Junior Professionals Program for West African Women

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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.

Meaningful 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)
CRS champions ICT4D solutions, using tablets to streamline registration, monitoring and evaluation of programming. Photo by Sam Phelps/CRS.

Learn more about our holistic approach and programming areas.

Participating Countries

West Africa

The Junior Professionals Program is currently available in Senegal, Liberia, Gambia, Guinea, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau. Follow the links below to learn about CRS’ history and current work in each location.

Eligibility Requirements

Candidate Profile

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.

Required Qualifications:

  • 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. 2024)
  • 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

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong analytical, problem-solving and research skills
  • Agile, proactive, resourceful, and results-oriented
  • Strong presentation and facilitation skills
CRS is looking for qualified, professional women in West Africa who are committed to international relief and development work. Photo by Philip Laubner/CRS

Application & Selection

Application Process

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
(please refer to FAQ for writing prompt)

Prepare CV

Complete the online application


Click on the flag for your country to access the online application.

Timing & Selection Process

We invite candidates to apply for the Junior Professionals Program through June 30, 2024.

Top candidates will be invited to complete a video interview in April - July (in some countries) and an in-person interview in August (in all countries). We will extend offers to the finalists in September, after conducting background and reference checks. The 2024 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 Recent Graduates


Junior Professionals excel in a variety of positions with CRS upon completion of the practical learning program. Get to know some of our talented former participants below and discover what positions they assumed following the program.

I want to change the narrative that women are not capable of serving in managerial roles. I believe that if it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you. I've accepted the challenge.

Janet Coleman

Procurement Officer

Liberia – Class of 2022

Janet Coleman had great admiration for accountants, so she decided to study accounting in college, “the department where everybody counts.” Janet carried this attitude into her work as a Junior Professional where she strengthened her operations, monitoring & evaluation, and business development skills. Janet is passionate about changing the narrative around women in management. She believes that if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. She’s accepted the challenge.

The Junior Professionals Program has given me the opportunity to contribute to the development of strategies and solutions to curtail issues around gender and youth that I am passionate about.

Janet Thorley

Communications Assistant

Sierra Leone – Class of 2023

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 promoting gender and youth initiatives. In her personal time, Janet enjoys reading, watching movies and cooking.

I have always had a vision of aiming as high as possible and saw the Junior Professionals Program as an excellent learning opportunity to develop my skills in humanitarian project management.

Yasmine Toure

Shelter Project Officer, Emergency

Burkina Faso – Class of 2023

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 leverages her technical experience and project management skills by serving on water and sanitation related initiatives.

My greatest motivation in humanitarian work is to help bring smiles and hope to those who have lost them.

Aminata Camara

Microfinance Officer

Mali – Class of 2022

Advocate. Activist. These are just two of the words that describe Aminata Camara and her commitment to promoting issues of equality. A member of women’s organizations and youth associations, Aminata is passionate about the rights of girls, their access to education, and civic engagement. Her community - focused work led her to CRS where she leverages her educational background in geography and policy development to build her skillset in emergency program management.

The world is changing and so far the conversations around empowering women in the workplace. I want to be a representative of this beautiful evolution!

Charifatou Sama Idrissa Yarou

MEAL Assistant, Emergency

Niger – Class of 2023

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.

I joined the Junior Professionals Program because I always wanted to work in the humanitarian field tohelp improve the lives of vulnerable people.

Awa Ndour

Project Officer, Programs

Senegal – Class of 2023

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 with the goal of supporting her community to live in peace, security and dignity through better health, increased income, and access to quality education.

The desire to improve myself and above all, to inspire others by setting an example, motivated me to choose the Junior Professionals Program.

Kadiatou Bah

MEAL Officer, Global Fund

Guinea – Class of 2023

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. Kadiatou aims to build her skills in MEAL and humanitarian program management and looks forward to pushing her limits to maximize her learning.

Future Opportunities

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.

I joined CRS to apply my knowledge to the effective management of resources to serve the most vulnerable. I find satisfaction when I see a child’s smile after a meal at the school canteen, when CRS receives work in a village or when I see the joy in the face of an elderly man, woman, or child.

Estelle Nikiema

Finance Manager

CRS Burkina Faso

Since my arrival at CRS, I have grown so much professionally. To date, I have served in 3 successive positions under one project. These experiences have allowed me to set an ambitious goal to become a Deputy Chief of Party which I am proud to be occupying in an interim role.

Aissatou Bobo Bah

Deputy Chief of Party, Global Fund Malaria

CRS Guinea

CRS offers excellent career development opportunities for staff by investing in their employees’ growth while conveying human values with respect to human dignity. Additionally, managers push you to give the best of yourself while focusing on the wellbeing of the staff. A framework for success for all staff!

Ndeye Thioro Faye

Youth Technical Advisor

CRS Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau

I choose to work at CRS because of the capacity building experience, learning opportunities, flexible work schedule and dedicated team. I started at the agency as an intern with a 6-month contract and now I am currently serving as an Officer. I also have benefited from the education assistance scheme as I am currently pursuing my MSc in Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

Daniella Coker

Procurement Officer

CRS Sierra Leone

CRS is a great place to work, learn, and grow. The culture here is more than just work. I get to serve humanity, learn lots of new skills while at it, and share a family environment with co-workers. There is a genuine spirit of shared goals and collaboration throughout the agency.

Comfort Sawyer-Baysah

Livelihoods Program Manager

CRS Liberia

Women in West Africa have a lot to gain from the JPP, and to have their place as a leader, we must seize this opportunity.

Clementine Mayaki

ALLRight Funds Manager

CRS Niger

Engage With Us

Let's Talk

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#

Information Sessions

April 24th, 2024
3:00pm - 4:00pm GMT

May 16th, 2024
11:00am - 12:00pm GMT

June 10th 2024
9:00am - 10:00am GMT

Come grow with us, as we work together to foster change that builds a more just and peaceful world for all. Photo by Ariela Rosenstein/CRS.

Learn More

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].


More Opportunities

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].