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Women in Wood for the Greater Good: An Inspiring Sustainable Forestry Initiative Project

women in wood

Here’s a cool project happening across the border in Canada that we hope will catch on here, too: the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has joined forces with a team of women builders to construct homes for families in need of affordable housing. Working with Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa (Habitat GO), the second ‘Women in Wood’ build day kicked off on August 15th with a goal of completing four townhomes by the end of the year. Another 12 homes will be finished over the next two years.

Spearheaded by Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the project will transform the lives of four Ottawa families, including an indigenous single mother of a four-year-old boy who moved to Ottawa from Nunavut. SFI also lead an Indigenous Build Day and Youth Build Day on the Habitat GO site in August. Indigenous Build is an ongoing effort to create opportunities for Indigenous families through affordable homeownership through Habitat for Humanity Canada’s Indigenous Housing Program.

A diverse team of SFI volunteers and Ottawa women from diverse fields came together to work on the project.

“SFI is passionate about responsibly sourced forest products being put to projects that improve our quality of life. To be able to participate with one of our closest partners, Habitat for Humanity GO, on a project that elevates the role of women in inspiring change while providing affordable housing to several families, including an Indigenous family, is simply a win-win-win,” said Kathy Abusow, SFI’s President and CEO. “If we can play even a small role in addressing a significant societal challenge – that of affordable housing, including Indigenous housing in Canada – then this is a very positive thing!”

“SFI has demonstrated tremendous community leadership through this partnership with Habitat GO and their commitment to Habitat for Humanity Canada’s Indigenous Housing Program,” says Alexis Ashworth, Habitat GO’s CEO. “We are incredibly grateful for SFI’s financial support, donated products from responsible sources and partner volunteerism, which will change the life of an Indigenous family in Ottawa forever.”


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