MADISON, Wis.— When University of Wisconsin-Madison engineering students Joel Baraka and Anson Liow aren’t focused on their studies, they are busy designing and developing their knowledge-based card game called “Your African Quest.”

“It is a way for the people of Madison to learn about [Africa’s] people, the food, the culture, the geography,” Baraka said. “Say one day, if someone from Madison travels to Uganda, [they are] not a total stranger. He knows the food they can ask for. He knows the culture and they can interact with the people a little bit. He has a starting point.”

Your African Quest is Baraka and Liow’s way of giving back to the Madison community for their support in making Baraka’s dream come true.

Baraka grew up in a refugee camp in Uganda where academic advancement is limited, due to the high cost of books and access. Baraka was determined to create a way to help improve academic performance and make learning fun for both students and teachers.

That's when Baraka came up with STA-Z. 

STA-Z is an academic board game that Baraka and Liow developed to support Uganda’s primary education through play.

“The inspiration for the game came from our GoFundMe campaign that we launched to support the refugee students in Uganda in 2020. We got a lot of support from the community here in Madison and people requested the board game 5 STA-Z,“ said Liow.

Thanks to public support, Baraka and Liow have distributed more than a thousand 5 STA-Z educational games to students in Uganda. 

Now, the game masters are looking for about five families to play their new game and test it out. Feedback from players could be incorporated into Your African Quest before it is released to the general public. To volunteer to play the game, click here.