Who We Are

Jessica Saffer

After traveling to Uganda in 2010 and 2011 to teach leadership workshops, Jessica witnessed firsthand the children and their families’ work ethic and desire to succeed. The mothers in particular had an undeniable drive to provide the best for their families. As strong-willed and driven as they were, they still seemed unable to break the cycle of poverty. It was clear that the ambition was there, but the resources were not. Recognizing this as an issue that can be helped, she set out to start umama, an organization that does not act as a charitable hand out program, but one that is dedicated to empowering the women of Uganda economically, socially, and spiritually.
Jessica has prior experience working in both public sector International Economic Relations as well as private sector Finance. She graduated with honors from the University of Florida with a degree in Economics.

Stephen Magezi

As he was traveling between remote villages of Uganda, Stephen started seeing patterns and observed that social problems are interconnected— for example, children’s health and education, maternal health and poverty. It seemed that most problems surfaced first with the mothers and then affected the entire family like a domino effect. It was a clear reminder that a mother is a powerful influence over the welfare of future generations as all other earthly causes combined. Stephen was so moved by the plight of women in rural Africa that he decided to partner with Jessica to create an organization that would attend to the need of household incomes, restore hope and dignity to mothers and their families.

Native to Uganda, Stephen found a passion and career in empowering younger generations early on. After receiving certificates of education from Uganda, Stephen worked closely with AGOA, Africa Growth and Opportunity Act — an effort by the US government to help African countries continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets. In 2003, Stephen received a government scholarship to study business administration with a focus on accounting. At the end of his 2-year study, he volunteered with numerous local organizations either as a supervisor of accounting systems or providing support to Ugandan youth.

Julian Bira

Julian’s experience while working with Ouse Traders, a company that imports 2nd hand clothes, gave her the opportunity to meet and interact with hard-working women and understand the effort they put into taking care of their families and children. She found that the reason for their efforts would be to keep their children in schools, have better meals and be able to save for future uncertainties. She continued to find herself acting as a business consultant to many of these women and enjoyed her interactions with them.
Julian is excited about the opportunity to work with Umama as theProgram Coordinator where she will have the opportunity to inspire woman on a daily basis, as well as be inspired by their courage. She earned a degree in Project Planning and Entrepreneurship Management and a certificate in Para Counseling from Uganda Christian University.

Atuhire Josephine

Josephine developed her passion to work with women after obtaining a scholarship with compassion International. As she volunteered during her school breaks, she served underprivileged children and single mothers at companion international’s outreach projects. During her work, she became aware of how women worked tirelessly to provide for their families.

Josephine says “working with Umama provides me an extended opportunity to continue serving vulnerable women.”

Josephine has a degree in Business Computing from Makerere University.