Jamila Mayanja

2015 Fellowship Alumna, Uganda

Transforming the Lives of Women in Uganda: My Leadership Journey

Jamila Mayanja is a 2015 Fellowship Alumna and the winner of the 2023 Leadership Impact Award. Jamila is a social entrepreneur and educator who empowers women and girls to transform their lives and communities.  In this photo essay, she reflects on her experience since being named the LIA winner.  Learn more about Jamila and her work.

In December, I won the Mkaziprenuer award for community service for our work at Smart Girls Uganda,  a nonprofit organization that empowers and mentors girls through STEM education, financial literacy, entrepreneurship training, and community development initiatives. The award was presented by last year’s winner, 2015 Fellowship Alumna Evelyn Zalwango.

Smart Girls Uganda participants visited Nexus Green, a top solar company in Uganda, to learn more about career opportunities. The participants had previously taken electrical engineering classes and specialized in solar.

We hosted the Nile Explorer Bus to create awareness to our beneficiaries about the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. For this event, Smart Girls Uganda partnered with Open Space Uganda, a nonprofit youth organization focused on broadening space and opportunities for young people founded by 2021 Fellowship Alumnus Wakibu Bunnya. The event was graced by the new U.S. Ambassador His Excellency William W. Popp who toured our premises and answered a number of questions from our beneficiaries.

Jamila and Wakibu with the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, William M. Popp.

We also hosted an assessment for the skills that participants in Girls with Tools gained throughout the year.

The Belgian development agency, Enabel, hosted a celebration honoring the Awa Award I won in the innovation category for Smart Girls Uganda’s recycled solar smart bag.

Learn more about the Leadership Impact Award.

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