New Habitat for Humanity president hopes to continue forward momentum

Tyler Clarke
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Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert’s new president Duane Hayunga, left, is seen with outgoing president Morris Sawchuk during their last meeting together last week, during which Hayunga claimed the top position. 

Expanding drastically under the leadership of president Morris Sawchuk, Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert is poised well for further expansion.


During a recent annual general meeting, Duane Hayunga became the organization’s new president, vowing to usher in further growth.

“There’s no reason why we can’t build more homes and cultivate those partnerships with donors,” he said after claiming presidency.

“The need, out there, never goes away in Prince Albert, as with other communities throughout the country.”

After passing the presidency on to Hayunga, who’d been groomed from his vice-presidency position to take on the top job, Sawchuk said that he’d done what he could for the organization.

“You can’t be the one that does everything forever,” Sawchuk said. “Life has to go on and new ideas and new people should come on.

“I knew that it was time to move on because I’ve found that there were things that were upsetting me that should probably not upset me.”

With the organization’s monumental growth over the past 10 years in which Sawchuk has been involved -- the last seven of which as president -- he began taking on more roles.

Serving as executive director and chair/president of the organization has proven too much, he said, noting that he’s reached a comfortable end to his tenure as president.

“We’ve brought this thing to a certain level, and now this new group -- through restructuring and new personnel -- will take it to the next level.”

Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert is currently on the search for an executive director, Hayunga said, agreeing with Sawchuk’s vision of firming up the staffing situation.

Finding a good executive director will be key to further expansion, Hayunga said, noting that with every Habitat for Humanity home they build they receive more year-long work.

The need, out there, never goes away in Prince Albert, as with other communities throughout the country. Duane Hayunga

By the end of the year, they anticipate having 27 homes under their Habitat for Humanity model, in Prince Albert, Nipawin, Duck Lake and Melfort.

“There’s 27 families and you’ve got to administer all of the mortgages with the partnership agreements,” Hayunga explained.

It’s phenomenal what leadership has been able to do so far without an executive director, he said, noting that there are Habitat for Humanity organizations in cities much larger than Prince Albert that only manage one or two builds per year.

This year, the local organization is building seven -- four in Prince Albert and one each in Melfort, Nipawin and Duck Lake.

Looking at things as they currently stand, Sawchuk said that he’s satisfied with the organization he’s passing on to Hayunga and a new board of directors.

“There’s tremendous potential for Habitat P.A. -- there’s not doubt in my mind,” Sawchuk said.

“They can double their build capacity if they structure themselves properly, but we need to have the facilities in place and the building plan in place and the proper staffing in place to accomplish that.”

Sawchuk said that his own future with the organization is in the air.

“That’s one thing about me -- I always have other plans,” he said. “Regardless of where I’m at, Habitat will be in my life.”

Organizations: Habitat for Humanity

Geographic location: Duck Lake, Melfort

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