Building strong homes and lasting friendships, Habitat for Humanity

Building strong homes and lasting friendships

A place to study, a place to laugh.

That is the kind of place, the kind of home, that Teberh and Alem are building this week for their children in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Helping them are people they had never met before: volunteers who have come from all over Canada and the United States to participate in the 2017 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project.

“They spend all day, in the sun, in the rain, in the wind, in whatever,” Teberh says. “They are teaching us a good lesson, to do more for other people. All of the volunteers are very friendly. And now they are our friends.”

Teberh and Alem and their four children currently are living in a two-bedroom, high-rise apartment. The parents are constantly hushing the kids so they won’t disturb the neighbors. “The children need their own space to be able to focus on school,” says Alem, an HVAC technician. “They also need a space where they can play and laugh. This is our big chance.”

Across Canada, from Winnipeg to Fort Saskatchewan, the provinces to the territories, 150 families are getting the chance to become homeowners through the Carter Work Project.

“All of the volunteers are very friendly. And now they are our friends.”
— Teberh, Habitat homeowner

In Edmonton, Ana is swinging a hammer and witnessing her house — and a better life — take shape for her and her son, Andres. The 8-year-old has some physical disabilities and Habitat volunteers are building a house that can accommodate his wheelchair. “It’s going to mean a lot,” says Ana, a nurse. The affordable mortgage gives Ana an even greater peace of mind.

As a plus, Ana already has made friends in the new community of Habitat homes going up this week in Edmonton. To earn her sweat equity hours, Ana worked in the Habitat ReStore. “When I started working in the ReStore, I got to meet some of my future neighbors,” she says.

Ana is looking forward to having friends over for dinner in the home that she and Habitat volunteers are building. “I’m inviting them already,” she says.