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Empowering women, helping children, fighting poverty

Our h.o.w? Ministry women have begun weaving small baskets out of sisal and wool for our 2019 Christmas ornaments.

Jane Njoki Githui, a leader among the women supported by h.o.w? Ministry, describes what empowerment means to her.

h.o.w? Ministry is a non-profit organization established in 2012 working with a group of 30 women in rural Kinangop, Kenya, to help them change their lives. And they're changing ours! See how far they've come ...

Our new Women's Empowerment Center opened in January 2018. Within walking distance from their homesteads, the center has a large gathering room, indoor bathrooms, a storage room and an office, as well as plenty of surrounding land for outside activities. The women gather there for fellowship, to tend a garden, weave baskets, and to learn the steps in transforming the wool from their sheep into consumer goods.

We send teams to Kenya twice a year -- normally in January and June -- to work with and support the widows (and shower them with love!), and we also visit and support schools in Nairobi for orphans and children with special needs. The January trip includes our annual Arise Women's Conference, approaching its 6th year in 2020, which focuses on business skills, health & wellness, and  and enrichment.

Many thanks to our supporters and volunteers. Your participation and donations help make our mission possible!

Latest news

Meet & greet our special guest David Kariuki

The event on Friday, Aug. 23, will kick off a new fundraising effort to help David and Keziah and their 2 daughters relocate closer to the heart of our ministry and his.

Kelley and giraffe

Day 11: Giraffe kisses, goodbyes

This has been a trip of a lifetime, and I’m so blessed to have served with this team. Each one of these women has impacted me and inspired me to do more.

Jane and Sara Ruth work on a basket

Day 10: Weaving wool and lives together

We spent our final day with the widows. Many widows testified about God’s work in their lives.

Day 9: Joy, laughter, and love

When we finally made it to the widows, we were of course greeted with hugs, handshakes, and lots and lots of singing.

Day 8: Kinangop

A series of unfortunate events? Not really!

Day 7: Naivasha

We all had an amazing weekend and a much-needed rest period before we travel to Naivasha and visit the widows tomorrow morning.

This 4x8-foot banner commemorates the opening of our new center and is ready for transport to Kenya.

What we do

h.o.w? is a non-profit ministry based in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, committed to improving the quality of life for African women and children living in extreme poverty.

Many of them are also dealing with health challenges from disease, HIV/AIDS and malnutrition. We help women learn how to support themselves so they can pay for their children’s or grandchildren’s food, clothing and education. We also support several children's institutions in the region.

h.o.w? is also the sponsor of the annual ARISE Women's Conference in Kenya each January, an event we have put on annually since 2015. At the conference, women learn about budgeting, running a business, HIV, and other topics. They also experience enrichment activities in the arts, enjoy meals together, and have the opportunity to bond with mission trip participants. In 2018, they learned about shearing sheep, carding the wool, and dyeing it and spinning it into yarn for weaving.

What's New: We have BIG plans in store for our h.o.w? widows of Kinangop, Kenya, and their workshop space, as we expand our vision and mission.

h.o.w? Ministry conducts mission trips to Kenya several times each year, usually in January and June. While our participants work hard to fund their trips, we are always in need of additional donations.

Your contributions toward our mission work are much appreciated and well used! We're a USA-registered not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization, and your gift is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Who we are

photo of michelle photo of Julia and Family photo of keziah

h.o.w?'s president is Michelle Outman, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Adoptive mother to twin boys from Ethiopia, she knows first hand the enormity of the orphan crisis in Africa. Having spent months working in the African countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Swaziland, she has seen the injustice and desperation women and children face because of inequality and oppression. Michelle has dedicated her life to empowering women and children through faith and service to God and each other, entrepreneurship and education.

Our Kenya coordinator, Keziah Murugi Kariuki, is the bridge and glue that connects the USA and Kenya ministry. She oversees and coordinates the h.o.w? jewelry ministry, our projects with partnering children's homes and visiting mission teams from the USA. Keziah provides our widows physical, emotional and spiritual support.

Where we go

Map showing our route to Kenya
Children and grandchildren of the h.o.w? widows gather behind the h.o.w? house in Kinangop
Children and grandchildren of the h.o.w? widows gather behind the h.o.w? house in Kinangop

Crafts with purpose

h.o.w? comes alongside women living in poverty and invests in their lives by providing job opportunities, creating awareness and uniting women in Africa with women in North America. Currently based out of Kenya, h.o.w? Minisry has 30 women making jewelry, baskets and other crafts. They are widows living with HIV/AIDS or caring for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

h.o.w? and a team of volunteers travel to Kenya twice a year to deliver donations, visit the widows and projects, and provide support.

Our headquarters in Cape Girardeau is a visual tapestry of African artistry and crafts, and the perfect place for your group or organization to become familiar with the h.o.w? Ministry (by appointment only - contact us). Watch our latest video about our mission in Kenya then browse our colorful shop filled with hand-beaded bracelets, necklaces and earrings, hand-woven scarves, baskets and bowls, purses and T-shirts, keychains and ornaments, wall decorations and more.

shop online or contact us if you see something you like
or if you would like to make an appointment.

You can make a difference, too

h.o.w? jewelry and crafts are purchased at fair market value so that the women doing the work immediately receive funds. The crafts are resold in the U.S. to further support specific projects in their region that benefit women and children.

You can help, too, by purchasing crafts, making a donation, hosting a trunk show, or by applying to travel with us on our next mission trip.

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Meet the widows

One of the greatest opportunities we can offer our widows is the creation of employment opportunities with predictable and sustainable income. Each of the 30 h.o.w? widows has been empowered with the means to help provide for their family's basic needs: nutritious meals, shelter, and an education.

Why?

Our question is “Why not?” We passionately believe that one by one we each have the ability to make a difference in our world. We believe that those with resources, skills and financial capabilities should reinvest in the lives of others. One by one we can come alongside these women in Africa to offer job opportunities and emotional support. Many of our women face desperate situations just to survive and before h.o.w? had been living on less than $1/day.

Fighting poverty

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