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She believed she could, so she did.

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Last weekend, we launched the Wahine Build youth workshop series – a pilot program to share the spirit of Wahine Build with the next generation of Hawaii’s women leaders.

Hosted in partnership with Malama Honua Charter School and led by the Wahine Build Committee Education Team, these workshops provide hands-on training and a supportive learning environment where girls are free to step outside their comfort zone and try something new.

Youth Workshop #1: Chicken Coops

On Saturday, we held our first workshop with girls in grades 6-8 at Hui Malama O Ke Kai in Waimanalo. Their project? Building chicken coops! The coops will be donated to Ke Kula Nui O Waimanalo, a nonprofit focused on growing self-sustainability for families in Waimanalo.

All photos were captured by our talented volunteer photographer Wrenn Okada. 


As we do at the start of every Habitat build day, we began the morning with a safety briefing and tool demonstration. After putting on our hard hats, gloves and eye protection, we got to work constructing the coops!

Following customized build plans for the prefabricated coops, students self-directed the project with support from staff and volunteers from the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Hawaii Chapter and Layton Construction.

As the morning progressed and the coops began to take shape, excitement grew. By the time we installed the last piece of hardware everyone was smiling ear-to-ear. One volunteer overheard a student to her friend: “We built this. Can you even believe it?”

After celebrating their success and taking plenty of pictures, we gathered for a final reflection. Wahine Build committee member, Melissa Humphrey, shared her experience working as a Project Manager for Layton Construction. “For the first two years, I was the only woman on the job site among 100 men,” Melissa told them, “I felt very out of place.” She ended by sharing the personal mantra that got her through those moment of doubt and fear:

She believed she could, so she did.

About Wahine Build

Bringing together women from across Oahu, Wahine Build is an annual initiative to mobilize, educate and empower women to build affordable homes with Honolulu Habitat for Humanity. 

Women are disproportionately underrepresented on Habitat’s build sites. Whether for lack of training or gender bias, they account for only 30% of construction volunteers.

Wahine Build offers hands-on training and a comfortable learning environment to help women succeed in changing their communities. 

Donate to Wahine Build.


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