they prepare for positions of greater responsibility with CRS.
Unique Program Offerings
Learning & Professional Development
Practical training: Through hands-on experience and extensive training, Junior Professionals will grow and develop their skills in project design; program management; monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning; partnership building; and operations.
Mentorship: Each Junior Professional will be paired with a mentor who will be actively involved in providing guidance, feedback and career coaching.
Customized professional experience: In addition to the core training, Junior Professionals will build their skills in a specific area related to their professional development goals, and strategically position themselves for onward positions with CRS.
Regional networking: All Junior Professionals will be part of the regional community of practice that will share successes, challenges, and lessons learned from their work.
Make a Difference
Working together, CRS and the Junior Professionals will make great strides to end poverty and promote peace and self-reliance in West Africa. Junior Professionals will contribute to strategic and sustainable development projects in sectors like health, agriculture, education, emergency response, and peacebuilding.
Junior Professionals will help strengthen local governments’ and organizations’ ability to address the challenges in their communities and countries while advancing their learning objectives. This includes:
- Participating in project design
- Supporting real-time project assessments and data collection
- Developing and implementing monitoring and accountability frameworks
- Writing reports and proposals
- Organizing learning events
- Supporting operations (Human Resources, Finance, Supply Chain)
The Junior Professionals Program is currently available in Senegal, Liberia, Gambia, Guinea, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and Sierra Leone. Follow the links below to learn about CRS’ history and current work in each location.
We seek diverse and aligned candidates and welcome people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.
- Master's degree in related field (e.g. Economic Development, Agriculture, Health, Business, Administration, Finance, Human Resources, Supply Chain)
- Received Master's degree within 24 months of program start date (Oct. 2023)
- At least six months of relevant work experience (e.g. internship, practicum, volunteer or paid work)
- Excellent speaking and writing skills in the official business language of the country (French or English)
- Citizen of a participating country (see above)
- Excels in collaborative multicultural environment
- Willingness to travel (up to 25% of the time)
- Willingness to be based in field offices outside of the capital city during JPP program year and after program completion
- Strong analytical, problem-solving and research skills
- Agile, proactive, resourceful, and results-oriented
- Strong presentation and facilitation skills
Application & Selection
All applicants to the Junior Professionals Program must apply online, following the three simple steps outlined below. Before completing the online application, candidates should review the eligibility requirements and prepare a motivation letter that addresses factors influencing sustainable development in Africa. Please visit the FAQs for additional information and instructions.
Prepare a motivation letter
Complete the online application
We will welcome applications for the next class of Junior Professionals in April 2024. Please revisit our webpage at that time to apply.
Timing & Selection Process
We are reviewing applications received for the 2023 program.
Strong candidates will be contacted in August for an in-person interview. We will extend offers to the finalists in September 2023, after conducting background and reference checks. The 2023 Junior Professionals Program will begin in October.
Due to the high volume of applications and rolling basis of the review, candidates will only be contacted if and when they advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Meet the Current Junior Professionals
The Class of 2022
Driven, passionate, and ready to affect positive change in the world. Get to know some of the talented Junior Professionals below.
Loretta is passionate about health equity. She believes that quality healthcare services should be accessible to all regardless of socioeconomic status, gender, geographical location, or ethnicity. Fueled by this passion, Loretta earned degrees in physiology and global health and international development to position herself to become a health policy analyst. Loretta is keen on broadening her knowledge and skills in international development through the Junior Professionals Program and leveraging her academic background to support CRS' vision for human development.
Gilda's ambition to excel with direction inspired her to select this program as the next step in her career development. Her zeal for providing humanitarian services to those in need drives her to continue serving disadvantaged communities in Liberia. Post-JPP, Gilda seeks to leverage her public health experience by joining the programming unit as a project officer. She looks forward to developing skills in program management with a focus on program quality.
Janet's focus lies within the nexus between gender equity and public policy. Prior to joining CRS, she worked on research and community development projects with Rainbow Initiative in Sierra Leone. A strong advocate for women's empowerment, Janet hopes to continue with CRS in an advocacy role promoting gender and youth initiatives. In her personal time, Janet enjoys reading, watching movies and cooking.
Charifatou Sama Idrissa Yarou
Charifatou describes herself as a community leader and humanitarian. She is passionate about volunteering and serving marginalized communities. Charifatou enjoys a challenge and values the learning process behind creating positive change. She looks forward to advancing CRS' mission by contributing to the organization's peacebuilding and youth development sectors.
Yasmine discovered her passion for humanitarian aid via her love for the environment. She began her career working in water and sanitation and never imagined it would lead her to CRS. Yasmine hopes to leverage her technical experience and acquired project management skills by serving as a Project Officer on water and sanitation related initiatives.
Fatimata's desire to serve the most vulnerable in her home country of Mali led her to CRS, where she is using her multidisciplinary training acquired in business school to support the agency's work and strengthen her project management skills. Passionate about access to education and youth employability, particularly among girls, Fatimata looks forward to building a rewarding career with CRS.
Kadiatou, a medical doctor by trade, is passionate about serving humanity. She believes there is no wealth more precious than the human being and has dedicated her career to investing in her community. Through the JPP, Kadiatou aims to build her skills in MEAL and humanitarian program management and looks forward to pushing her limits to maximize her learning.
Awa strongly believes in the power of Agriculture to boost economic development. After pursuing a master's degree in Agrobusiness, Awa worked at a fruit and vegetable exporting company for several years. She is keen to develop her project management skills through the JPP with the goal of supporting her community to live in peace, security and dignity through better health, increased income, and access to quality education.
Follow our Recent Graduates
Former Junior Professionals excel in a variety of positions with CRS upon completion of the practical learning program. Hover over the pictures below to learn more about their experiences and the roles they assumed.
Rhoda Maadakti Akumbomi
Project Officer, Kayeport
Business Development Officer
Aichatou Maiguero Ranaou
Acting MEAL Officer
Project Officer, Global Fund Malaria
Advance Your Career
CRS prides itself on growing and supporting female professionals. The Junior Professionals Program, with its emphasis on training, mentorship and hands-on experience, is an extension of that commitment. Participants who successfully complete the program will be equipped to apply for onward positions in program management, program quality, business development, monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning, or operations. Hover over the pictures below to hear from some of the talented women who advance CRS’ mission each day.
CRS Burkina Faso
Aissatou Bobo Bah
Deputy Chief of Party, Global Fund Malaria
Ndeye Thioro Faye
Youth Technical Advisor
CRS Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau
CRS Sierra Leone
Livelihoods Program Manager
ALLRight Funds Manager
Engage With Us
We encourage you to join us for a webinar on the Junior Professionals Program. Our webinars are an opportunity for you to informally exchange with our team—learn more about CRS and the Junior Professionals Program, ask your questions on the application, etc. We offer webinars on the dates and times listed below. Choose a session that works for you and join by simply clicking on this link or calling +1 443-290-6516, conference ID: 660 694 948#
April 18, 2023
May 9, 2023
June 14, 2023
Frequently Asked Questions
We are glad you are interested in learning more about the Junior Professionals Program. In our FAQs, we strive to answer questions you may have around the application and selection process, career opportunities, and more. For additional information, please join an information session or email us at [email protected].
Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer
CRS is proud to be an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Selection and hiring decisions are made without regard to sex, gender identity, race, age, disability, religion, national origin, color, veteran status or any other protected area.
We are committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If, due to a medical condition or disability, you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please email [email protected].