Dear Habitat Greater Ottawa Supporter,
As a refugee from Burundi, I have fond memories of my childhood and miss many things about my home country. However, I knew I needed to leave in order to build a better life for myself and my family. I wanted my son, Asher, now five years old, to grow up in a safe, secure home filled with happiness and love.
I was thankful when I moved to Canada in 2006, but the living situation with my son was completely unsuitable. The home was not properly insulated, which made winters extremely cold. There were rats and uncovered electrical cords and outlets throughout the place. The neighbourhood was also unsafe, and I did not feel comfortable having Asher play outside. On top of these issues, the majority of my paycheque went towards rent and other home-related bills. It felt impossible for me as a single mom to save up enough to own a home. For a while, it seemed like this living situation was how it was going to be for us.
By chance, I learned about Habitat Greater Ottawa a few years ago. I was so intrigued I immediately started researching about this wonderful organization and decided to take a chance and apply. It was a long process, but during the summer of 2021, I found out I was accepted! I couldn’t believe it at first. I felt relieved, anxious and overjoyed all at once. I put my faith into Habitat for Humanity and now they put their faith into me.
I know we would not have been given such a significant opportunity if it weren’t for generous donors like you. There are many families, like mine, waiting for an opportunity to build a better life. I hope you will consider supporting Habitat Greater Ottawa this holiday season and help other local families like mine.
Through Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership Program, I completed all my volunteer hours as a single-parent family. Admittedly, I was stressed in the beginning as it was not easy to balance work, childcare and volunteering all during the ongoing pandemic. But, to my surprise it went smoothly thanks to the support of my friends, family, Habitat staff and volunteers.
On June 9, 2022, I received the keys to my Habitat home. I looked over at my son’s smiling face and knew I made the right decision. The cold winters in our old home, the hours spent building next to my fellow neighbours and Habitat volunteers, the nights I stayed up worrying about the future – it all led to this moment. Now I feel a sense of calm and relief.
I am relieved that I now have the financial stability to save for my son’s education and his extra-curricular activities like basketball, piano and summer camps. Asher now has his own space to focus on his studies and he’s so happy and proud of his new home! I am so thankful we are in a community where it’s safe for him to go out and play with other children. I now have the time to think about what I want in life, and I’m looking to pursue an MBA degree to further my career.
We are both very excited to have a community of supportive Habitat families around us. Each of these families’ stories are different, but we all came together for the same reason – to provide a better, brighter future for our children. Through your support, a single mom is now able to buy and own a home! I can now live the life I dreamed of years ago, thanks to you.
Cynthia, Habitat Homeowner
Your support goes even further this holiday season! All donations will be matched up to $25,000 thanks to our generous foundation partner. Use the donation form above and donate by December 31, 2022 to take advantage of this generous offer.