On Saturday, the Winkler-Morden Habitat For Humanity chapter marked a significant milestone with a groundbreaking ceremony for a new home in Winkler. 

“There is so much work, and it is all done by volunteers, all the hours they put in. It's just unbelievable what people will commit to, making the community better," said Christina Falk, Habitat For Humanity Manitoba Manager & Chapter Support. "This family is so inspiring to me... I have never had so many people in the community come up to me and say, 'Thank you for choosing this family.' They are so deserving... people know you for your hard work, the community is behind you."

This event celebrated the beginning of a new chapter for Binwa and Idolo, along with their three children: Sofa, Esther, and Elisha. The family, who have demonstrated exceptional dedication by working to contribute 500 hours of labour through volunteering, are eagerly anticipating the completion of their new home by this time next year.

"When the opportunity came we decided to apply to Habitat For Humanity, it was a good opportunity for us, I can say it’s not easy, not every family can be chosen, by the grace of God, Habitat For Humanity chose our family to get a house for us," said Binwa.

The ceremony drew political attendees, including Winkler Mayor Henry Siemens, Branden Leslie, MP for Portage-Lisgar, and Carrie Hiebert, MLA for Morden-Winkler. Their presence emphasized the community's support for this initiative, with most of them expressing their willingness to contribute volunteer hours. 

"Habitat For Humanity does a really good job bridging the gap for families that want to find the feeling of homeownership. There is something intrinsically incredible about owning your own home and having pride in that… I know it doesn’t come easy with the volunteer hours, the 500 hours you have been putting in while raising a young family while working to afford a home and a decent quality of life. I think it's incredible work,” said Leslie.

Additionally, Christina Falk, the Habitat For Humanity Manitoba Manager & Chapter Support, and Jamie Hall, the CEO of Habitat Manitoba, were on hand to celebrate the occasion and highlight the organization's commitment to providing affordable housing solutions.

"I'm just thrilled for the family. It is so meaningful. The really special thing about Habitat is that it's locally driven to help the volunteers," said Jamie Hall, CEO of Habitat For Humanity Manitoba. "The thing that drives me in being part of Habitat is that we're not giving away houses, we're helping them own their house... and we've made a path that they can work hard on their own. We've worked hard... surrounded by a community that's working shoulder to shoulder and that fills my heart to be a part of that."

Jamie Hall praised Binwa and Idolo's family for their hard work and dedication, noting their commitment is a testament to Habitat For Humanity. Christina Falk highlighted the collaborative effort required to make such projects a reality, thanking volunteers and supporters who make these dreams possible.

"They've been working for quite a while on their 500 volunteer hours... and they're very excited to finally start. We are still fundraising for this build. Building costs have gone up a lot in the last couple of years. So we're still looking for some donations to come in," said Falk.

As construction begins, as Binwa and Idolo's family journey toward homeownership moves forward with the strong backing of their community. The completion of their new home will not only provide a secure and stable environment for Sofa, Esther, and Elisha but also stand as a testament to what can be achieved when a community comes together with compassion and determination.