Advertisement

Habitat Manitoba says Women Build program aims to reflect inclusivity in trades

Click to play video: 'Habitat Manitoba says Women Build program aims to reflect inclusivity in trades'
Habitat Manitoba says Women Build program aims to reflect inclusivity in trades
A Pandora Avenue housing complex under construction is getting a helping hand — dozens of them, in fact — this week as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build blitz – Aug 2, 2023

A Pandora Avenue housing complex under construction is getting a helping hand — dozens of them, in fact — this week as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build blitz.

Habitat Manitoba’s new CEO Jamie Hall says the initiative has been incredibly successful so far.

“All of our volunteers are amazing in coming out. We have women who have been coming out for many, many years and it’s just wonderful to see,” Hall said.

“It’s not only the work that’s being done, it’s the community that’s being built and I think the Women Build is a wonderful example of that.”

Click to play video: 'Habitat for Humanity Manitoba CEO on Women Build blitz'
Habitat for Humanity Manitoba CEO on Women Build blitz

Hall told Global Winnipeg that the Women Build project has raised almost $1.7 million since its inception in 2005, and is expected to bring in an additional $150,000 this year alone.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video: 'Habitat for Humanity Manitoba’s Women Build blitz'
Habitat for Humanity Manitoba’s Women Build blitz

The 55-unit complex, which is expected to be carbon-free and completed by 2025, is a perfect opportunity for women of all experience levels to get involved in home-building — with the added bonus of helping families, said fundraising committee chair and construction crew leader Joanne Machado, who has been involved with the program for more than a decade.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s really different with women all coming together, showing up, and helping to build a house for a family,” Machado said.

“We have lots of women and other individuals who have never held a hammer or never experienced any construction at all. We try to make this a very inclusive environment: yes, you can do it.

“You have to have a certain level of fitness and mobility, of course, but other than that, all experience levels, all genders are welcome. This is a safe space to come and experience construction, and it’s lots of fun as well. Always lots of laughs.”

Machado said the most rewarding part of the process is working alongside family members putting in sweat equity to eventually own a home, and seeing their reactions when she finally presents them with the keys.

“You meet the families, sometimes you meet the uncles and the grandmas and the kids and the cousins — and then you build with them on the site.

“You get to know them, you get to know their stories, you hear about their kids and their trials and their tribulations … and you also get to see their success. That’s why I’m involved.”

Click to play video: 'Habitat for Humanity Manitoba Women Build: Construction Process'
Habitat for Humanity Manitoba Women Build: Construction Process

According to Thomas Hoffman, Habitat’s construction director, the success of the Women Build program — which already had its first build earlier this summer, is due in part to changing demographics and inclusivity in construction and related fields.

Story continues below advertisement

“The trades are changing. There’s more and more women around, and we wanted to create a safe environment for women to come out and experience this,” Hoffman told Global Winnipeg.

“We want to make them feel empowered that they can come out and build houses, and swing a hammer, and contribute to the community.

“The first one went awesome. They loved it. We actually had a few of them come out for the second one already, and I think that speaks volumes, when people come out back-to-back.”

Click to play video: 'Habitat for Humanity Manitoba hosts Women’s Build Speaker Series'
Habitat for Humanity Manitoba hosts Women’s Build Speaker Series

Sponsored content

AdChoices