Jamila Mayanja

2015 Fellow from Uganda

Jamila Mayanja has 8 years’ experience working with profit making companies and social ventures. As she was taking her bachelor’s degree at MUBS she was hired to join the marketing team of one of the top SMS companies in Uganda where she gained her experience as a professional marketer.

In 2012 she resigned from her job and started a social venture called Smart Girls Uganda a social enterprise that empowers and supports girls and women through trainings to build their life and economical skills. Smart Girls Uganda has famous girls and women empowerment programs like the Girls with tools skilling program where they train young women in male dominated non-traditional STEM skills like electrical and mechanical engineering. To date through the girls with tools they have skilled more than 300 girls, helped place 120 in already exciting workshops and launched 10 businesses.

She innovated a solar recycled Smart Bag that is a comprehensive menstrual hygiene kit/back packer with educational programming designed with and for girls in Uganda made outof upcycled plastic material to make the bag waterproof and a solar panel sewed onto the bag that charges a detachable light bulb that gives light to the girls after dark to read their books. To date they have distributed more than 30,000 bags to young girls in rural Uganda. With a team of ladies, they are scaling the smart bags impact in South Africa in order to solve wash issues in Limpopo area.

She is a 2015 Mandela Washington fellow, human centered design Coach with Aga Khan foundation schools 2030 program, an open idea challenge winner, 2021 Duke – UNICEF social innovation fellow, 2022 Western Union fellow, One Young world 2022 Ambassador and Award Winner Education category 2022 TIAW World of Difference Awards.

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