A recent drought has prevented most of our widows from being able to grow the vegetables they need to feed their families. In response, h.o.w? Ministry is making an emergency food distribution, and we need your help!
Meanwhile, one of the widows, Hannah Kanja, devised an irrigation system for her garden and is sharing her vegetables with others.
Our in-country coordinator Keziah Murugi will purchase flour, beans and additional supplies for distribution to our widows and their families. If you'd like to help, please donate now!
We are also seeking donations to purchase 2 laptops, one for Keziah and another to help one of the widows gift her university-bound son.
In other news, the June 2019 team leaves June 8 for a 2-week service/mission trip to Kenya.
Scenes from our Women's Empowerment Center in Kinangop, May 2019:
We are so proud of Hannah! She designed an irrigation system for her garden based on education and training she received at our Arise conferences. She is the only widow whose garden grew, and she has beautiful vegetables.
"Hannah has given out her produce to those in need and is a Biblical example of being her sisters' keeper," said h.o.w? Ministry Executive Director Michelle Outman. "Also, we are excited to see how she has used the education and applied knowledge from our annual Arise Women's Conference."
Keziah met with the widows and visited with many in their homes, where they are making many improvements to their homesteads. The widows are taking time to plant flowers and fruit trees around their homes, which make them very beautiful. Several women have invested in a small gas cooking stove (think camp stove here in America). This cuts on charcoal cost, prevents deforestation of trees and firewood costs, and also offers improved health because they are not breathing in smoke from the open fires they typically cook on.
Several widows have built a shelves for placing cooking pots and plates, cups, and utensils after washing. This is a great way to be organized and for the items to dry so they can be used in a healthy, more sanitary way. Several widows have been able to invest in new cooking pots that are of better quality than they had before.
Others have built benches outside their homes so they can sit outside and enjoy moments in the day.
Keziah said she also has also noticed the widows are cleaning up the animal waste around their compounds and using it to fertilize their gardens and flowers.
Many of the sheep we gifted them in January 2018 have given birth and some even a second time.
Peninah Wanjiru, especially, loves being a sheep farmer. Some of the older cucus (grandmothers) like to sit and card the wool from the sheep and several other women are practicing spinning the wool into yarn.
The June 2019 team leaves June 8 for a 2-week service/mission trip to Kenya. Four women are from the Pi Beta Phi sorority at the University of Arkansas. Music therapists Kelley and Jaley are returning team members excited to use their skills with the children and staff at Maji Mazuri, an orphanage and school for children with special needs.
Our team will also spend time in Nairobi at Children's Garden, a home and school for more than 200 orphans and vulnerable children. Additionally, 100 children from the nearby Kawangware slum come to Children's Garden to attend day school and a lunch program.
The widows are looking forward to greeting our team and spending time at the h.o.w? Ministry Women's Empowerment Center in Kinangop.
"They are excited to show us all they have learned in the 3 months of basketweaving vocational skills training. Many new weavers have joined the class," Michelle said.
"Our team can't wait to join the widows on the 'widow's walk' pilgrimage. Together, we walk to their homesteads, where we enjoy visiting and praying with each woman. The widows love to share their homes and gardens, and show how they live with the team members. We look forward to seeing their hard work and improvements made to their homes. It's an honor and privilege to be invited into this sacred space."
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Jane Njoki Githui (we affectionately call her "little Jane"), who is consistently one of the leaders among the widows, has worked hard to afford to send her youngest son to university 5 hours away in Eldoret. A dedicated student, he worked hard to excel in high school.
We are hoping to bless her with a laptop computer to gift to her son. h.o.w? Ministry is also in need of a laptop computer for Keziah. The one we brought her in 2013 is no longer working.
h.o.w? Ministry is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.