Young Senegalese leaders, ages 18 to 29, will soon benefit from training, mentoring, and networking opportunities through Projet JETS – Jeunesse, Entreprise, et Transformation Sociale au Sénégal (Youth, Enterprise, and Social Transformation in Senegal). Launched with the goal of strengthening youth-led social innovation across the country, Projet JETS is IYF’s 19th YouthActionNet® institute globally and the 4th in Africa.  

A signature IYF program, YouthActionNet® is creating one of the world’s largest networks of young social entrepreneurs—currently comprising more than 1,000 accomplished change-makers in 85 countries.  

“We are delighted to be working together with UNESCO to support young CEOs and founders of social ventures in Senegal,” said IYF President and CEO Bill Reese. “Through connecting these pioneering youth to each other and their peers across the globe, we aim to strengthen the youth social innovation sector as a whole, while deepening the long-term impact of their work.”  

“Young people are a force for change in Africa,” said Dr. Marema Touré-Thiam, Programme Specialist and the primary liaison to the project from UNESCO. “We recognize the importance of cultivating innovation. That’s why we are partnering with IYF to use its experience and expertise to help young Senegalese leaders become effective agents of social change.”  

Projet JETS is being implemented by the Senegal-based West African Research Center (WARC) in collaboration with IYF. Said Dr. Ousmane Sene, Director of WARC, “Projet JETS offers a tremendous opportunity for young leaders from across Senegal to come together and build their capacity to create positive change in their communities. It’s also an important moment to work with key stakeholders to elevate the youth social entrepreneurship sector in Senegal.” 

The JETS program is made possible through a partnership between UNESCO, Japanese Funds-in-Trust, the Senegalese Ministry of Youth, Employment, and Promotion of Citizenship, WARC, and IYF. Fifteen young social entrepreneurs and their ventures will benefit from this new initiative this year.   

The recruitment period for the JETS program will end on September 14, 2014. More about the application process can be found at www.warccroa.org/jets/.