• Mission

    Our mission is to empower families in Uganda to rise above poverty through Education, Entrepreneurship and Local Leadership.


    We believe that economic development and education, along with fostering a strong sense of communal belonging, are key to helping communities break-free of poverty and empower them to protect and maintain their culture, environment and society. Therefore, our projects represent an integrated approach to community development, focused on the development of economic, social, natural, human, and cultural capital.


    What makes us different from other organisations is that our projects are aimed at strengthening the community as a whole. We work in the poorest areas of Kampala and Jinja, where the need for even the most basic essentials is high. Through our project managers, who themselves are members of these communities, we can communicate with community directly to understand what they see as their principal needs. Our intention is to collaborate so that our projects can have the most effective impact, with enduring results.


    22STARS' meaning. Stars are a symbol of the interconnectivity and unity of humankind. Each person on Earth has access to the vastness of the night sky, by simply looking up. For millennia, we have looked to the stars for guidance and navigation, for hope and protection. We chose 22 as a number with a long history of representing change for the better – for making even the most ambitious dreams a reality.

  • Meet Susan, Stella and Aidah

    This trio runs together the 22STARS foundation and met back in 2009, when Stella was volunteering at an Aids Information Center in Kampala, where Aidah was working. Stella told Aidah about her International Law Research Thesis about Post War Victims and Aidah quickly connected Stella to Susan. The girls met using a translator to communicate, but to understand Susan's jokes and see her big heart no one needs a translation! Susan was certain that she would see Stella again in her life, and she wanted to make sure that when that happened, she would be able to talk to Stella directly. Hence when Stella send once a year money to Aidah and Susan for their handmade paper jewellery, Susan took this opportunity to go back to school!


    And Susan was right, the time came that Stella went back to Kampala end of 2012! Susan learned not just English, but she also learned how to read, write and use a computer! So the girls could start chatting directly without Aidah being in between! Time passed and Susan became in 2015 our project manager in Acholi Quarter in Kampala- an internally displaced camp for people - like Susan - who fled from the war with the LRA and Joseph Kony in Northern Uganda. And Aidah, she of course did not leave the picture! Aidah could focus on a new group of women, needing her help as much as Susan did; Aidah moved to Jinja end of 2015 to serve the community where her father was born! This place, called Danida, is one of the poorest areas of Jinja and we started in 2016 our second 22STARS program over here. Currently we are sending 190 children to school in Kampala, and 125 children in Jinja and run our 5 development projects in both communities.


    While Susan is our local project manager in Kampala, Aidah is our local project manager in Jinja, and Stella, well she works from anywhere! Susan and Aidah know best what their local communities need, while Stella's unique nomadic lifestyle brings also a lot of advantages in. Stella is in Uganda about 5 months a year, bringing visitors to the projects, making payments and helping out where needed. The other 7 months she connects with donors around the world and makes sure the operations run smoothly. If you like to become part of our team and help us out, don't hesitate to send an email!

    Susan Laker

    Project Manager in Kampala

    For 20 years, Susan has lived in the Acholi Quarters in Kampala. The Acholi Quarters is a camp for internally displaced refugees coming from Northern Uganda. At 13, Susan became pregnant; she is HIV positive, and has survived cancer and tuberculosis. But this has not stopped her! Susan is a phenomenal woman who proves that nothing is impossible. When she became too weak to crush stones in the quarry with her children, she started making jewellery. With the money she earned, she went back to school, enabling her now to work for the foundation and help many more women and children. Susan has three children, aged 17,19 and 21. Susan loves cooking, dancing and making jokes.

    Stella Airoldi

    Founder / Executive Director

    Stella was born in Germany, but grew up in the Netherlands where she studied International Law. Stella went on to receive an advanced Master's degree in Human Rights and Democracy. Stella first visited Uganda in 2009, and when she returned in 2012, she realized that she could have a greater impact working on the ground, joining forces with Susan and Aidah. Through Stella’s experience and education, she gained a clear understanding of how developmental aid could be improved in order to maximize the benefit to local communities. This is how 22STARS was born. Stella rents out her home in Europe and leads a basic nomad lifestyle in order to devote her time to helping people in need. Stella spends about 5 months of a year in Uganda and the other 7 months she is all over the world: frequently speaking at conferences about the importance of making a Social Impact and working remotely. Stella loves sleeping under the stars and calls herself a Social Impact Nomad.

    Aidah Namboza

    Project Manager in Jinja

    In 2009, Aidah was working in an AIDS information center where she met Stella. Aidah introduced Stella to Susan, and was the initial contact between both ladies, until Susan became fluent in English. Aidah now runs our projects in Jinja, in one of the poorest areas called Danida. Aidah and her family were born there, but Aidah was able to escape poverty and go to school as a child. Now she has a deep urge to help others in need, who were less fortunate then herself. Aidah is married to David Wafula, who used to work at the same organization AIDS center where she met Stella. David helps Aidah with a lot of her work on the ground, to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Aidah also loves making jewellery, and making clothes out of African fabrics. Aidah loves her four children, as well as singing and dancing.

  • Staff in Uganda

    Without these wonderful people on the ground we would not be able to manage all our projects and kids!

    Peace Elizabeth

    All-day Dancer

    Peace is sponsored and in S-4 boarding school. She is very enthusiastic and outgoing and helps us during her holidays with our after school activities. She loves dancing and singing. Location: Kampala.

    Atangi Derrick

    Tech Nerd

    Derrick is sponsored and in S-2 in adult school. Derrick helps us out with all technical related stuff and our after school project. He loves footballl. Location: Kampala.

    Akumu Beatrice

    Chef Cook

    Beatrice helps us with our nutrition project. She cooks every Sunday for all 200 kids and buys the food for them. She loves cooking. Location: Kampala.

    Sekate Philosophy

    Motor Driver

    Sekate Philosophy is a motor-taxi driver and is the one we send regularly to town to buy things for our projects. He loves to sing and play football. Location: Kampala.

    Wairogo Richard


    Richard has two medical diplomas and owns a small clinic and medical shop in Acholi Quarters. He helps us with treatment for our children when they are sick. Location: Kampala.

    Wanichan Lilian

    Chef Cook

    Lilian loves helping with cooking for our children in Kampala every Sunday. She also loves being with the visitors when they are here. Location: Kampala.


    Masika Doricka

    Chef Cook

    Masika Doricka is sponsored and goes to S-2 boarding school. Masika is always smiling and on her holidays she loves washing dishes and cooking for us. She also loves reading a lot. Location: Kampala.


    Atim Alice


    Alice is at the Foundation 22STARS in Kampala almost everyday, running small errands for us. She loves helping us with the kids on Sundays and she is very concerned about their hygiene, always making sure they wear clean clothes. Location: Kampala.

    Amali Margret

    Chef Cook

    Margret is part of our small business training and she loves cooking for the kids on Sunday. She is our community mobilizer. She is a very outgoing woman and she loves dancing to welcome any visitors we have at our project. Location: Kampala.


    Aboo Lydia


    Aboo Norah spends her time with us by counseling our children, as she is a teacher by profession. She likes singing and dancing, and one day she would love to build her own school, as she loves children. Location: Jinja.

    Irene Irama

    Community Mobilizer

    Irene is our community mobilizer. Irene never went to school and is very grateful that her kids have this opportunity. She is passionate about what she does, and her dream is to build a daycare and help other children in need. Location: Jinja.


    Katusabe Ruth

    Chef Cook

    Ruth loves helping to cook for the kids on Saturday in Jinja. She is very outgoing and talkative. She loves being with her friends and she loves to run and play netball. Location: Jinja.

    Nanyanzi Lukia

    Chef Cook

    Lukia helps us cook for the kids on Saturday in Jinja and to keep our office clean. She loves dancing and having fun with her friends. Location: Jinja.

    Namuganza Doreen

    Homework Teacher

    Doreen helps us by teaching our children after school. She helps them with their homework and to make sure they do well in school. Doreen loves singing and dancing. Location: Jinja.

    David Wafula

    Prime Mover

    Pastor David Wafula is the husband of Aidah. He holds a Bachelor degree in Theology and a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership and Management. In his free time, he loves singing and making people laugh. Location: Jinja.

  • The Board

    All board members are volunteers, and have been to Uganda to visit 22STARS. Each of them also sponsors several children.

    Klaus Friedhelm Muller


    Daniel Walzer

    Vice Chair

    Romana Oosterbeek


    Stella Airoldi

    ​Executive Director

  • The Remote Team

    Francesca Giovannini

    Virtual Assistant

  • Why we changed from a product based model to a donation model

    This is probably not the first time that you have heard about 22STARS, while the 22STARS FOUNDATION was only established in 2017, the social business 22STARS JEWELLERY was founded in 2013 and its story began back in 2009, when the founder Stella Romana Airoldi went to Uganda to do research for her thesis in international humanitarian law. She met Aidah Wafula who introduced her to several women in need.


    In particular, the story of Susan Laker -who was about Stella's age and had to seek refuge in military barracks when she was only 13 years old and where she got pregnant with her first son – touched Stella's heart. Also Stella loved Susan's wittiness and the two became soon best friends. Stella's creativity, wish to help the war affected people and her strong connection with Aidah and Susan were the reason to start 22STARS jewellery a few years later in 2013.


    With the jewellery business, we have been able to empower families in Uganda for years, using funding primarily from selling handmade goods that were made by the 22STARS artisans. This product-based model empowered our families in Kampala and Jinja and helped us to carry out our social programs on the ground. Artisans like Susan Laker, where able to go back to school and offer education to their children. We are still active with the 22STARS jewellery shop and keep changing lives, however, as product sales are very unpredictable and we wanted to reach more people, we started the 22STARS FOUNDATION next to the social jewellery business.


    Why? We saw firsthand the difference that an education makes and wanted to expand our projects to enable more children to go to school and also educate their families with entrepreneurship skills. While our product model is a great way to help people out of poverty by making sure they become self-sustainable, the sales are also highly dependent on the western market. Our production costs and marketing costs are high and at times we would sell nothing at all. Hence, why we needed a model that would provide the communities in Uganda with a more stable and consistent income stream and focus on Education, Local Leadership and Entrepreneurship. The Foundation runs completely independent from the jewellery business (although we still do receive their profit as a donation for our projects and our Ugandan artisans are able to sell their goods also directly to the visitors who come to Uganda!). We are able to carry out our projects now on a much larger scale!


    Our local project managers Susan Laker (Kampala) and Aidah Wafula (Jinja) are thrilled with the new livelihood projects and reported back the positive difference they are already making. We plan on increasing this impact! Please share the story of 22STARS, become a recurring donor for our social projects, sponsor a child long-term, give us some of your time and skills and visit us in Uganda!


    Thank you for your support!


    Stella Romana Airoldi
    Founder of 22STARS jewellery & 22STARS foundation

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Thank you for visiting www.foundation22stars.org  These are our terms and conditions for use of the website and apply whenever you access the website, on whatever device.

By using the website, you are deemed to have accepted these conditions.

1.	General Conditions

You are able to enjoy our blog posts, and visit many areas of our websites without providing us with any personal information. However, we do collect personal information when you sign up to become a long-term sponsor of one of our 22stars kids, a monthly sponsor of our causes or subscribe to receive email alerts. By making a donation to our cause and/or by using our website, you (also called the “sponsor”) are agreeing to these Terms and Conditions, which you acknowledge that you have read and understood and that you agree to be bound by these Terms & Conditions. 

For more information, see our privacy policy.

2.	Use of material appearing on our website

All pictures on www.foundation22stars.org are taken by the 22STARS Foundation with permission of the children and their parents and care-takers. In keeping with our mission, we welcome sponsors to share the picture of their sponsored child and our projects for the purpose of sharing our story with their friends and to encourage others to also participate in our causes. This does not cover commercial use of our materials. Unless otherwise stated, the copyright and other rights on all material published on www.foundation22stars.org belongs to the 22STARS Foundation.

Requests for any other use or reproduction of our content, including commercial use, should be sent to Stella Airoldi through the following email address: info@foundation22stars.org

3.	Disclaimer of liability

Every precaution has been taken by the 22STARS Foundation to ensure that the content of this site is accurate, legally correct and ethical. 

Whilst all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of content, no responsibility can be taken for any error or omission, nor can the 22STARS Foundation assume any liability for the content of websites linked to our site.
Should the 22STARS Foundation receive any complaint with regard to third party material on our site, we will review the matter and remove material at our sole discretion. We will have no further liability to either party in such instance.

Material on our site is given for the purposes of information or reporting only and should not be relied upon. Independent advice should be sought on financial and medical matters.

4.	Payments

22STARS Foundation accepts PayPal payments, direct bank transfers and donations through the specific campaigns set up for the 22STARS Foundation on Donorbox and GoFundMe as acceptable methods of payment. 

5.	Data protection and privacy

Please see our privacy policy for details of how personal data may be processed.

6.	Long-term sponsors of a child

If you like to become a long-term sponsor of one of our children we require your name and email address in order to send you all the information with regards to your child. Unless you like to be anonymous we publish your name on our website and or our social media channels. 

7.	 Cancellations of long-term sponsorships of the children

You can cancel any time your donation subscription to us and stop sponsoring your child. We would appreciate if you let us know immediately when you have the attention to stop the sponsorship, so that we are able to find a new long-term sponsor for the specific child. If 22STARS FOUDNATION has to stop the sponsorship with a certain child we will inform you straight ahead and we will find another child for you that you can continue sponsoring through his/her education. 

8.	Right to reallocate funds

The 22STARS foundation reserves the right to reallocate funds when necessary. Funds designated towards the support of a specific sponsor child or towards a specific project may at times need to be redirected. For example, if a change in the security situation makes the completion of a project unsafe, funds will be reallocated as appropriate. We work to avoid the reallocation of funds and only do so when necessary.

9.	Gofundme Campaign

By setting up a GOFUNDME campaign for the 22STARS foundation and using pictures and text of the 22STARS foundation, you must have prior agreement and approval of the 22STARS foundation to do so.  If you like to set up a fundraiser campaign for us, please contact Stella Airoldi and send an email to info@foundation22stars.org

10.	Communication 

If you contact us via our website or have opted in other circumstances for us to contact you via e-mail, we will communicate with you using the e-mail address you have provided. We will assume that your e-mail address is correct and that you understand the risks associated with using this form of communication. 

11.	Applicable Law

Dutch law governs these Terms and Conditions to the fullest extent allowable. Any disputes in connection with the 22STARS foundation or these Terms and Conditions will be initiated in the Courts of Breda where exclusive jurisdiction and venue reside. If a court or any other appropriate authority finds any portion of this document to be invalid, the remainder will remain in full force and effect. 
If you do not accept these Terms and Conditions in full, you must stop using this site immediately. We reserve the right to prevent you accessing this site, without prejudice to any of our other rights, if we consider that you have contravened our Policy on Privacy and Use of Information or any of these Terms and Conditions.

From time to time, the 22STARS foundation may need to change its Terms and Conditions because of changes in its foundation, or in its attempts to serve your needs better. 22STARS foundation will always publish the current terms on our website and notify you of this.

The 22STARS Foundation is a registered charity number KVK nr: 68437870 | RSIN 85744249. It is registered in The Netherlands, Kasteelplein 73, 4811XC, Breda.
This Privacy Policy describes how and when the 22STARS FOUNDATION collects, uses, and shares information when you make a donation, contact us, or otherwise use our services through foundation22stars.org or its related sites and services. This Privacy Policy does not apply to the practices of third parties that we do not own or control. 

You are able to enjoy our blog posts, and visit many areas of our websites without providing us with any personal information. However, we do collect personal information when you sign up to become a long-term sponsor of one of our 22STARS kids, a monthly sponsor of our causes or subscribe to receive email alerts. By making a donation to our cause and/or by using our website, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions, which you acknowledge that you have read and understood and that you agree to be bound by these Terms & Conditions. 

1. Personal information 22STARS FOUNDATION collects

Information We Collect

To sponsor a specific child long-term, you must provide us with certain information, such as your name, email address, payment information, and the name of the child that you like to sponsor. This is necessary as we will send you regular updates with regards to the child that you sponsor and or our ongoing project. You may also choose to provide us with additional personal information if you contact us directly. 

We treat your information very confidential. If you like to be an anonymous sponsor of a child, or make an anonymous donation to one of our causes, we will not publish your name related to the cause or specific child anywhere. 

If you like to sponsor a child publicly we will put your name on our website and social media in relation to the specific child you sponsor or cause you made a donation to. We don’t publish any other details of you and don’t give your contact details to anyone outside of our organization, neither the child that you sponsor will receive your contact details.  

To make a general donation, you do not have to provide us with any data and hence can send us money which we treat as an absolute anonymous donation. 

2. The legal bases we rely on to collect, use, and share personal information

Why We Need Your Information and How We Use It

We rely on a number of legal bases to collect, use, and share your information, including:
•	as needed to provide our services, such as when we use your information to send you emails and updates with regard to the child that you sponsor, to settle disputes, or to provide support;
•	when you have provided your affirmative consent, which you may revoke at any time, such as by signing up for my mailing list;
•	if necessary to comply with a legal obligation or court order or in connection with a legal claim, such as retaining information about your donation if required by tax law; and
•	as necessary for the purpose of our legitimate interests, if those legitimate interests are not overridden by your rights or interests, such as providing and improving our services. We use your information to provide the services you requested and in our legitimate interest to improve our services. 

3. The third parties with whom we share personal information

Information Sharing and Disclosure

Information about our sponsors is important to our foundation in order to send regularly reports about the sponsored children and in order to send out the new payment for future school terms. We share your personal information for very limited reasons and in limited circumstances, as follows:
•	Service providers. We engage certain trusted third parties to perform functions and provide services to our website. We will share your personal information with these third parties, but only to the extent necessary to perform these services.
•	Foundation transfers. If we stop or merge our foundation, we may disclose your information as part of that transaction, only to the extent permitted by law. 
•	Compliance with laws. We may collect, use, retain, and share your information if we have a good faith belief that it is reasonably necessary to: (a) respond to legal process or to government requests; (b) enforce our agreements, terms and policies; (c) prevent, investigate, and address fraud and other illegal activity, security, or technical issues; or (d) protect the rights, property, and safety of our customers, or others.

4. The length of time we keep personal information

Data Retention

We retain your personal information only for as long as necessary to provide you with our services and as described in our Privacy Policy. However, we may also be required to retain this information to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations, to resolve disputes, and to enforce our agreements. We generally keep your data for the following time period: 4 years. 

5. If we transfer personal information outside of Europe, we will handle the transfer as following

Transfers of Personal Information Outside the EU

We may store and process your information through third-party hosting services in the US and other jurisdictions. As a result, we may transfer your personal information to a jurisdiction with different data protection and government surveillance laws than your jurisdiction. If we are deemed to transfer information about you outside of the EU, we rely on Privacy Shield as the legal basis for the transfer, as Google Cloud is Privacy Shield certified.

6. Our donor’s rights regarding our use of their personal information and our contact details

Your Rights

If you reside in certain territories, including the EU, you have a number of rights in relation to your personal information. While some of these rights apply generally, certain rights apply only in certain limited cases. We describe these rights below:
•	Access. You may have the right to access and receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you by contacting us using the contact information below. 
•	Change, restrict, delete. You may also have rights to change, restrict our use of, or delete your personal information. Absent exceptional circumstances (like where we are required to store data for legal reasons) we will generally delete your personal information upon request. 
•	Object. You can object to (i) our processing of some of your information based on our legitimate interests and (ii) receiving marketing messages from us after providing your express consent to receive them. In such cases, we will delete your personal information unless we have compelling and legitimate grounds to continue using that information or if it is needed for legal reasons. 
•	Complain. If you reside in the EU and wish to raise a concern about our use of your information (and without prejudice to any other rights you may have), you have the right to do so with your local data protection authority.

7. Our Sponsor Child Privacy

Respecting the privacy of our sponsor children and their families is a key element of our work. 22STARS Foundation extends the same attitude of respect and confidentiality to our sponsor children as given to their sponsors.

How to Contact Us

For purposes of EU data protection law, I, Stella Airoldi, founder and project manager of 22STARS FOUNDATION, am the data controller of your personal information. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact me at info@foundation22stars.org. Alternately, you may mail me at:
Stella Airoldi, Kasteelplein 73, 4811 XC, Breda, Netherlands