The following are stories of how a new HOWM can transform someone's life.
Ida and her 5 kids
Ida's husband left 7 years ago, leaving her to raise 5 kids by herself (their story is all too common). This is no easy task in a strongly patriarchal culture like Malawi. But a brand new HOWM with a tin roof was an enormous and unexpected blessing for a family going through the harshest of times.
Her old house was poorly built and fell down. Usually her kids would take care of her, but only one of her six kids is still alive. She had no choice but to live in a literal pig sty. After $800 and a week of construction, she's now living in one of the nicest houses in her entire village. A new HOWM not only brought her shelter, it brought her dignity as well.
After her father died in 2012, this lady was the only one left to support 6 children by herself. She got her new HOWM just in time for Christmas and was happy to pose for a candid shot with her oldest daughter.
Chisomo and Emily
These two orphans lost their mom because their family couldn't afford to pay the $20 hospital bill. For two years they squatted in their overcrowded grandmother's home. $1,100 gave them a brand new HOWM. But more than that, they now have a place to grow up in and make memories.
He was homeless. Finding work was difficult as an elderly man with a severe throat tumor. But $800 gave him a new HOWM. a leg up, and a lifted spirit.
AIDS wreaked havoc on this ladies family, killing her husband and 5 of her 8 children. It also destroyed her social status in a culture where that means everything. Once her house was rebuilt, so was her social rank, and she was able to reintegrate back into village life.