Girls Play House. Women Build Them.

Something just a little different is happening on the construction site of the newest Charleston Habitat home this week. Almost all the volunteers have been women. As part of a national campaign funded in part by Lowe’s Home Improvement, National Women Build Week not only encourages women to learn construction skills, it empowers women to take action against poverty housing conditions. Over 150 women have gathered all week at 5357 Sea Watch Lane in North Charleston to help Kenya build an affordable home financed by a Habitat for Humanity mortgage. And there's still one more day to go!

Longtime volunteer Susan Dukes helped organize one day of this year’s Women Build by bringing around 30 of her female co-workers at Ingevity to the site on Wednesday. They finished the subfloors and stood up the outer walls.

Dukes has volunteered with Charleston Habitat since joining her College of Charleston chapter in 2010, and is now the secretary of the Charleston Habitat Board of Directors. She has organized Ingevity’s Women Build for the past four years. “Women are more comfortable knowing that ton of other women are out there,” she said.

“I love the fact that it’s a hand up, not hand out,” she said, noting that Kenya is contributing 500 hours of her own effort to her own house, and to her three neighbors’ houses. In addition, Kenya will pay for the house through a no-interest mortgage.

National Women Build Week is a nationwide initiative developed in partnership with Lowe’s. This year, more than 17,000 women are expected to volunteer at 650 Habitat for Humanity construction sites across the country.

Interested in volunteering? More information at

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