Grade Six Student Uses Words To Build A Home

    Meaning of Home Contest Winner Believes A Helping Hand Makes Anything

    TORONTO, Feb. 9 /CNW/ - It was the childhood experience of his mother
that helped Jackson Topo define the meaning of home and turn the dream of
homeownership into reality for a deserving family.
    Jackson, a Grade 6 student from Mississauga, Ontario, won the grand prize
in the second annual "Meaning of Home" national writing contest sponsored by
Genworth Financial Canada in support of Habitat for Humanity Canada.
    Selected from over 2,000 submissions, Jackson's winning entry earned him
the ultimate prize: a $60,000 donation to build a Habitat for Humanity Home.
Jackson chose to donate the home to Sudbury - the community where his late
grandfather lived. In addition, Jackson received a new computer to help him
further develop his writing skills.
    It was his mother's own past that truly helped Jackson appreciate the
meaning of home: "When my mom was a child, she lived with her three siblings
and her mother. My granny was living on Social Assistance and my mom was often
jostled around from one house to another. At one point, she and her siblings
were sent to different foster homes. For a few months, they had to live in a
person's basement with no kitchen or bathroom of their own. My mother will
never forget these years of her life. Now that she is an adult, she truly
appreciates having a home."
    The Meaning of Home contest was incepted to raise awareness among
students on the importance of having a home. According to Habitat for Humanity
statistics, 4 million people are without affordable housing. By putting pen to
paper, students have the opportunity to express their feelings and make a
difference in their community.
    "Through the simple act of writing, the Meaning of Home contest provides
a young generation with a voice - a voice that helps provide families across
Canada with a home of their own," said Peter Vukanovich, President of Genworth
Financial Canada.
    From October 6 to November 14, 2008, students across Canada were invited
to submit a short story, poem or essay online, expressing their thoughts on
what "home" really means to them. Teachers were encouraged to download
education modules from to help bring the notion of
community giving into the classroom.
    Congratulations to the runners up: Jeremiah Votary (Grade 6) of Edmonton,
Alberta; Allandra Power (Grade 6) of Edmonton, Alberta; Michelle Stoopler
(Grade 5) of St. Laurent, Quebec; Ivana Brainerd (Grade 6) of Gloucester,
Ontario, and Jessica Jaikaran (Grade 4) of North York, Ontario.
    To read all the winning entries, and for more information about The
Meaning of Home Contest, please visit

    About Habitat for Humanity Canada:

    Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, non-profit, faith-based
organization working for a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to
live. The mission of the organization is to mobilize volunteers and community
partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means
to breaking the cycle of poverty. Habitat for Humanity Canada was founded in
1985, consists of over 35,000 volunteers and 72 affiliate organizations from
coast to coast, and is a member of Habitat for Humanity International which
spans 93 countries, has built over 300,000 homes, and is now building a new
home every 10 minutes.
    Additional information about Habitat for Humanity Canada is available at

    About Genworth Financial Canada:

    Our products help people make their dreams of home ownership come true.
At Genworth, we believe in delivering value to the communities where our
people live and work. Our partnerships with Habitat for Humanity and other
charitable initiatives are tangible ways to demonstrate our commitment to
affordable and accessible homeownership. In helping to build homes, we help to
build a brighter future for both our young people and for people in need.
Genworth Financial Canada, The Homeownership Company, works with lenders,
mortgage brokers, real estate agents and builders to make homeownership more
affordable and accessible throughout Canada.
    The company combines global experience in mortgage insurance with
technological and service leadership to deliver innovation to the mortgage
    Additional information about Genworth Financial Canada is available at or through mortgage lenders.

    About Genworth Financial:

    Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE:  GNW) is a leading Fortune 500 global
financial security company. Genworth has more than $100 billion in assets and
employs approximately 6,000 people with a presence in more than 25 countries.
Its products and services help meet the investment, protection, retirement and
lifestyle needs of more than 15 million customers. Genworth operates through
four segments: Retirement & Protection, US Mortgage Insurance, International
and Investments. Its products and services are offered through financial
intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors and sales specialists.
Genworth Financial, which traces its roots back to 1871, became a public
company in 2004 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For more
information, visit

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange interviews: Sherri Leclair,
Genworth Financial Canada, Marketing/Communications Leader, (905) 287-5408, or

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