Jamila is a social entrepreneur and educator who empowers women and girls to transform their lives and communities. In 2012, she founded Smart Girls Uganda, a nonprofit organization that empowers and mentors girls through STEM education, financial literacy, entrepreneurship training, and community development initiatives. Each year, Smart Girls Uganda engages over 150 young women in economic programs and trains peer educators, who have reached 30,000 young people over the program’s lifetime.
Jamila is a beacon of hope in our community of entrepreneurs, in our community of girls… teaching them various subjects in engineering, mechanics, technical skills… Jamila is an inspiration to all of us as former Fellows, as entrepreneurs, as leaders of social enterprises, and the general community at large.”Sherifah Tumusiime, 2015 Fellowship Alumna, Uganda
Additionally, as a part of Smart Girls Uganda’s core programming, Jamila created and launched the Smart Bag, a comprehensive hygiene and supply kit that enables young women to continue their education. The bags are made of up-cycled plastic and include both menstrual supplies and a solar-powered light bulb, which allows girls to read their books after dark. To date, Smart Girls Uganda has distributed more than 30,000 bags to young girls in rural Uganda.
In February 2019, Jamila partnered on a Reciprocal Exchange with Amy Newcomb, the academic director of the Mandela Washington Fellowship at Dartmouth College, during Jamila’s Leadership Institute. Amy traveled to Uganda and held a workshop with Jamila Smart Girls Uganda facilitators to teach a new curriculum focusing on building trust, team skills, and self-esteem in young women.