Jesuit Entity Realizing Partnerships “to enhance livelihood opportunities” for CAR’s Youth

Jolivia is one of the few girls training to be a mechaninc in JRS's vocational centre in Bambari, Central African Republic. Credit: JRS

The international refugee entity of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is realizing partnerships aimed at enhancing “livelihood opportunities” and fostering peace among the youth in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The mechanics training program that takes place at St. Joseph Vocational Training Centre is a collaboration between JRS and ALBOAN, an outreach arm of the Jesuits, and the Diocese of Bambari in CAR.

In a Thursday, November 10 report, JRS leadership says the main objective of the program, which has so far attracted 60 youths, “is to enhance livelihood opportunities for young people.”

The project also aims at promoting peace and reconciliation in the African country that has experienced years of violence. 

“Given the CAR’s history of conflict, the diversity within the group is a rare opportunity for dialogue among youth,” JRS officials say, referring to the students who are drawn from different backgrounds.


In the report, JRS officials say that in the last six months, the 60 students in mechanics have “had the chance to take part in theoretical and practical classes and get a comprehensive understanding of the profession.”

Jolivia, aged 19, is one of the few female students enrolled in a mechanics training at the Jesuit institution despite the stereotypic mentality that links male students alone to such training.

Jolivia told JRS that she was motivated to study mechanics because “we live in an era where women can do what men do.”

JRS recounts the experiences of Jolivia when she opted to join the training, saying, “When she applied for the training, she was positively surprised by the reaction of her community.”

“Many people encouraged me because it is rare in our community to see a girl doing mechanics,” she is quoted as saying, and adds, “It really touched me when many young girls also encouraged me to participate in the course.” 

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Jolivia intends to deepen her skills through internships in view of having more experience in repairing cars in a reputable garage, she says in the report. 

The student further says that she plans to open a garage, which can enable her support her family.

JRS officials say Jolivia will be able to develop her business and turn her dreams into reality with the start-up kit that each student will be provided with at the end of the training.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.