The ‘Deploma Family’ have embraced village life.
Before Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in 2013, Analyn and Allan Deploma, and their two young boys were living a normal hardworking life in Barangay Capinahan, near the primary school. Allan was a construction labourer and Analyn a full time housewife.
On November 8th, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) changed direction and was now heading towards them, they had no time or choice but to evacuate out of their house. Analyn’s elderly mother also lived next door and they had to get to safety. Sadly that night, the Typhoon destroyed everything in it’s path – including their home. The noise of the wind and debris flying around them was terrifying. They didn’t think they would survive huddled in the shelter that they had gone to.
In the months that followed, they slowly began to rebuild their home made of wood and tin materials that were scattered as far as the eye could see. Eventually Allan returned to work, life was really hard – roads were destroyed by the fallen trees and mudslides, so getting anywhere was difficult. Analyn and her two young boys stayed at home until the roads were finally reopened and they could return to school.
And Now, nearly five years later – Life couldn’t be better for them. They are all so happy living in the village and have made their new home so beautiful. Inside is just immaculate, and outside there are flowers and vegetables growing everywhere. The plant pots are recycled bottles, car tyres and in fact anything that can hold water!
Analyn is very active in the village – she helps in any way she can. She was the president of the PTA (last school year) 2017-2018 and is now the secretary of the GSF Homeowners Association. She also runs a stall at the Talipapa market selling houseware, beauty products and cosmetics.
Allan is one of the Block Leaders in the village so he oversees all the houses that fall into his area. During construction of the village he was the warehouseman overseeing the materials coming into the site. He has now returned to being a labourer.
And… the two boys are now 13 and 8, and both doing so well at school attending every day. The students from CPU that come to the village every week, to give extra tuition to all the children have taken a shining to the youngest little boy. He is an entertainer and loves to dance!
It has taken five years to turn many of these families lives around but we are getting there. The homes are built – and the families are living happily in them. Now we want to make sure that every family is sustainable, is part of a livelihood programme, and that every child in the village has a full time education.
The future of this village lies with them.
Amy visits the House of Refuge Orphanage in Manila.
Last week Amy spent the afternoon catching up with the children from the House of Refuge Orphanage, in Manila.
The House of Refuge is a special place to Greg and the team, because in December 2015, Greg and the Foundation were visiting, delivering hampers and gifts to the children, and whilst there, learnt that a medical clinic was needed. He instantly decided to help and sponsored the build of this clinic, which was completed in July 2016 and called the ‘Maud Clinic’. The Maud Clinic is named after Greg’s grandmother who herself was an orphan.
Amy had a lovely lunch followed by some singing and dance performances from the children. She then handed out a few books and toys and read some stories. The children were so happy with lots of giggling and laughter amongst them.
Well done to the House of Refuge team for giving these children a second chance in happiness.
The Children love their new tables at Capinahan School.
Yesterday we told you about the generous donation from Gabriella Tilbury to the Kindergarten School, and today we can show you pictures of the children sitting at the tables that were made because of this donation!
The classrooms looks fantastic with the different colours and shaped tables that can be put together to make rounds, squares and rectangles!
It’s so rewarding to see the children happy in their newly refurbished classrooms. We will keep you updated as things happen here!
Gabriella Tilbury donates her birthday money to the Capinahan School.
Amy’s daughter, Gabriella has very kindly donated her birthday money to the Capinahan School where we now have 82 children enrolled from the village.
The money has already been put to good use, with the parents buying the provisions to build tables for the classrooms. In just a day, they had made a variety of shapes and painted them in different colours to brighten up the classrooms. Such quick work – well done team.
The blackboard was also re-furbished with a new layer of blackboard paint.
A donation like Gabriella’s goes a long way. Thank you Gabriella – a huge inspiration for others to do the same. If you would like to help in some way, please do – every bit really does make a difference.
Three new teachers to join our Capinahan School.
We are delighted to announce that due to a huge rise in enrolment figures from 20 to 80 children, at our newly refurbished Capinahan School, we have secured an additional 3 teachers with the Department of Education.
Amy and the GSF team met with Celisa Beriong – OIC Division Chief Superintendant who oversees all 900 Iloilo Junior schools and 115 Secondary Schools, Gilbert Solidum – Division Head for School Governance and Operations and Juan Tamano – Supervisor in School Operations. They discussed the needs of GSF village and Capinahan Barangay in general in respect of the school and agreed that more than one teacher was now needed. Both GSF and the Department of Education will enter into a partnership to improve the school in the future. Norma Palmejar (on behalf of GSF) will sit on the school council to ensure input and will have an oversight on the school governance.
This is such a fantastic step in the right direction for the children. The longer they are able to stay in full time education the better and having 3 extra teachers will now ensure this happens. Thank you to the Department of Education for your time and helping us give the children the best start in life.
We must finally say a huge thank you to Gabriella Tilbury who kindly donated her birthday money towards the tables and chairs in the school.
If you would like to help the future of the GSF children by donating please do. Every bit helps. Thank you.
Ric Patricio holds a ‘Wash Seminar’ in the village.
A week after the transfer of the Living Water Treatment System (LWTS) from the town hall of Lemery, to the village, Ric Patricio held a ‘Wash Seminar’ for the beneficiaries.
He taught them about safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), as well as to make them aware about the availability of safe water for everyone in the community.
The seminar covered topics on how water gets contaminated, how microbes get into the stomach, how water can be purified and treated using the LWTS, how to store treated water in containers, how to wash hands properly, and how healthy hygiene and sanitation behaviours can protect everyone from upset stomachs.
Ric’s future commitment is to hold other community-based training not only on WASH but also on emerging and sustainable technologies to help ensure food security in the village.
The Turn-over ceremony of Capinahan Primary School.
After several months of hard work refurbishing the two classrooms at Capinahan Primary School, we are pleased to announce that the work is complete.
Amy Leverson-Gower who is on the Board of Directors at GSF, flew out from the UK to officially hand over the school, and joined DR Sanico, a representative from the Division office of Department of Education and the Barangay chairman-elect of Capinahan.
There are 82 children from the village enrolled in the Capinahan School from Kindergarten up to year 4 which is 10 years old, and they all attended the ceremony where school bags and supplies were handed out to them after the speeches.
In the short time that Amy had in the village she certainly packed a lot into one day! Having left Iloilo City at 6am she drove to the the GSF Village and started off by visiting the Talipapa market for a much needed cup of native coffee. From there she had a little wander around the village and was amazed at how much everything had grown in six months; runner beans, tomatoes, aubergine and papaya were all looking fantastic.
She then had a quick cuddle with baby Greg who was born in February, a lesson on Moringa planting, learnt how to do hydroponics and mushroom cultivation, and then on to the school!
Amy did mention that the one thing she really noticed was that there was a real sense of community and happiness in the village. It is great to hear that our beneficiaries are doing well.
After a long day, the GSF team then returned back to Iloilo with Amy, where they all treated to a “Happy Birthday DR” and “Team Building” dinner. Well done to the GSF team for all your hard work.
Mushroom Farming in the village.
Thirty five beneficiaries from the village attended a training seminar on Mushroom production, that was held at the Integrated Research Centre Regional Office of the Department of Agriculture in Iloilo.
The seminar taught the beneficiaries how to produce mushrooms using the materials and land that they have available at home in the village. Part of the lecture included propagation and the process on how to do it from start to finish, each taking it in turns to have a hands on go!
After a break for lunch it was back to the afternoon session where they were taught how to make “Mushroom Ice-cream”. They all got a taste and it was delicious – something new to make back at home.
Before leaving, every beneficiary was given a starter kit for mushroom production so once they are back they can start straight away. They were told to expect to be able to harvest mushrooms after 3 months. Another great source of food and income for those that sell their produce.
The Department of Agriculture will do a site visit after 4 months to check the progress of the mushroom growing and then the beneficiaries hope to attend a second seminar in November about mushroom packaging, marketing and other strategies on mushroom products.
We are so pleased that another means of farming has been introduced into the village and over a short time can be sold at market too!
The hugest spring onions!
We had to share this photograph with you, of one of our beneficiaries, with her home grown “spring onions!” Nanay Nelia Adrigado, who lives in the village with her two children is a keen gardener … and it shows. Nelia was walking past the GSF office – off to market to sell her onions when Alya our social worker spotted her and her produce! Neila has been growing vegetables and taking them to the market regularly now, to earn extra income for her and her two children. Alya told us that she also sells “Puto Cheese” which is a rice cake and she is a great dress maker too.
Just fantastic – well done Nelia, its a shame we are so far away in the UK. We would have loved to have tried them.
Thank you “Shiplake College”.
The week before half term, Josh Hamer’s school, Shiplake College, held a cake sale, fundraising for the children that Josh met in the Greg Secker Foundation Village when he visited in January.
Josh made some close friends in a short time in the village and wanted to help in some way when he returned to the UK.
After seeing Josh’s video from his time in the village, and listening to him talk about his time there, his school decided to support him and arranged for the cake sale to take place. The Shiplake boys brought in delicious home made cakes from home, and then sold them to the teachers and other pupils over three days. A fantastic amount was made and the money has gone towards buying the GSF children their new school book bags, books and pens. The children had their first day back at school today so already they are being put to good use!
The children in the village were so excited that a school in the UK had arranged a cake sale to help them and that Josh was a part of this. He was known as the piped piper in the village with the children following him around all day.
On behalf of everyone at the Greg Secker Foundation and the children in the village, thank you Shiplake College for all your support and kind donation.
The next exciting fundraiser that Josh and his friends will be doing is the Muddy Mayhem Run on Sunday 7th October 2018. Money raised from this event will go towards a playground for the children.