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Build a House, Build a Home

Build a House, Build a Home

Build a House, Build a Home


Money donated covered the construction of 100 houses
Our Village is Realised


Mission Statement

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.


What Prompted this Project?

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.


Sustainable Community

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. Sustainable Community

Meet the Locals

The local beneficiries of the project are residents of Capinahan, Lemery, Iloilo. They will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Extent of atrocity encountered and impact on family unit.
  • Is not a recipient of any housing assistance from the government or non-government organization, either local or international.
  • Do not have the financial capability to re-build the destroyed house.
  • Norman and Genaro are Rosario Sanico’s brothers. They live in Lemery and both lost their home in Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. When Greg heard the news from Rosario that her brothers and their families had lost everything he immediately decided to help. The Greg Secker Foundation was immensely proud to provide them both with new homes.
  • Sabet was born into an indigenous tribal family called the Ati in Barangay Yawyawan Lemery. The Ati were one of the first inhabitants of the Philippines thought to have arrived from Borneo 20,000 – 30,000 years ago. Sabet married a local man in Lemery, which was unusual for tribal people. There is a perception that tribal people are uncivilised and Sabet had a difficult time fitting into the community. Sabet has never had any education, she is not sure how old she is. Sabet and her husband had six children, two boys and four girls. Sabet worked really hard to help sustain the family’s daily needs, she would spend the day working on the farm with her husband whilst caring for her young children. Sadly, Sabet’s husband became an alcoholic and would often beat Sabet and her children. Her husband also attempted to rape his daughters. Sabet made a brave decision to leave. This is when Sabet and her children moved to Capinahan to start a new life and protect her family. Sabet worked as a housekeeper to a few families in the town and at the same time was a farm labourer. She believes she earns 100 pesos per day about $1.50 but she cannot count the money she is given. Sabet could not afford for her children to go to school, although public schools are free there are still miscellaneous fees. Her children are teased by other children in the village. When the typhoon struck Sabet and her children lost their shanty shelter. This was devastating to them. They have rebuilt a shelter using wreckage from the typhoon but when it rains it leaks. They cook outside amongst 3 rocks and have no toilet. They have barely enough food to survive and all the children are working as farm labourers. Sabet’s only wish is to keep her family safe.
  • Fatima’s StoryWhilst in the Philippines, Greg met an eight year old girl named Fatima who had been living with a debilitating cancerous growth on the side of her hip. Fatima’s parents told Greg how she could not go to school because she was bullied by other children. Greg was so moved by her bravery and determination that he organized for Fatima to have surgery to remove the growth. After the surgery Greg visited Fatima to see her progress and was delighted to see a very happy smiling girl who would now have the chance of a happier childhood and most importantly the courage to go back to school. Fatima’s father was overjoyed and the best news is that Fatima’s family are one of the beneficiaries of the build a house project.

The Project Plan

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!

The village construction consists of 6 key phases:

  • Land clearance
  • Earthworks
  • Roadworks
  • Utilities and drainage
  • Housing construction
  • Community area construction including skills training centre.

Build a House, Build a Home

Phase 2 – Plans of The Training Centre

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