The mothers of the village are starting up a little business! Pickled Papaya. They spent the day watching and learning the best way to cook this and then with a capital of 1,000 Philippine pesos, which equates to approx £15 they cooked, packed and then sold their produce to teachers, visitors and even the nearby village!
The results were fantastic with them making money on their first venture! Well done to you all. The next batch will be ready soon so watch this space…… Pickled Papaya from the Greg Secker Foundation Village could be on our supermarket shelves!!
We’d love to ask you, our followers to send us your ideas for a brand/logo for our Pickled Papaya! Please message us on: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
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The GSF village holds its first Saturday class for the children!
Last weekend it was a very busy day for everyone in the village. It was our first Saturday class for the children. Deans and Professors as well as Students, attended from Central Philippine University (College of Education and College of Hospitality Management) to teach the children. They brought school supplies which included notebooks, pens, paper, crayons, eraser and pencil. These classes will now run every other Saturday at the village.
Classes were grouped from Kinder, Grade 1&2, Grade 3&4 and Grade 5&6. Some of the houses were used as temporary classrooms for the children. The parents were given vital roles during the day. In each class group there were three parents in charge to look after the children and help with school work, play time and snack time. Parents were also in charge of the cleaning before and after the class!
Practicum students from the College of Education conducted the Diagnostic Test exam at every level, so that they can gain an idea on where to start or base their data, and also what subject areas that children most excel in or need tutorial in.
On the other side of the village, the College of Hospitality Management conducted FGD (Focus Group Discussion) to 25 mothers. They discussed hygiene and sanitation with them and gave them some valuable advice. They also took the height and weight of all children to determine the Body Mass Index of every child and to record a data to to find out what children are malnourished or need health assistance.
At the end of the day, to show their appreciation, the beneficiaries brought their produce and gave it to the teachers in exchange for showing how grateful they were for what they had done for their children.
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The Materials Recovery Facility is all up and running……
The beneficiaries have had another productive week – the men have completed the MRF and the women have been busy planting plants around the village.
The MRF is just another way to encourage our beneficiaries to be environmentally friendly. The Materials Recovery Facility is where the rubbish is segregated. Plastic, tin and glass containers can now be split up correctly. The Plastic bottles and glass bottles can either be stored and sold to scrap facilities or they can be used in the village for decorations and school projects.
Some LGU’s (Local Government Units) have their own ordinance that every City or Town has to have their own MRF to help reduce the problems in collecting rubbish and to minimise pollution. In Lemery, there is a contest on beautification using recyables such as plastic, cans and paper. Once our families move into the houses they will be able to take part in this, not only to gain extra money for their rubbish but to save the environment.
Every day, our beneficiaries are busy, here we can see the women planting nice plants to make the village look beautiful. There is plenty of rain at the moment so they will grow well over the next few months.
The weekly lunches still continue, this week they sat under the Mango tree. It is becoming the high light of the week as every group is preparing a special dish to be shared by all. This week’s menu was a mix of fresh vegetables; pumpkin and lady finger. The construction workers are also now invited to share the feast!
Work has begun on the kitchen extensions. These will be known as “dirty kitchens” and will be for the use of cooking with wood or charcoal. It is unsafe to cook inside the house because of the smoke, so these extensions are essential to the beneficiaries.
Last weekend our male beneficiaries had the chance to help and observe how the kitchen extension is made, so they are able to work on these with the foreman taking the lead and helping them.
The ovens used in the kitchens are called eco-KALAN which can be a portable stove made of clay consisting of three components: the outer shell (kalan) on which the cooking pot sits; the inner chamber (rocket elbow) where the combustion takes place; and a shelf with air holes to hold the fuel. The space between the kalan and the combustion chamber is filled with wood ash for insulation.
What a great way to cook! I guess our version here in the UK, is the barbecue!
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Another busy week in the village – an update from DR our Project Coordinator and Alya our Social Worker.
With just the windows and doors being put on the 50-60th houses and a lick of paint, we really are over half way! Its all very exciting, and to be starting the land preparation for houses 61-70 means we are on track to be finished this year.
Slope protection work still continues as the rains come, but we now have storm drainage systems in place to catch the water and make sure it funnels away in the right direction, to the bottom of the village!
DR tells us that work has also begun on the internal roads and he is just finalising the paper work with the engineers for the safety rails around the slope protection.
Alya’s week has been busy too! She tells us that the village feels alive and that the beneficiaries are loving helping each other fulfil their tasks with each group taking it in turns with the cooking rota. It is up to the group what they prepare and serve and the less money they spend the better. Most of their produce is from the gardens which are flourishing with all the rain! Last weekend, their menu was bamboo shoots with fresh coconut milk with fried dried fish and fresh salad of bittergourd and fresh tomatoes. It sounds and looks not only delicious but very healthy too!
The beneficiaries have continued planting with the vegetable gardens too. In the picture below they are building a frame for the bitter gourd (also known as bitter melon) to grow up. Bitter Gourd is a unique vegetable / fruit as it is beneficial as both a medicine and food.
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Steve Rae meets Fatima who received a life saving operation a couple of years ago.
Two years ago, Greg Secker our Founder, met an eight year old girl called Fatima. She had been living with a debilitating cancerous grown on the side of her hip. Fatima’s parents told Greg that she could not go to school because Fatima was being bullied by the other children. Greg was so moved by her bravery and determination that he organised 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.
Two years have now passed and in this video Steve Rae catches up with Fatima and her father.
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Steve Rae gives us an overview of slope protection and water drainage at the village.
On Monday 12th June we celebrated the 119th Philippines Independence Day, in partnership with Learn to Trade. Celebrations were held worldwide in Learn to Trade offices in the UK, South Africa, Australia and the Philippines.
Traditional Filipino Dancers from The Lahing Kayumanggi Dance Company came to the Learn to Trade London offices at lunch time, and put on a spectacular display of dance. Employees were then encouraged to ‘have a go’! Well done team – great effort.
Traditional Filipino food was then served at lunch, all prepared and cooked by Rosario. There were a lot of empty plates and empty serving dishes! Thank you Rosario it was delicious.
Thank you to our Learn to Trade offices all over the world for putting on such great events and celebrating with us a very important day for the Philippines.
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The Vegetable Gardens in the village are taking shape.
With 60 houses now complete, it really is not long now before our beneficiaries are ready to move in. With this in mind, Alya, our social worker rallied the beneficiaries together and has set them some weekly gardening duties. She has told us that the atmosphere is fantastic and the beneficiaries are so excited about maintaining their gardens and the prospect of harvesting them too!
Every Saturday and Sunday the beneficiaries come together to work on their gardens. The fathers (and even some children helped) started with cultivating the land, adding some compost made of hay and animal manure to make sure that the soil was rich and full of nutrients.
A fantastic variety of vegetables and fruit bearing trees such as tomato, ladyfinger, squash, bitter gourd, red chill, eggplant, sweet potato, ginger, pineapple, sugarcane, papaya and banana trees have been planted. The garden is a fantastic project to help them reduce their food costs in the future. It is all about sustainability!
Every week each group is assigned to cook a meal for the others. They were sharing their packed lunches to those that did not have any so decided that this was a better way of making sure that everyone gets to eat together. What a fantastic community spirit.
And as one of our beneficiaries said, “Eat Healthy Meals for a Longer Life”.
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The Lahing Kayumanggi Dance Company host an event in Marylebone.
On Saturday 3rd June, Rosario & Abi from The Greg Secker Foundation in partnership with Learn to Trade, attended a spectacular dance show, Panata (Oath), hosted by the Lahing Kayumanggi Dance Company, and directed by the very talented Ronnie Del Barrio, at The Cockpit in Marylebone.
The Lahing Kayumanggi Dance Company promote Filipino cultural heritage through music song and dance, and this particular event was the Company’s 23rd anniversary production. This was to Celebrate and honour 119 years of Filipino independence, that will be celebrated on 12th June.
The stunning performance told a story, with each dance presenting a different area of Filipino culture; from dances depicting fun traditional games, to courtship and a wedding. The costumes and props in the performances were particularly spectacular. There were beautifully made lit candles in glasses used as props, which were then balanced on the ladies heads.
Rosario and Abi had the pleasure of meeting the UK Ambassador of the Philippines, Antonio M Lagdameo and Carl Ellis the Marketing and Business Development Director for Philippine Airlines.
Left to right: Abi Hindle, UK Ambassador of the Philippines Antonio M Lagdameo, Rosario Sanico and Ronnie Del Barrio.
We are incredibly proud to support such an amazingly talented group of people, and we look forward to the next event.
We run fun and exciting events around the world with our partners Learn to Trade, Capital Index and SmartCharts to raise money and transform the lives of hundreds. Your small act of generosity can make a big impact.