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: Our team of 9 women from 4 states successfully launched the first-of-its-kind h.o.w? Women's Conference for our widows in Kenya in January, and we are putting together another team to travel in June 2015. While our participants work hard to fund their trips, we are always in need of additional donations.

You can help:
donate now!

  • Current Time in Africa/Kenya:
    January 30, 2015 - 4:55 pm


who we are

photo of michelle photo of debby 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.

Longtime advocate Debby Sefton has joined our team as Connections Coordinator. She has served 7 years on staff at Christ’s Church of Effingham, Illinois, as New Member and Community Outreach Minister. Her strengths in connections, growing ministry and living out the “Great Commission” are invaluable assets.

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.

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
- this site is new, and we will be adding more products soon! - 

latest news

crochet-class
‘We have changed, all of us.’

Today the widows learned how to crochet roses for hats they plan to begin making for h.o.w? Jewelry, made more self-portrait watercolors, and received Christmas donations, cards and photos from their sponsors in the U.S. Mission participants unloaded several suitcases full of donated scarves, skirts, shoes and other clothing for the widows and their families. […]

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Consider these women empowered!

At the h.o.w? Jewelry headquarters in rural Kinangop, Kenya, members of the h.o.w? widows shared what they had learned at our two-day Arise Women’s Conference, presented gifts and a poem of thanks, and then posed for some Polaroid photos they could take home to remind them of the dreams they envisioned there.

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Arise Conference Day 2

The second day of the Arise Women’s Conference at Lake Naivasha included a session designed to help those who are HIV positive learn how to take care of themselves physically and spiritually, a discussion of the h.o.w? vision, some selfies and photo fun by the pool, and a field trip to the Kenya Agricultural and […]

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The Inaugural Arise Women’s Conference 2015

The first-of-its-kind Arise Women’s Conference 2015 got under way Tuesday, Jan. 13, at Panorama Park Lodge near Lake Naivasha, Kenya, with 16 of the h.o.w? Jewelry women spending the day attending a workshop on financial literacy and entrepreneurship, painting self portraits, and enjoying lunch and tea by the pool.

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Our group has arrived!

Our group has arrived in Kenya! We’re at the Oak Place Conference Center for the night, then on to Panorama Park Lodge, where we will be holding the first h.o.w? Ministry women’s conference during the week. We’re planning to start off the day with a boat safari before moving on to prepare for our conference. […]

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update: Christmas 2014

Thanks to our generous donors for helping us to provide the h.o.w? widows with some special Christmas gifts including cooking oil, rice, wheat flour, tea, sugar, salt, soap, lotion and more.

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Loloh with loaves of bread for the widows

This is Loloh, the precious daughter of Keziah, our ministry coordinator in Kenya. Here she is helping to deliver loaves of bread to the h.o.w? Jewelry widows for Christmas.

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Help us bring some Christmas cheer to the Children’s Garden

We are looking for a few generous sponsors to bring some Christmas cheer to the children at Children’s Garden orphanage this Christmas. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation in any amount to h.o.w? Ministry please contact us or use our online donation form. Your gift will be a huge blessing to […]

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Drop in: Open house on Saturday, Dec. 6

Come shopping at h.o.w? and make a purchase with a purpose! Please drop in at our open house from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 465 Bristle Ridge in Cape Girardeau (in the Whispering Oaks Subdivision off  County Road 620 – view a map). All of our handmade Christmas items will be available […]

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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.

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Scenes from Kenya - June 2014

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

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.

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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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.