Habitat For Humanity® Winnipeg - The Future Builders
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Habitat For Humanity® Winnipeg - The Future Builders
The e-Builder: Issue 25, 2011

Homeowner Profile: Jeffery and Rowena

Jeffery and Rowena both originate from the Philippines before calling Winnipeg their home. Jeffery came first in 2004 and lived with an Uncle as he found work. While in the Philippines, he worked as a sheet metal worker and Rowena at a bakery but with so many people fighting for jobs and severe overcrowding, the couple's plans of improving their life and having a family seemed better suited elsewhere.

Jeffery, Rowena and their children

Jeffery, Rowena and their children

In 2006, Jeffrey returned to the Philippines to marry Rowena and bring her with him to settle down and plan their future in Winnipeg. They moved into a tiny one bedroom suite above a furniture store with Rowena six months pregnant.

Presently, Jeffrey works as a painter and general labourer and Rowena looks after two toddlers. She tried working but with very little family in Winnipeg they had to pay for babysitters which basically cancelled any additional income. The family of four once again started to feel overcrowded but this time in their tiny one bedroom suite. They were frustrated and stressed as opportunities to improve their quality of living were not possible on Jeffrey's income. The suite was not well insulated and in the winter they had to buy portable heaters to maintain a bearable room temperature. The kids had nowhere nearby to go play as they all felt, cramped and isolated, basically trapped without any escape. This was not in their plans when they left the Philippines.

Still wanting to improve his family's life, Jeffery approached Habitat for Humanity after hearing relatives tell him about it in 2007. When the family was accepted in 2009 they were ecstatic at the opportunity of affordable home ownership and all that it would bring to their lives.

Like all Habitat Homeowners, Jeffrey and Rowena are most thrilled for the new found security, stability and room to grow for their two young children. They will all have their own bedrooms and a yard in which to play. The family will be neighbours to other new Habitat homeowners, giving them a sense of belonging to a community.

The freedom they feel by having more space, being able to decorate their home, barbeque in their back yard and be close to future schools for their children enables the family to relax and enjoy life. When the children are of school age, Rowena plans to work again to help plan for their children's future. For now, she can just relax and nurture her children at home while Jeffery goes to work feeling less stressed, knowing the plans for his family are finally falling into place.
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