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Media Release: Angie And Jess Help Build Habitat For Humanity Houses In Thailand

The families who will now live in the three Habitat for Humanity houses worked alongside the Cigna building teams. This really drove home to Jess and Angie how all the heavy lifting and laying of concrete that they were doing would dramatically change these families’ lives. “It was very emotional when the keys were handed over to the families at the end of the building work,” said Angie. “The family who will live in the house that I helped to build had a little baby. Knowing that the baby would grow up in this house, come home from school and do homework there, maybe fall in love in this house was pretty amazing.”

Jess said that the families were very hard working, motivated people, who actively participated in the build process. “One of the homeowners of the house that I worked on had remarkable strength - she was carrying bricks and laying concrete all day long, and all with a smile on her face. Seeing her positivity and strength kept us going through the long, hot days. Up until the house was built, she and her family were living in a garden hut and had to use their neighbour’s bathroom and kitchen.”

Angie and Jess were chosen to take part in this year’s initiative because of the work they do in the local community outside of their day jobs. Angie volunteers at Wellington City Council events, has helped out at the Maori Art festival, and carries out litter pick-ups and tree planning with her local conservation group. Jess is a volunteer facilitator and mentor for ‘Schools Out’, an LGBT support group for teens in Wellington, Hutt and Kapiti. She is also volunteers for the Wellington Soup Kitchen and with InsideOUT - an organisation that works with whanau, schools, and communities to make NZ a safer place for all people of diverse genders and sexualities.

Cigna NZ CEO, Lance Walker was very supportive of Angie and Jess travelling to Thailand to help build the three houses. “Angie and Jess are great ambassadors to represent Cigna and New Zealand at this Habitat for Humanity house build initiative. They embody what we value in our team at Cigna - high achieving employees who go above and beyond both at work and in their local communities.”

Meet the three families who each received a Habitat for Humanity House.