Coronavirus pandemic not stopping build of new Habitat for Humanity home

Teruework in the window of her future home thanks to Habitat for Humanity.
Teruework in the window of her future home thanks to Habitat for Humanity. Amber McGuckin/Global News

They have their hard hats, steel-toed shoes and hammers in hand but they’re building more than just a home — but a community.

The Habitat for Humanity Women’s build volunteers are working on the first of a 20-family development that’s underway in Winnipeg.

Read more: Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build family receives keys to their new home

Teruework and her family are one of the groups that will be living in one of the homes.

Last April she heard she would be Habitat for Humanity home owner.

“I am short of words to say it. I feel very happy,” she said.

“We are four, I have three kids. They are all girls ages 6, 13, and 17 years old.”

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video 'Habitat for Humanity Women Build: Maurine and Chantel' Habitat for Humanity Women Build: Maurine and Chantel
Habitat for Humanity Women Build: Maurine and Chantel

Teruework and her family moved from Africa in 2011 to Winnipeg. They’re originally from Ethiopia and moved in hopes of a better life in Canada.

“It was not safe there to live, there’s a lot of crime. It wasn’t safe with my kids,” she said.

Moving to Canada, the dream of home ownership wasn’t possible without the hand of Habitat for Humanity for Teruework.

“I wasn’t expecting in this short time I would have my own house. When I was thinking of buying my own house it was hard. So when I heard that I was accepted here, it was unbelievable,” she said.

The new development.
The new development. Supplied

The coronavirus pandemic did delay the plans for the start of the women’s build, but it hasn’t stopped volunteers from lending a hand.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s an amazing environment. You get to use your skills for something that matters and a concept you believe in,” Volunteer Bobbi Campbell said.

“it’s empowering and gives you respect for what women can accomplish, which we know but we don’t see it played out very often in real life.”

Oluwafisade Akinyemi is another volunteer who moved to Winnipeg in August 2015 from Nigeria.

She was an architect in Africa and is lending her skills to the cause.

“I’ve been inspired by what the women can do for women. You learn how to use all the tools, you just have to put yourself out there. You work as a family. You don’t know anyone when you start and now today’s my last day and I’m thinking I should sign up for more days because it’s been fun working with everyone here,” she said.

Read more: ‘Like a dream I never dreamt’: Winnipeg single mom, 3 girls earn Women Build home

“it’s not just about the structure but also the community I’ve gained over the course of the three days. Some of the home owners are here and they’re having to talk about themselves. It’s really inspiring to see where they got themselves from. To this particular point. Having them smile while we build their house is just the icing on the cake.”

Story continues below advertisement

If everything for construction goes according to plan, Teruework and her family should get the keys to their new home by the end of the year.