The Greg Secker Foundation is committed to creating a thriving community for victims of the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan that struck and devastated the municipality of Lemery in the Philippines. Called the Greg Secker Foundation Village, the project will build over one hundred permanent homes with full access to utilities and essential life preserving services, but also goes much further by providing advanced life and career skills based education.
Super typhoon Haiyan, locally named Yolanda made hit on 8 November 2013. The typhoon affected an estimated 14 million people, resulted in 6,183 deaths, 28,626 injuries, and the displacement of over 4 million people. Half a million homes were completely destroyed. Greg Secker’s family friend is Rosario Sanico from Lemery, her family including her two brothers, Norman and Genaro, live in the town. They both lost their homes and livelihood in the typhoon. Witnessing the utter devastation suffered by Rosario’s family Greg immediately decided to help. The Greg Secker Foundation was immensely proud to provide them both with new homes. Greg and Rosario visited the town to hand over the keys and welcome the families into their new homes, it was an incredible experience for all involved.
During his trip to Lemery, Greg realised that there was much more work to be done in this region. Two years after Haiyan struck the residents of Lemery have not yet recovered from the tragedy. With limited funds, the houses destroyed by the super typhoon were not rebuilt and most villagers are now sadly living in shanties or temporary shelters constructed from the basic materials salvaged from their destroyed houses it is a desperate situation. Of course these temporary homes are at risk from further typhoons.
One of the most important aspects of this project is community. This project is not simply about building new houses but is about creating a sense of community and security amongst the local beneficiaries. In order to do this we felt it was important to understand what sustainable community means to the beneficiaries. We therefore put together a research group to approach the local people and find out what is really important to them. We are also working closely with department of agriculture and department of social welfare to create a programme of skills base training that will help the community to have consistent income.
The local beneficiries of the project are residents of Capinahan, Lemery, Iloilo. They will be selected based on the following criteria:
With the help of a number local residents in Lemery including student engineers and architects, Rosario and the Foundation team have created a fantastic and challenging plan to build the new village. Of course the one thing you need when starting a property development is land and we happened to be quite fortunate in that respect. Rosario has kindly donated 5 acres of her own land in Lemery on which the village will be built. Thank you Rosario!