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 and Sierra Leone. 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. 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

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

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, 2023.

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.

Young African women face numerous challenges in becoming leaders and decision-makers in international development, but I look forward to defying the odds.

Loretta Awiapo


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.

The Junior Professionals Program builds a strong network of like-minded individuals who are coached and mentored to ascend the professional ladder.

Gilda Freeman


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.

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

Sierra Leone

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.

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


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 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

Burkina Faso

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.

With the skills I develop through the Junior Professionals Program, I hope to, in my small way, give hope for a better tomorrow to those who need it most.

Fatimata Dicko


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.

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


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.

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


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

JPP Alumnae

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.

My goal is to develop core competencies in program management and partnership strengthening as well as build stronger networks with CRS staff and partners.

Rhoda Maadakti Akumbomi

Project Officer, Kayeport


The strength of the Junior Professional Program lies in its vision to train and empower us in all aspects to become competent young professional women.

Ornela Medah

Business Development Officer

Burkina Faso

This program is an opportunity for me to bring out the best version of myself. I hope to contribute substantially to food security and youth employability in my community.

Aichatou Maiguero Ranaou

Acting MEAL Officer


The JPP has provided me an opportunity to find out what excites me, pursue opportunities where my skills are in demand, and nurture both my personal and professional life.

Pamela Camara-Jackson

Project Officer, Global Fund Malaria

The Gambia

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

Aminata Camara

Microfinance Officer


I want to change the narrative that women can’t serve 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


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.

Respect for human dignity is at the heart of CRS’ mission, both concerning project participants and employees of the agency.

Roseline Sidibé

Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Project Manager

CRS Mali

Since I've been working with CRS, I have had the opportunity to access online training and travel to other countries to share knowledge and learn new skills in a different environment.

Saiminatu Taylor-Thomas

Grants Analyst

CRS United Status

I have confidence because CRS’ management trusts in my potential and gives me the opportunity to lead activities and push my limits.

Mercy Anguah

Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Project Manager

CRS Central African Republic

CRS believes in me. I like challenges and CRS gave me the opportunity to acquire new skills such as structuring and designing programs.

Khadidjatou Koumaré

Business Development Specialist

CRS Niger

CRS is an organization that believes in its people. In two years I was able to evolve quickly and I was given responsibilities such as participation in the gender committee.

Hadjara Laouali Balla

Communications Manager

CRS Niger

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

Partnerships and Capacity Building 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 18, 2023
2:00pm–3:00pm GMT

May 9, 2023
1:00pm–2:00pm GMT

June 14, 2023
3:00pm–4:00pm 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].