Steve Rae volunteers his time and energy to the Foundation Village.

Steve Rae volunteers his time and energy to the Foundation Village.

This week (1st – 7th June) is the beginning of Volunteer week. Steve Rae is an amazing example of volunteering his time and energy to the Foundation and we ask you all to take the time over the week, to help in your chosen way. Whether it is offering your help to us, or your preferred charity, volunteering work is valuable to us all, and very much appreciated.

Here are a few words from Steve about his experience volunteering at our village.

“My first impression of the Greg Secker Foundation village was WOW, and that view became more impressive over the next few days.

The villagers were absolutely lovely people. They were warm and friendly, and incredibly excited about the project – they LOVED Greg Secker, not only for his generosity in funding the project, but his personal touch when he visits the site, and they spoke about him with a huge amount of hope and excitement in their eyes.

In my time with Learn to Trade (Sydney) I had been moved by the update videos on the village with the heart warming stories of local people who will benefit from the generosity of the Greg Secker Foundation. It was just amazing to have the opportunity to meet these people myself, and to hear their stories face to face, …especially young Fatima who received a life changing operation to remove a large tumour. She is now the happiest girl in town and catching up on her school work. She is already enjoying a better and brighter future thanks to the Greg Secker Foundation.

The building site looked very challenging, …beginning with virgin land in the foothills outside a remote village with no infra-structure or utilities only months ago – the project team and contractors had already done a great job in completing 50 houses. There is some urgency to complete the remaining site infrastructure (slope protection, drainage channels and internal roads) before the on coming wet season.

My role was to provide some engineering support to the Project Team, and I had the opportunity to meet with the local engineers to discuss the detail design for the slope protection. The main area of focus being an almost vertical escarpment over 10m in height, which required a substantial retaining wall to prevent the subsidence of 6 houses that would be built on the higher level. How can you resist a technical challenge like that!!

I learned during my visit that this project is not just about providing a home to 100 families, but the Greg Secker Foundation genuinely wants to create a better future and change their lives. This vision is backed up by many initiatives, including a training facility at the village for greater employment prospects. This has to be the gold standard in rebuilding a village!!

My visit to the village as a volunteer was very rewarding and I am definitely keen to contribute further to this Foundation that is making such a difference to peoples lives.”



Alya our Social Worker, organises a General Assembly at the Village.

Alya our Social Worker, organises a General Assembly at the Village.

Last weekend, our Social Worker, Alya organised a General Assembly at the Village. 

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The aim of the assembly was to: 

  1. Introduce Alya as the new Social Worker for the beneficiaries.
  2. Form core groups within the beneficiaries to facilitate easy access to them.
  3. Give each group areas of responsibility within the community.
  4. Announce increase of  hours to 650 per family over the year. (This is the beneficiaries way of working in the village without any pay so they feel they have earned the house through their hard work. They can do any work that is available in the village.) Once the houses are complete and they move in, they have to start maintaining the houses as the official owners. 

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After the assembly finished, games were organised for the children; Longest line and Music stop game. Even the parents enjoyed the games!


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Steve Rae a qualified Engineer from Sydney, visits the village and whilst there meets one of our beneficiaries.

Steve Rae a qualified Engineer from Sydney, visits the village and whilst there meets one of our beneficiaries.

Steve Rae became involved with the Foundation, through a ‘Learn to Trade Business and Entrepreneur Conference’ in Sydney. He started trading with Learn to Trade and a year later at a Tradeathon met Greg. Greg spoke about the Foundation and the problems they were having with regards to the heavy rainfall and slope protection.

Steve Looking at site

With a background in engineering, Steve offered to visit the site and with his expertise advise us on how best to approach the problem. It was while he was visiting the village that he met one of our beneficiaries Sabet and learnt of her story. 

 Steve Rae Interview Sabet and Fatima

Please watch our video on the Foundation Facebook page to hear what Steve had to say.


The Greg Secker Foundation Village feature on ‘Rated K’ TV show.

The Greg Secker Foundation Village feature on ‘Rated K’ TV show.

In January 2017, whilst Greg was visiting the Philippines, he appeared on ‘Rated K’ with Korina Sanchez. She was very taken in by the scale of the project and the work that Greg and his Foundation team had taken on. “Building 100 homes in the vicinity of Lemery, was just incredible.”

Greg secker front on 

“Stills taken from the Rated K TV Show”

Greg Secker supported

Five months later, Rated K asked to visit the site to see first hand the progress of the construction of the houses. A film crew arrived and spent a couple of days filming. They even got to stay overnight in one of the completed houses!


With 50 homes now complete, it is really beginning to look like a village. The Greg Secker Foundation Village!

Thank you Greg Secker

To watch the video please visit the Foundation’s Facebook page. Thank you.


We welcome our newest member to the Greg Secker Foundation: Ms. Alya J. Araez.

We welcome our newest member to the Greg Secker Foundation: Ms. Alya J. Araez.

We would like to welcome our newest member to the Greg Secker Foundation team, Ms. Alya J. Araez.   


Ms. Alya joins us as our Social Worker and will be based at the Greg Secker Foundation Village. She will act as our lead community organiser and carry out the phases and activities in the community.  She will also develop and implement skills training and other relevant activities for the growth and empowerment of the beneficiaries living in the community.

Ms. Alya is the main point of contact for all our beneficiaries and will deal with any issues or concerns that they might have.

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We are thrilled to have her on board as I am sure the beneficiaries are too! We look forward to working with you Ms. Alya. 



Learn to Trade Manila Employees, Volunteer at the Foundation Village.

Learn to Trade Manila Employees, Volunteer at the Foundation Village.

Corporate Social Responsibility is very important to Greg Secker, (CEO of Learn to Trade, Smart Charts, FX Capital and the Founder of The Greg Secker Foundation). All employees are encouraged to participate with Corporate Social Responsibility whether it is though the Tradeathon Fundraising Events held regularly across all regions, or volunteering on site at the village.

Learn to Trade Manila employees stepped up last weekend and are the first region to visit the site this year. 14 employees arrived on site from the city and were set to work by DR, our project coordinator!

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The first task was to begin with tree planting; 40 seedlings of the Jackfruit tree were planted. Our future plans are for the village to be as sustainable as possible so planting these trees which produce between 100-200 fruits a year will be a great source of fresh produce for the beneficiaries.

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The flavour of the fruit is described as tasting of a combination of pineapple, apple, mango and banana and after roasting the seeds these can be used as an alternative to chocolate! The flesh of the jackfruit is starchy and fibrous and a great source of dietary fiber.


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The team then decided to split into boys and girls with the girls doing some landscaping….

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… and the boys deciding to help with construction work on the houses. However, it didn’t take long though for the girls to go and watch the boys and then join in with the construction!

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Thank you to “Team Manila” for your valuable help.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact one of our team on


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Medical Mission held at the Maud Chapel Clinic.

Medical Mission held at the Maud Chapel Clinic.

Nearly a year has passed since The Greg Secker Foundation built the “Maud Chapel Clinic”, named after Greg’s Paternal Grandmother, who herself was an orphan with Dr Barnados.

John Secker with Maud Chapel Plaque

John Secker (Greg’s father)

The Maud Chapel Clinic was built for The House of Refuge Foundation, which is an orphanage run by Glady Quindoza Bunao.

The House of Refuge Foundation is already in its 26th year of service to children who are abandoned, neglected, orphaned or abused. They currently house 37 children but over 1000 children have passed through the Foundation since starting up.  Many of the children who have already left,  have either been adopted by christian families, reunited to their relatives or are now living independently and are working.

Last Friday was a non-working holiday in Metro Manila because of the ASEAN Summit week. However, the Clinic was busy and full of children of all ages from 4 – 17 years as it was being used for the scheduled medical/health consultations and check ups.



The children were seen by Doctor Calaveras who volunteered her time to see the children.  Each child filled in a health assessment form and was then weighed and checked by DR Calaveras for any health issues. 



Glady and her staff are doing a wonderful job looking after these abandoned children and we ask you all too, to offer your support, and help these children who deserve the best. 

Board Meetings, TV Crews – all in a weeks work!

Board Meetings, TV Crews – all in a weeks work!

Board Meetings, TV Crews, Construction Work, Decorating, Gardening …. It’s all been happening over the last couple of weeks!

The Greg Secker Foundation, ‘Philippines Board Meeting’ was held on the 15th April, and with the help of technology was held by video conference between London and the Foundation Village. Attending the meeting in London was Greg Secker, our President, Amy Leveson-Gower, Abi Hindle, Rosario Sanico, Hannah Gibson and attending from the village was DR Sanico, Sarah Jeane P Cardona standing in for Atty Francisco B Figura, Glady Bunao, Tomas Laurea and Edwin Beria.


A lot was discussed about the progress of the building work, slope protection, the rehabilitation of the overflow, the water system, drainage system, sewage system and landscaping. Our main focuses for the future are:  how can we make our village an ‘Green Eco Friendly Village’ and how do we become as sustainable as we can?


Thank you to the board for attending this meeting – a lot was discussed and we feel huge progress has been made.

DR Sanico is hitting the big screen this weekend too! In January this year, Arma Bacar from Rated K, interviewed Greg about the village and his Philanthropic work building an entire village here in the Philippines.  To follow up this story they asked to come to the site to film the halfway mark of building 50 homes and interview some of the beneficiaries. Unfortunately Greg was unable to be on site this week due to prior work commitments so DR gracefully stepped in!  

Norman and Genaro were both interviewed about their experience during the Typhoon in 2013 and how they feel now, having been given a house since the tragedy.



The buzz of having a TV crew on site soon had our beneficiaries out and about  in front of the camera!


The programme will be aired this Sunday on ABS-CBN Channel 2. Stay tuned to find out what time…..

Where is the Greg Secker Foundation Village based?

Where is the Greg Secker Foundation Village based?

Many of you follow us and read about the progress of our Build a House Build a Home project, but how many of you actually know where it is based and what goes on in the local area?

Here are a few interesting facts to give you an idea …

The Philippines is an archipelago bounded by the Pacific Ocean. To the East the Bashi Channel, to the North the Sulu and to the South the Celebes Seas.

The Philippines are made up of 7,107 islands in a magical corner of the world. They are divided into three regions – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.


The Luzon Islands include Luzon, Palawan, Mindora, Marinduque, Masbate, Romblon, Catanduanes, Batanes and Polilio.

The Visayas is the group of island in the central Philippines, the largest of which are Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Samar, Siquijor, Biliran and Guimaras.

The Mindanao islands include Dinagat, Siargao, Camiguin, Samal plus the Sulu archipelago composing primarily of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Some islands have become bustling cosmopolitan cities, such as Manila, the city of Cebu and Davao, while others are more remote and tropical.

The Greg Secker Foundation Village is located on the Panay Island, approximately 1 ½ – 2 hours from Iloilo City and 4k from Lemery Town, which has a population of approximately 40,000 people.

The village is part of the Barangay Capinahan, which is part of the town of Lemery and is located in the northern part of the province of Iloilo. It is one of the towns in the 5th district of this province.

The municipality was named after the Spanish Governor, General Jose Lemery e Ilbarrol Ney y Gonzalez. During the early part of the 18th century, adventurous settlers from Taai were attracted to the vast plain near the shores of Balayan Bay because of its abundance in fish and other marine life. Salting and drying fish became their major occupation.

Nowadays Lemery’s economic growth depends mainly on each agricultural sector. It posses a vast and rich area best suited for agricultural. It has the biggest bulk deposits of white clay for the ceramic industry as well as traces of copper, iron, gold and other metallic minerals.


Rice Fields


The farmers of Lemery provide a rich harvest of rice, corn and sugar cane that is beneficial to not only the residents of Lemery but also to other municipalities.

A festival known as the Saug Festival is held every year. This features eight districts portraying different situations or scenes on the real purpose of Saug. Saug is a local term, which means to transfer wood and other farm products from one place to another by means of Karosa.

Saug festival water buffalo

Lemery’s climate is classified as tropical. February to May is classed as warm, June to November cool and the coldest months being December to January. The Philippines only have two seasons with the average temperatures being 27.3C and an annual rainfall of 1775mm per year.

Our Project Coordinator, DR says that although Lemery is quite remote it is a very peaceful place to live and he loves everything about it.

The Philippines are a beautiful place to visit with something for every traveller; wherever you go you won’t ever be more than two hours from the beaches.


Visit for more information, but promise us…. if you come to the Philippines you’ll come and see us at the Foundation village too!










Holy Week in the Philippines.

Holy Week in the Philippines.

Easter is one of the most important festivals in the Christian calendar, and in the Philippines “Holy Week” has already begun. It’s a time for solemn prayer and the observance of traditions, several of which are unique to Filipino culture as they combine religious faith with folk beliefs.


Many festivals are held throughout the country.  Participants dress up as Roman soldiers and go around the streets from Holy Monday through to Easter Sunday, re-enacting scenes from the Passion of Christ.


One Philippine tradition, especially in rural areas, is the observance of silence on Good Friday. People are encouraged to turn off their radios and televisions and limit conversations on the day that marks the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. Catholics stop eating meat, turning to fish and the more devout ones go on a completely liquid diet. 

However, before the holiday week could begin for DR, he has had meetings with the engineers and Engr Rizardo of CPU, who has been helping with the design of the slope structure.  It also looks like the construction workers have been pretty busy too, with houses going up quickly. 



So, whilst work stops for Holy Week and we have a holiday for a few days, we would like to wish you, wherever you may be, a very Blessed Easter.  

A Filipino boy participates during Palm Sunday rites outside the Holy Family Parish Church in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Sunday, April 13, 2014. Palm Sunday marks the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem and ushers in the Holy Week observance among Catholics worldwide. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

“Pagpalain ka ng Diyos”


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