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Valley women pumped up about Habitat

Shania Twin, second from left, supports Women Build. Group members, from left, Jamie Edgett, Cristi Sacht, Julia Buisman and Sacht’s two children, Lylia and Haakon. - Photo by Lynda Allen
Shania Twin, second from left, supports Women Build. Group members, from left, Jamie Edgett, Cristi Sacht, Julia Buisman and Sacht’s two children, Lylia and Haakon.
— image credit: Photo by Lynda Allen

Sporting overalls and pink shirts, Comox Valley women are making history as they work to give a local family a home.

The Women Build component of Habitat for Humanity’s build project in Courtenay is the first of its kind in B.C., and Women Build co-ordinator Cristi Sacht says Comox Valley women are getting pumped up.

“They absolutely love it,” says Sacht. “People are absolutely ecstatic about becoming a part of this. The fact that it is the first Women Build in the entire province and we’re doing it in our little town of the Comox Valley is absolutely fabulous.”

Habitat for Humanity will build six homes — in the form of three duplexes — off Piercy Avenue near Eighth Street with construction expected to start late summer or early fall. Different local groups have signed up to raise money to build each unit. The Women Build group has six teams, and has raised about $11,000 so far with a goal of $100,000, according to Sacht, who adds in-kind donations of service and supplies are also welcome, and all donations are tax refundable. She hopes to have four more teams of five to 10 women come on board and start fundraising to help reach their goal.

“I’m rounding up troops right now, it’s like we’re trying to build an army of women that are going to tackle this endeavour,” says Sacht, adding she’s looking for women from the skilled trades to help too because this all-women group aren’t only fundraising — they’re building.

However, Sacht says unskilled women shouldn’t be scared off because each team only has to build for a minimum of one day, and it’s okay if some women would rather just fundraise or just help with the construction — though she prefers that women participate in both parts of the initiative.

Although this is a women-only project from start to finish, it’s not designed to leave men out in the cold.

“It’s not about excluding men — it’s about involving and empowering women,” points out Sacht, who adds three generations of women will take part in the build. “It’s my girlfriend, her daughter, and her mom, and they all have built houses and they all have been a part of major renovation projects, that’s just the kind of girls they are.”

An opportunity to show support for Women Build is at the annual Crown Isle Mother’s Day brunch and dinner.

For more information, check out the Women Build 2012 for the Comox Valley Facebook page or e-mail womenbuildvin@gmail.com.

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