Why?

The Situation

When a woman in India loses her husband,

She loses a lot more than you might think. She loses love and companionship. She also loses financial provision. And in most communities she is forbidden to remarry - no matter what her age. If they are superstitious, her family might also blame her for her husband's death. Either way, she drifts to the edge of her community - a person without a place. She still has to try find work to support herself, though - and her children. She still has to try make a home for them to grow up in. But from now onwards she has to try by herself. So most of all perhaps, she risks losing hope. There are 40 million widows in India. That's a lot of opportunities for us to stay hands-off ... or to get hands-on :)

if we keep hands-off

Without the help of a husband or her community, she will battle to find work and provide a home for herself and her children.

She may have to sleep outdoors, or try to maintain a traditional palm-thatch shelter - which can cost around half a year's wages to replace every few years.

Worse, these thatch-roofed shelters are often inhabited by poisonous snakes and scorpions, and leak badly, letting in disease and damp.

We Get Hands On

Not "if"- We are. Join us!

A Roof Means A Lot

Giving a woman a house is giving her a tool. Because in a mother's hands, a house becomes a home - a place of safety and warmth, where her children can play, talk, study for school exams or share a meal. In that sense, it might be the most important tool in the world.

Community Impact

Building houses for widows has wider effects too. At Hands on Houses, we team up with builders from the same communities in which we build. And we ask community elders to help us choose whom to build for. So the people building the houses know the people they're building for - and each village participates in the process of reaffirming women's dignity and worth through generosity. It's the same thing when we build houses for very old or physically handicapped people. And we're working more to train local builders in our housing techniques, so they can start building operations of their own. There are still a lot of women who need our help, and there's no way we'll ever do it on our own :)

Get Hands On!

Stories of Hope

How Hands on Houses is Changing Lives

Kannan Family

Kannan Family

Our sixth house in the growing Irular village we’re helping to build has a heartwarming story – Initially an elderly couple was selected by the community to receive one of these earlier houses....

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Nanthini

Nanthini

Nanthini is a mentally disabled young girl who lives with her mother. Tim Davidson of Houston, Texas came out to India in March of 2014 to help out with the construction of the home he had donated for...

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Manjula

Manjula

“My days will be better,” Manjula told me as she wrapped her bright teal sari tighter around her chest. Manjula had prayed every day for a new house — asking God to give her a roof, a lock and a home...

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