Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Sask Polytech’s WITT program partners with SOFIA House to help women learn new skills

The garden box program teaches SOFIA House residents new skills including carpentry and growing their own food


May 30, 2018 – Sask Polytech’s Women in Trades and Technology (WITT) program and Regina’s SOFIA House have teamed up to help women in need learn new skills by building and planting four garden boxes. The boxes, made largely from wooden pallets donated by the Regina Food Bank, will be installed on the SOFIA House property and will be used to help grow healthy organic food for SOFIA House residents.

“We had ten women involved in the project, including one mother and daughter team,” says Jessica Baldwin, provincial facilitator for the Sask Polytech WITT program. “The women who participated learned some basic carpentry skills, including how to use power tools. All who participated should be proud of what they have built; they did a great job! This is a great partnership for Sask Polytech.”

By working together, women and their children who have experienced domestic violence are given an opportunity to grow their confidence as they work to build a new life.

“Building the garden boxes has been an empowering experience for the women. It has enabled them to learn new life skills and collaboratively work as a team, while building their confidence and self-esteem,” says Kirsten Kraus, family program coordinator at SOFIA House. “These positive impacts have been expressed by the women through their excitement, gratitude and feelings of accomplishment throughout the project. We are very grateful for all of the help and support from Sask Polytech’s WITT program.”

Over four sessions WITT taught women about safety, how to take measurements and how to use power tools. Volunteers from several trades shared their time and expertise, including women from Build Together.

SOFIA House is a second stage housing facility that provides safe housing and support for families trying to escape violent homes. Through our on-site counseling services and housing capabilities we live the meaning of SOFIA: Support Of Families In Affliction.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 28,000 distinct students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.

Sofia House