Meaning of Home Winner Donates $60,000 to Habitat for Humanity

By: Daniel Rattanamahattana on January 30, 2013

Chaamindri Fernando wrote about what a home means to her in the sixth annual Meaning of Home contest.  The 11 year old girl from Winnipeg wrote the winning essay in Genworth Canada’s yearly elementary school writing contest in which children across Canada submit their essays about the true meaning of home.  As the winner, Chaamindri got to decide where a $60,000 Habitat for Humanity donation will be made.

The Meaning of Home contest began in 2007, and allows children in Grades 4 through 6 to write about what they consider to be the true meaning of home.  This year’s contest featured over 5,000 essays from students across Canada, and Genworth Canada donated $5 for every child who entered the contest to Habitat for Humanity.  Over the last six years, the Meaning of Home has resulted in Genworth Canada donating nearly $570,000 to over 30 Habitat for Humanity branches across the country.

Habitat for Humanity COO Mark Rodgers says many of the children who enter the contest come from homes that are less than ideal, yet they are determined to help others who are less fortunate.

Each year, the Meaning of Home contest demonstrates the passion of today's youth in ensuring that all children have a good place to call home at the end of the day.”

Chaamindri decided to donate the $60,000 to the Manitoba Habitat for Humanity project.  The young writer narrowly edged out 5 other runners-up, who each got to donate $5,000 to a Habitat of Humanity project of their choice.  As a result, Habitat for Humanity branches all across Canada benefitted from the Meaning of Home contest.

“I share a room with my brother but I should have my own.  He always makes a mess.  But I changed my mind when I knew you slept on road side benches shivering in the cold, sometimes wet in the rain…”