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 crafts to support themselves and pay for their children’s or grandchildren’s food, clothing and education. We also support children's institutions in the region.

What's New: We launched the first-of-its-kind h.o.w? Women's Conference for our widows in January. Our June 2015 team just arrived in Kenya and will be working with the h.o.w? widows in Kinangop and at Children's Garden and the Jacaranda Special School in Nairobi.

While our participants work hard to fund their trips, we are always in need of additional donations.

You can help:
donate now!

where we go


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.

latest news

Flowers and new braids from these kids
Tending a garden

h.o.w? Ministry mission trip participant and summer intern Britt Bajier of St. Louis has begun work to develop a child sponsorship program at Children’s Garden in Nairobi. Her work will continue on site through July.


On Sunday, we visited the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, home to orphaned and endangered elephants and rhinos. where we got to see the baby elephants being fed and tucked in for bed. We also met Maxwell, a 9-year-old genetically blind black rhino who could not survive in the wild. He loves to have the soft […]

A tender moment, the realization of an answered prayer.
Praise, prayer and song in the countryside

On Saturday we surprised Margaret K. with the deed and title to her home where she had lived as a squatter for 40 years. The group visited and dedicated Margaret’s home, then went to dedicate the land on which Rose’s new home will be built thanks to generous donors who heard her wish during our […]

Margaret was just so happy to have her photo taken while working on her basket. The confidence that the widows are getting by working and earning an income is so encouraging to see.

Today, our group journeyed to the high country plateau of rural Kinangop, where they enjoyed a visit with our widows at the h.o.w? headquarters. There, they were able to see many of the women’s handmade crafts in progress, including baskets made from plastic bags, infinity scarves and crocheted hats.

A Maasai Village

Our group concluded their safari with a visit to a Maasai village. Today, they journey to Naivasha to prepare for their visit to Kinangop, the high country plateau where the h.o.w? widows reside.

Lion on the Masai Mara
The Masai Mara

Don’t miss the up-close-and-personal photos members of our group are sharing from the Masai Mara!

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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.

go with us

jewelry 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? jewelry has 30 women making jewelry 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.

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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.

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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

Poverty is a vicious enemy and destroys people’s lives both physically and emotionally. Those who bear the heaviest weight of poverty are women and children. This is why we focus on women in hopes that by empowering a woman and giving her an income and confidence, we can save children. And by empowering women and saving children we can begin to fight poverty.