Refugee Kids' Future Vs COVID-19:We Need Your Help

Hi! My name is Joel Baraka. I was born when my family was fleeing to Uganda due to a civil war in DRC. I have been in Kyangwali refugee camp since I was a month old. For my  23rd birthday this week, I am asking you to celebrate with me by supporting 1,500 refugee children’s education journey in COVID-19.  

Today, Kyangwali refugee camp is home to more than 124,000 refugees. Nearly 30% of them are teenagers with about 1,500 in their final years of primary school, a phase that determines their progression to secondary education, but also a stage where teenage girls are at risk of forced marriage and early pregnancies.
Within just the first 3 months of lockdown, World Vision reported 36 cases of teenage pregnancy and forced marriages in Bidibidi refugee camp in Uganda. With schools closed, and the tough living conditions for refugees, this trend is expected to worsen. But, I strongly believe that we can stop this by making learning within homes a possibility to these refugee children.

Inspired by the idea that learning content within the education curriculum could be broken down into more modularized and digestible packages that students can use to learn at their own pace, even without teachers, in 2016 I started working on the 5 STA-Z. This is a child centered academic approach that allows children to learn in a more fun and engaging way. With support from my high school teachers and college professors, we have been able to break down the four core subjects taught at the Ugandan primary level. 

Prior to the pandemic, we worked with more than 500 school children in the Kyangwali settlement. Through this engagement, we quickly realized that the 5 STA-Z excites children to spend more time learning which improves their grades drastically.
With an investment of just $10,000, we can print enough 5 STA-Z game packages and deploy educators to enable all 1,500 children in final years of primary school in Kyangwali to finish strong.

Why the Education and the Future of children in Kyangwali matters to me

Like most of the refugee children in Kyangwali, I have lived as a refugee my entire 22 years. Until today, Kyangwali is the place I call home. I always had limited or no learning resources. Sometimes I showed up at school on an empty stomach which made learning extremely challenging, but ultimately a motivating factor for me to push on with hopes to see a better future for myself and other children.

Fortunately, I got good grades and got a scholarship to attend African Leadership Academy, a high school in Johannesburg, SA. I will soon graduate with a BS in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. Education has given me hope, but knowing how challenging it has been, I cannot stop thinking about the future of my fellow refugee children who were doing their very best with so little but COVID-19 is taking away their education, their only hope.

Education has changed my life, I have always wanted to extend educational opportunities to other children with a similar background. Would you be willing to help by giving a donation? Even $1 will make a big difference.

How Your Support will work (General Breakdown);  

·       $5,400 to produce 500 learning game sets 

·       $2,400 to facilitate 10 teachers for at least four months  

·       $1,800 to set up four temporary safe learning centers where children can meet

·       $400 to buy masks and hand washing tools for the students for safety 

I appreciate your support! Please give us a hand and share this with your network to help us on this journey.

Learn more about the 5 STA-Z: 
My HOME Stars’ website:
My HOME Stars’ Facebook:

For handling finances and withdrawing of the donations, we shall be using the bank details for Anson Liow. The money will be directly deposited into his account and will work with Joel to to have the donations used as required.

Anson has been working with My HOME Stars for the past 1.5 years as the Product engineer handling product development, but has also been managing finances.


  • Steven Mach
    • $20 
    • 2 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $13 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $130 
    • 3 yrs
  • Brian Della
    • $50 
    • 3 yrs
  • Lori Egan
    • $50 
    • 3 yrs

Fundraising team (4)

Joel Baraka
Raised $7,225 from 104 donations
Madison, WI
Anson Liow
Raised $150 from 5 donations
Emily Sze YIn Chan
Team member
Lucy Strickland
Team member
This team raised $5,273 from 90 other donations.

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