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.

Our team of 11 people completed a 2-week mission trip to Kenya in June. Our next trip is in January. 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:
    October 25, 2014 - 3:35 am

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

come to our open house saturday, nov. 1

h.o.w? Ministry will host an open house from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1, at our Cape Girardeau headquarters. All of our handmade Christmas items will be available for purchase. Get a head start on your Christmas shopping by stocking up on some unique gifts that are making a difference in the lives of women and children!

new! 2014 collectable Christmas ornament

New items are in our shop!  Earrings, necklaces, bracelets and our 2014 Kenya blessing basket Christmas ornament.  All items handmade by the h.o.w? jewelry widows in Kenya.  Never to early to start your Christmas shopping ~ only 71 shopping days left!  

update: jaley

June 2014 mission trip participant Jaley Montgomery shares a heartfelt account of her experience in Kenya.

update: sweet dreams

Here are some new photos of the painted dorms and new beds complete with new mattresses and linens. This project that we sponsored at Children’s Garden orphanage and helped finish is a huge blessing for the children there.

update: kimmani

Help us provide 4-year-old Kimmani with regular checkups to improve his nutrition and growth and heal his ear infections.

baby left at garden gate

A newborn baby is left at the gate at Children’s Garden. They bring her in and give her a name and some tender loving care. We seek approximately $100-$120/month to help provide diapers and baby formula.

On the plane in St. Louis on June 14.
back in the u.s.a.

Our group has returned! Look for more stories about their travels here soon. Welcome home, everyone!

library dedication

The children of Mully Children’s Family sing at the library dedication ceremony.

A warm welcome

Devotions and worship with teen mothers tonight. We’ve been treated to a wonderful meal. Mrs. Mulli, Esther, welcomed us with great hospitality.

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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


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.