As a registration pending 501(c)3 non-profit My Home Stars was founded out of necessity as a result of Joel Baraka’s lived experiences. Like thousands of other refugee children, Joel who grew up in Kyangwali Refugee Camp in Western Uganda, faced a hard time accessing quality learning resources while attending school in the camp. With a textbook to student ratio of 1:8, Baraka mostly relied on teachers as the main if not only source of learning. 

Baraka who completed his primary education in 2010 and secondary education in 2014. He was fortunate to win a scholarship in 2015 that would see him leave Kyangwali Refugee Camp to study in South Africa at African Leadership Academy (ALA). This opportunity would soon set Baraka on an exciting educational and entrepreneurship journey. 

While at ALA, Baraka was introduced to human design thinking concepts of problem-solving which set him on a trajectory to explore potential solutions to some of the pressing issues faced by refugee students. In 2016, he started creating the first prototype of the 5 STA-Z, a learning package that would enable children to access learning materials in the form of a board game and cultivate a culture of learning through play. 

In 2018, Joel met his good friend Anson Liow from Malaysia who he has partnered with to continue developing the 5 STA-Z into a better learning tool for underprivileged students in Uganda. Anson had experience working with refugee and indigenous communities in Malaysia by spending time volunteering after high school. They plan to grow My Home Stars into an education platform that does not only produce game packages but also diverse learning resources for the most underserved communities across African countries and beyond. 


Joel Baraka

Founder and CEO

Anson Liow

Product Engineer

Nelson Mugambwa


Tisiya Mahoro

Research Lead

Kelvin Amanya

Operations Manager

Meet the 5 STA-Z Facilitators

Ogwang Eric


Kugonza Emmanuel


Bahati James


Nduwamungu Joshua


Iradukunda Moise


Meet Our Advisors

Margaret Meagher

Managing Director of International Development at AIR

Kate McCleary

Associate Director of the Global Engagement Office (GEO) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Joseph Munyambanza

Scholars Program Consultant (YE) at Mastercard Foundation

Cecily Brose

Innovation and Commercialization Mentor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Discovery 2 Product (D2P)

Lucy Strickland

Senior Education Officer for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees