Although a home should be considered a human right, there are millions of people across the globe that don’t have anywhere to call their own. Widows in developing countries are especially vulnerable to this dreaded fate, as the loss of their husbands leaves them with very few rights.

For instance, inheritance laws in many of the communities we work with don’t allow women to inherit property from their husbands, leaving them without somewhere secure to lay their heads. This not only forces widows into homelessness but also their orphaned children. Similarly, this spiral is almost impossible to get out of, as women aren’t deemed respectable members of society that can earn a living. Therefore, the duty of housing widows falls on our heads.

What is a Widow?

“Widow” is a term for a woman who has lost her husband through death and hasn’t remarried. With this being said, we also provide widow care to “half-widows”. A half-widow is a woman who has been separated from her husband, meaning that she is completely unaware of his living status. Natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes can lead to families being separated, to which the wife would then be referred to as a half-widow.

Build a Widow’s Home Appeal

There are upwards of 258 million widows worldwide, which is why we established our Build a Home for a Widow Appeal. These poor individuals are forced to suffer through extreme poverty and desperately need our help to break free of the shackles of deprivation. Whether they lose their husbands to disease, extreme poverty, or natural disaster, widows are left to provide for their family, which often isn’t manageable for a single woman.

Upon the loss of their husbands, widows also suffer the loss of their rights, which is incredibly damaging to their livelihood. Similarly, the lack of women’s rights exposes widows to sexual violence and ultimately isolates them from the community. Consequently, children of widows are also mistreated by association.

Above all else, a home will provide a widow and her children with security and protection. Currently, a lot of widows and their children live in makeshift homes that are crafted out of scrap metal, including steel and mud. Families of eight or nine are expected to live in these conditions, which simply aren’t safe, sanitary, or comfortable. Living in such close proximity is responsible for the widespread disease that ultimately leads to painful and premature deaths.

Thankfully, you can help combat this ongoing despair by donating to our appeal. Your donations help us to provide widowed and orphaned families with a better life, starting by putting a stable roof over their heads. Additionally, the house will be fully equipped with a bathroom, toilet, kitchen, bedrooms, bedding, and food. Ultimately, your donations enable widows to properly care for their children.

Mahmooda’s Story

As previously mentioned, a stable home is something that millions of people can only long for. This is especially true of homeless widows who live in communities that treat them as outcasts, turn them away, and strip them of their rights. These rights include access to education and employment, making it impossible to earn a decent living. As a result, widows and orphans have no choice but to live in terrible conditions, causing many to lose hope and eventually give up. Despite this, your donations help restore this hope and provide long-term protection for widows and orphans alike.

Mahmooda is just one of the many widows that we’ve helped with our Build a Home for a Widow Appeal. When we met Mahmooda, she was living in a freezing tin shed with her three daughters. This led to them being isolated from other family members, which caused Mahmooda anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. She couldn’t sleep most nights as she felt she had to watch over her daughters whilst they slept due to the risk of the shed being broken into. Similarly, the bitter weather conditions meant that the entire family suffered from sickness regularly, which was especially dangerous to Mahmooda, as she suffers from a heart condition.

Fortunately, your donations to our Widow Homes Appeal facilitated us in building a home for Mahmooda and her family. Upon the revelation of their new home, the family was completely overcome with emotion; their eyes filled with tears as the realisation slowly set in.

Now, they rest in comfort in real beds with warm blankets. Mahmooda can sleep once again, as she can lock the doors and rest assured that she and her daughters are safe. Their new home is their comfort space in which they can enjoy a cup of tea or a hearty meal thanks to the monthly food packages. Instead of sitting amongst the freezing snow, the family can now observe the dancing snowflakes from their window. Your donations have provided a family with a safe, secure, comfortable, warm, and dignified home.

Change the Lives of Widows and Orphans with Orphans in Need

Our work with Mahmooda is just the tip of the iceberg, help us continue this life-saving work by donating to Orphans in Need today.