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Official Launch of the Jesuit Youth Social Entrepreneurship Action (JYSEA) program during AJAN General Assembly 2024

The AJAN General Assembly kicked off on Monday, 18th March 2024.  The event that brought together 39 members saw them deliberate on the ongoing roll-out of the Jesuit Youth Social Entrepreneurship Action (JYSEA) program on 18-19 March as part of the formal agenda.

Ms. Muthoni Kanga, one of the facilitators of the Youth Social Entrepreneurship Action (JYSEA) program during the AJAN General Assembly 2024.

The deliberation on the JYSEA Program led by Dr. Bro. Jonas Dzinekou, COMB and Ms. Muthoni Kanga constituted contributions given by members on understanding the concept of social entrepreneurship, taking the members present at the assembly through the process of the ongoing JYSEA training, responses received from the participants of the training. On day two members were able to visit two major innovative centres; HyaPak, a Kenyan-based startup that converts the invasive water hyacinth into biodegradable alternatives to single-use plastic products and Soma Siri Afrika, the first afro-centric incubation program for African Children, which aims to prepare skilled, mentally healthy and resilient problem solvers. All these activities were undertaken to demonstrate to members how social entrepreneurship is key in response to De Statu Societatis in English, which translates as The State of the Society of Jesus. When we know ourselves better, when we understand our current situation and capacities, we are in a position to make the necessary decisions more prudently and this is where we are in our response to the 3rd Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAP) Accompany the young people towards a hope-filled future.

Today’s problems need different strategies and through JYSEA, the Society of Jesus in Africa through AJAN are finding new ways of responding to the youths’ needs more effectively. JYSEA is an added value of the the AHAPPY program (value based program recognized by UNAids to reduce HIV in children and adolescents) offering economic empowerment to the youth which brings a whole new approach in support of the youth and goes beyond simply intellectual and business skills. Instead of focusing solely on the profit motive, the youth who will be social entrepreneurs will put their skills to use in pursuing solutions to pressing social problems. Where, they will work directly with communities in need, finding ways and solutions to existing problems and challenges of today to address the needs of those living in poverty.

In his remarks before the official launch of the JYSEA Program, Fr. Ismael Matambura SJ., AJAN Director had this to say,

“The innovation program we launch today is of great importance to us as a Network accompanying the youth. Our aim is to build a generation of African youth who are successful social entrepreneurs. In Africa, youth unemployment rate is 12.7 percent and one in five youth were not in employment, education, or training by 2019.

Desperate for a better future, the young people find themselves forced to grab any available alternative they find. Such a situation often, leads to taking risky behavior, for instance Transactional sex, criminality, joining armed groups and gangs, human trafficking, sex slavery, risky migration, etc;  Through Social entrepreneurial skills education, AJAN seeks to boost the capacity of the young people, unemployed and out of school, for economic upward mobility and foster positive behavior and well-being. (contribute to the realization of SDG 4 on equitable quality education and lifelong learning for the young people) 

The purpose of our program, among many, is to contribute to alleviating poverty among the young people; improve the economic lives of the families, reduce violence, drug abuse, enhance behavior change and care for environment, by building the economic independence of the young people. Yes, we have done a 5weeks training of trainers. This culminated into a pitot training of few selected youth with various steps comprising sensitizing the youth, identifying the social problem, defining solution, and defining the Viable minimum product (VMP).

Whether you’re an experienced change-maker or someone just beginning their journey, this training promises to equip you with the tools and mindset needed to create meaningful solutions with the youth. Our value-based program-AHAPPY has another component that will help in moving toward building a healthy, balanced generation of young Africans, committed to promoting a culture of care and protection. It’s a pleasure to have each one of you here today as we embark on this exciting journey of learning, creativity, and positive social impact.

We pray that God support this initiative and support our youth and bless you all for your continued engagement among the youth for the wellbeing of all!!  Thank you for being part of this remarkable initiative.”

Upon the conclusion of deliberation, Members agreed on the adoption of the JYSEA program across the Network, this was evidenced by the official handing over ceremony of the JYSEA Training manuals by Dr. Bro. Jonas Dzinekou, COMB to Fr. John the Baptist Anyeh Zamcho SJ., Socius and HR at JCAM, Fr. Ismael Matambura SJ., AJAN Director.

Handing over of the JYSEA Training manuals by Dr. Bro. Jonas Dzinekou, COMB (2nd from left) to Fr. John the Baptist Anyeh Zamcho SJ., Socius and HR at JCAM (Centre), Fr. Ismael Matambura SJ., AJAN Director (2nd from Right) during the AJAN General Assembly Day Two.
Cake cutting celebration by (from left to Right) Mr. Augustine Fayia from Sierra Leone, Dr. Bro. Jonas Dzinekou, COMB., Fr. John the Baptist Anyeh Zamcho SJ., Socius and HR at JCAM, Fr. Ismael Matambura SJ., AJAN Director.

By, Dennis Owuoche,

AJAN Communications Officer.

Ismael Matambura



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